How to create longevity in social work

Did you know that the average children’s social worker stays in the job for 2.4 years? Here at Social Personnel, we want to change that statistic and remind our talented candidates why social work is worth dedicating their time to. In this blog, we share top tips on how to create longevity in social work.

Know your worth

It can be hard to set boundaries, but if you want to get anywhere in social work it comes with the territory. Figure out where you need to protect your energy and be firm but fair in setting these expectations with both clients and colleagues.

Prioritise work-life balance 

We know social work can be taxing – service users need to be seen, you’ll have paperwork coming out of your ears and some days you will have to work overtime. However, it is paramount that you still make time for self-care to mitigate stress. If you continue to prioritise work over your own needs, this will only lead to issues such as burnout and compassion fatigue. And once this happens, your productivity will decrease regardless so it’s a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. Moral of the story? Look after yourself first – work can wait.

It’s OK to say no 

It’s no secret that, unfortunately for now, demand outweighs capacity in the world of social work. In other words, there will never not be work to be done – but that doesn’t mean the responsibility has to fall completely on your shoulders. Mastering the skill of saying ‘no’ is integral to protecting your wellbeing and will ensure you enjoy a long and prosperous career. Plus, if you’re juggling a surplus of complex caseloads; both you and your clients are going to start to struggle. Good social care requires time and attention so rushing this process is never beneficial.

Don’t forget your purpose

There’s a reason you chose to start a career in social care – hold onto that reason when times get tough and remember you are helping shape people’s lives for the better. This includes celebrating the small wins on a day-to-day basis and congratulating your colleagues on theirs too. Creating a positive work environment will help boost team morale and improve career longevity.

We hope this advice will help you protect your wellbeing and we wish you a long and happy career in social care!

If you’re a social worker seeking further career advice, feel free to get in touch with our expert consultants who will do their best to answer your questions via [email protected].

carlette Isaac

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