When I say that I am pursuing a career in social work, I tend to get a mixed bag of reactions. People try to talk me out of it. “Your life is going to be so depressing,” they say, or “you’ll burn out so fast,” or, my personal favorite, the threat of making “crap money.” Who is creating these negative associations with social work? Is it the media?
Not that it’s nothing but negativity–in fact, the negatives are about tied with the positives. Family and friends admit that this is not a line of work for just anyone, and are thankful that some people are dedicated to serving our communities and empowering individuals. They recognize that people have difficult issues, and can’t advocate for themselves or find resources they require.
To me, social work isn’t a job, it’s my calling. People are right–it may be depressing and exhausting. It’s not something that can be forced, but instead must come from something deeper inside of you.