Thursday, September 2, 2010

Social Work--the easy career? NOT!

Sigh.. it happened again. Today's Washington Post has an article by their Career Coach Marshall Brown ( In abbreviated form, it goes like this:

I am seriously considering "reinventing" myself. I was just laid off and I thought that I might as well do it now. I wonder if I can make a fresh start without having to start over, but how?

I am a firm believer that it is NEVER too late. So, the good news is, you can. Here are some tips that I hope will help you: [a number of tips omitted here to save space]

Transferable Skills
Instead of starting something entirely new, you can start by building on what you already know and have done. From accountant, try a transition into financial planning; from teacher, try moving into social work; from real estate, maybe consider becoming a tour guide. The same skills that served you in the past can work for you now."

Lovely idea, but it implies that this transfer can happen without additional education. As social work leaders we need to bust this myth that social work requires a basic education and a good heart. We are a profession with a body of knowledge and educational standards from accredited schools of social work, and shouldn't let ourselves be sold short. Social work is not an easy career--it requires education and training and hard work. It also happens to be an incredibly rewarding career. Let's make sure people know both these facts.

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