Thought of the Day: “What is something you wish you’d known before starting a career in health and social care?”

Welcome to our new segment: Social Pulse: Thought of the Day! In this series, we delve into the minds of our experienced social workers to uncover insights, perspectives, and wisdom gained from their journey in the field. This week, we posed the question: “What is something you wish you’d known before starting a career in health and social care?”

From the significance of self-care to navigating the complexities of the profession, our conversations revealed invaluable lessons and reflections. Join us as we explore the realities, challenges, and triumphs of the profession, hoping to inspire and inform both aspiring and seasoned practitioners alike!

Ashley, who worked as a social worker assistant, starts by reinforcing the power of listening: “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” In a profession centred around understanding and compassion, she explains that active listening is the cornerstone for building trust with service users and validating their feelings.

Vivek, a respected children’s social worker, underscores the importance of knowledge and professionalism: “Having a sound understanding of legislation and procedures is critical to being a good social worker and will assist you in making often complex decisions.” He also places emphasis on punctuality and effective communication when working as part of a team, and highlights the collaborative nature of social work, where every member plays a crucial role in achieving positive outcomes for clients.

Margaret, who has over a decade of social work experience, encapsulates the qualities essential for success in social work: “It’s all about confidence, knowledge, and the ability to be resilient in the face of adversity.” 

Tracey, a mental health social worker, shared her valuable perspective:“Patience and perseverance goes a long way. Talk to people with respect. It’s all about empowering service users to be independent and confident in themselves.” 

Michelle, another dedicated social worker, acknowledges the unpredictable nature of the job: “Social work is not a 9 to 5 gig. Be prepared to work late because, at the end of the day, you are in a frontline vocational role.” Her insight serves as a reality check for newcomers, highlighting the commitment and dedication required to make a real difference to the lives of service users. 

Laura, who works as a children’s social worker, adds: “It’s not all doom and gloom like everyone says! Ride the wave and you’ll be absolutely fine.”

Joana, an experienced practitioner in the children’s court, closes with a gentle reminder of looking after yourself amidst the demands of the job: “Always make sure you prioritise your own self-care. I think a lot of the time we get so caught up with helping others that we forget that we need to look after our own mental health to be able to support the families that we work with.” 

Thanks again to our lovely candidates for taking the time to share their wisdom. 

If you’re currently looking for a role in health and social care, please get in touch with our team at 0203 8929 340 or drop us an email via [email protected].

carlette Isaac

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