Your first year as a qualified social worker can be challenging. That’s why we’ve put together some useful tips to help you survive your first 12 months.
Get to know the team
Social care can be an isolating profession, so it’s important that you get to know your colleagues, as much as possible, during the first few days and weeks of starting your first social care role. They will be your support group to lean on later. Develop your own support networks and know who to go to for help and advice, both for casework and on personal matters.
Utilise induction and training
Make the most of the learning and training opportunities available at your work place. Post-qualifying learning keeps your brain thinking fresh, recharges batteries and opens the doors for career progression. Social work is a continually evolving profession and you never get to the point where you know everything. It’s important to make yourself familiar with all the resources, policies and procedures available at your new job.
Happy social workers, happy service users
Being a social worker is not just a job but a vocation for life that you will come to cherish. However, being a social worker is increasingly pressured profession and it can take its toll on your wellbeing, so don’t forget to look after yourself.
If you start feeling stressed or burnt-out, it’s important to open up. Speaking to friends, more experienced colleagues or your manager can help you feel better and see things more clearly. There are also plenty of simple activities you can undertake at home to help you to feel more relaxed, such as meditation, exercise and maintaining a healthy diet.
Don’t hesitate to ask plenty of questions during your first few weeks. You won’t know where everything is or what to do in certain situations. Seek guidance and advice from your manager. When you’re with your colleagues or manager just ask them “What could I have done better?”