Casework can be very rewarding. So naturally, as you study hard and get through tough exams and finally get to practice—you’re going to be pretty excited. And you should be because you’ll be making a real difference in people’s lives and helping them turn things around on a daily basis.
But you’ll soon find out that social work is one of the toughest jobs out there. Not only because there are real people and emotions involved, but also because it’s demanding work.
From long working hours to massive caseloads, here are a few ways to manage your early years as a caseworker.
Tip No. 1: Understand and Accept the Emotions That Come with The Job
Before stepping into the profession, you may have thought that things would be easier for you if you didn’t let yourself get attached emotionally. But that’s usually not true.
The fact is that by detaching yourself emotionally from your job, you’re probably working against your personality. The reason you’re a social worker is probably that you’re an empathetic person who does care—so you might as well use that to your advantage.
Embrace the emotions as they come, and put yourself in your client’s shoes. That would make decision-making easier for you. Feel free to feel stressed, drained, happy, or even guilty at times.
Tip No.2: Take Time to Learn Time Management
The fact is that as a caseworker in the US, you’ll probably have massive caseloads. So, time management is key if you want to survive this profession, and needless to say, it’s not simple at all.
For starters, you can start setting certain boundaries, for yourself, with your co-workers, and the cases you’re working on. Moreover, you should make things easier for yourself by planning your day early in the morning and giving yourself manageable targets to work on for the rest of the day.
It may take you a while to get the hang of it, but you’ll learn to manage your time better in the longer run.
Tip No. 3: Embrace Technology
Technology is one of the biggest asset’s caseworkers have in the twenty-first century. It can make your work easier tenfold when used right.
For example, the right case management software could handle all the paperwork and documentation for you, while you can deal with other more important aspects of your job, serving your clients.
It’s also important that your agency embraces technology. A specially designed human services case management software, can really help to streamline not only your work as a rookie caseworker, it can streamline the work for your entire organization.