You are here:

Social Work/Social Work as a Career


hookedtrout wrote at 2010-10-20 21:40:31
Im going to tell you the truth...

I don't tell you this to discourage you, and I speak from experience.  I too am empathetic and want to help people... but this should not be anyone's career.  You can do this at any time.  A career can provide fulfillment in a variety of ways, even if you are not directly helping people.  It sounds ugly, but the truth is you should pick a career that you imagine you can handle/tolerate that will pay a decent amount of money (shoot for the highest paying) and requires the least amount of education.

social work, in any capacity, is the opposite.  You have to spend more money on extensive schooling just to make a low salary.  

when i say low... i mean the best jobs are typically not paying (if they are hiring) more than 25K/year to start and 50k a year after several years (this is often the "ceiling" in this field).  This is contingent on many things, but everyone else I know in this field makes these kinds of salaries.  Never more.  

Yes, your shyness will be a huge factor.  You have to be assertive are you will be eaten alive.  I know this also from experience.  Politics are found in any career, but I have been very broken up about the kinds of politics I have to be involved in, which is common in social work.

You wouldn't believe a field that you expect would be ethical and having all good intentions to help others actually will require you to lie and do things that will bring in money (that you will never actually see)even if it is not in the best interest of the population you are trying to serve.  You essentially rob from them through these politics that you (don't kid yourself) MUST participate in.  you will get an ulcer and spend twice as much money when you go back to school to pick another major and a new career.  I hope I saved you that extra step and maybe a little money too.

PS- no one else on this forum will probably have an answer like mine.... draw any conclusion you want from that fact alone.

David007 wrote at 2013-02-17 20:00:57
Minnie is correct. Many MSW's were very shy when they were younger and now they actually teach classes.  As you mature, you will change.  There are many people in my Social Work program that don't talk in class and are very shy about public speaking.  Good luck!

Social Work

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Minnie R. Dabney


Can answer questions pertinent to abusive family systems, child and geriatric welfare, foster care (TX) - along with state compliance requlations, crisis and relational queries.


Am a Masters' level social worker, license-eligible with over 13 years of social services experience. Certified Chronic Care Professional. Have served on a county's Mental Health Board and as a Court Justice. Am listed in Who's Who (Academics; Premier Who's Who of Outstanding Profesionals -International (2006-2007) and have received multiple academic awards in the psychological field. My specialty is Cognitive-Behavioral intervention.

Psi Chi; Alpha Chi,

Huerfano World

MSW -(clinical track) University of Chicago
BS - Psychology - University of Southern Colorado

Awards and Honors
University of Chicago Scholarship
President, Psi Chi
President's Scholarship (multiple)
National Collegiate Education Award
All American Scholar-At-Large Award
Young Scholar's Research Fellowship
University Certified Student Mentor
Who's Who in American Junior Colleges
Dean's List (multiple)
Alpha Chi
Psi Chi
Domestic Violence Elimination Program (volunteer)
Big Sister (volunteer)

©2017 All rights reserved.