Starting Social Work: Reflections of a Newly Qualified Social Worker

Our Book of the Week Starting Social Work: Reflections of a Newly Qualified Social Worker by Rebecca Joy Novell is slightly different to the type of book Critical Publishing usually publishes in that it is a personal reflection by a young social worker on her training and her first year in the job. We have already had a terrific response to it from both lecturers and students and we hope everyone that reads the book will find it both a fascinating insight into the challenges trainee social workers face and a very useful tool for reflecting on those experiences and becoming a better professional. We will publish extracts from the book throughout the week but here is a post from Rebecca to get your new term off to a positive start.

It’s January and the thought of going in to work is, to say the least, a little soul-destroying. The combination of flu, post-Christmas blues and dark, cold, windy mornings conjures within me a new-found love for my bed. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way. Whilst I’m probably not the best person to inspire and motivate you through this difficult time, I’m going to give it a go.

If you’re anything like me, the first few weeks of January are probably spent re-evaluating your life. By breakfast time each day, I have usually applied (in my head) for four or five new jobs and planned, in meticulous detail, a holiday to the other side of the world. None of these plans will come to fruition but I am certain at the time that I need to reinvent myself and stop wasting my life.

Luckily, if you are a Social Worker, it is very unlikely that you are actually wasting your life. You may feel like you need a change of role, or that you need a break, and if you do, go for it! But don’t forget all the important work you have done over the last year and how valuable your contribution is to this profession. Even on a bad day, you are continuously working towards the end goal of making things a little better or a little easier for another human being.

Forget the bureaucracy, the paperwork, the unrealistic case-loads; at its core, you are doing a job which is led by your values. Not only is that rare, it is a gift. No office is perfect. In fact, the entire profession needs some drastic changes. Therefore, one of my new year’s resolutions is to make suggestions and changes that will bring my office and my practice more in line with my values. I’m going to campaign more nationally for what I believe to be valuable Social Work. And of course, my other resolution is to stop eating so much cake. If you feel like joining me in either of these resolutions, we can easily create a profession that we are extremely proud of… and of course, a smaller waist-line.

Rebecca Joy Novell @RebJoyNov

  Rebecca’s book is available via our website http://www.criticalpublishing.comImage

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