There are many attributes that make a social worker successful, however below we have compiled what we think are the top 5 that are crucial if you are to be a success within the profession. Firstly, you must be empathetic.
The most important characteristic of a social worker is their empathy. Most people you will work with are in a state of crisis and emotional distress, therefore, you must be able to offer a caring, understanding, and empowering environment for them to discuss their feelings. In other words, you must be able to place yourself in their shoes. By doing that, you are far better equipped to deal with their problems.
Being trustworthy is key. Successful social workers earn trust by being honest, open, and reliable. In crisis, your clients will look to you for advice and guidance in personal, legal, and other matters, and your opinion will carry more weight if they trust you.
Social work requires patience. The cases are often complex and they can involve many different parties with different goals, change does not happen overnight. The people that you help may not want to talk at first. In addition, the may not know exactly what it is they need, it is important that you do not get frustrated and patience will help you avoid this.
You may be dealing with many cases at once, and so time management and clear note-taking are crucial. Being organised also allows you to focus on what really matters - helping your clients. They will take comfort knowing that you are on top of things. A little planning ahead can have a huge impact on your productivity.
Successful social workers have great interpersonal skills, particularly when it comes to listening. Your clients will rely on you to listen to their problems in order to best advise them and decide their most suitable action. You need to be able to observe with skill and listen closely.
If you have all of the above traits, social work is definitely the career for you. Our social work vacancies are updated regularly and can be found via search or by clicking on Social Care from within our sectors page.