Do you remember when you made the decision to become a social worker? Your decision was a defining moment of your life, and it was the moment you decided who you wanted to be and what you wanted to do with your life. You defined your goal and set out on your journey to achieve your chosen profession. Filled with compassion and the desire to help others, you were prepared to serve in a thankless job with low pay because the joy of helping someone achieve their goals would be thanks enough.
I want to share a story about a social worker named Evelyn who has strong passion for helping people in need which led to her making the decision to become a social worker. Her heart bounced at every step as she made the decision to become a social worker who would change the world while bringing peace and love for the poor, the abused, the lonely.
In 2002, Evelyn finally finished school ready to take action and help lots of clients. She got her first job at the local school for disabled children, and she felt like a hero starting her journey in search of the holy grail. Of course, there would be dragons and wicked witches to slay, but Evelyn felt strong and capable with I am a Social Worker written in big capitals at her forehead.
I promised you a little story, so lets fast forward to 2014. Picture Evelyn on her couch at home, and her two sons playing Counterstrike on the dining table adding noise in the room. The noise disturbs her thoughts while she is busy giving her opinion in a discussion group on Linkedin.
Evelyn writes: I just wish the social work profession was respected like the rest of the healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, even as many have made this our chosen career, we have not escaped the image of volunteer and our salaries speak to that.
Evelyn made her profile on Linkedin two years ago, which was when she lost her job. It was a simple case of cutting the budgets. Evelyn hoped to find a new job on Linkedin, but she didn’t. Instead of a new job, Evelyn found on Linkedin many social workers in the same situation. They were discussing things like: why are our salaries so low, who will blame the government, how can we advocate for ourselves.
Her heart wasn’t bouncing anymore, and her passion for helping people in need was just a dream of the past. Sitting on her couch, her two boys around her, she felt unhappy and frustrated. As you know, frustration can be the germ of inspired action. As Evelyn’s frustration got stronger, a new thought came up in her mind which initially made her feel anxious and uneasy….
Well, I promised you this little story about Evelyn, but I will be sharing more about her in future articles. Just as Evelyn got frustrated, you might also be frustrated not knowing what her thoughts were that made her feel so anxious. I know, I’m sorry, but since this is my first article for The Social Work Helper, I promise you there is more to come.
Evelyn looks a lot like me a couple of years ago, and I’ve made the same journey Evelyn is about to embark on. A journey that started on my couch in Tiel, the Netherlands while feeling like an unhappy social worker. A journey that finally brought me here today to connect with you and teach you all about entrepreneurship for social workers. Until next time…