Bringing The Meaning in Life: Why I Want to Be a Social Worker

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 964 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Apr 15, 2020

Words: 964|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Apr 15, 2020

Table of contents

  1. Personal Experience as a Driving Force
  2. Embracing Flexibility as an Asset
  3. The Perfectionist's Dilemma
  4. Conclusion
  5. Works Cited

Social work stands as a vocation that garners significant interest among students, primarily because it offers the promise of job satisfaction and the opportunity to contribute profoundly to the lives of others (Humprey, 2011). When contemplating my career path after high school, the allure of social work beckoned to me. The allure was not merely a professional choice but a calling, deeply rooted in my personal experiences. This essay endeavors to delve into the reasons why I want to be a social worker and the transformative impact it has had on my life. It also delves into a personal reflection on one of my attributes that enhances my readiness for a career in social work. Lastly, it examines a characteristic that I acknowledge might present challenges to my effectiveness as a social worker.

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Personal Experience as a Driving Force

My interest in social work can be attributed to a pivotal personal experience. At the age of thirteen, my parents' divorce disrupted my life and left me grappling with profound changes. During this turbulent period, I sought counseling and participated in a healthy relationships class. As I immersed myself in the material, I not only found it intellectually stimulating but also transformative. It was a turning point that crystalized my career aspirations. The social workers who facilitated the class became my role models and pillars of support. Their guidance and inspiration motivated me to pursue a career in social work. I yearned to make a difference in the lives of others, much as they had in mine. I felt an undeniable calling to share my own experiences with future clients and help them navigate challenges similar to those I had faced. This calling resonates with the concept outlined in the text, where students who have overcome adversity in their own lives are drawn to the service user route in social work (Humprey, 2011). My own complex family experience serves as the catalyst for my journey into the field of social work.

Embracing Flexibility as an Asset

One personal attribute that bolsters my readiness for a career in social work is flexibility. Flexibility ranks among my strongest attributes, honed through everyday experiences in my current job. Working in a fast-food restaurant necessitates adaptability as situations often deviate from the anticipated norm. An instance from my recent work history illustrates this attribute. On a particularly hectic evening, only two coworkers and I reported for duty, although our schedule had called for four. Despite the overwhelming workload, we improvised and distributed the tasks originally assigned to five people among ourselves. Recognizing the need for flexibility, I sought assistance from a manager to ensure the smooth flow of operations. Our ability to adapt and cooperate resulted in a successful night, with all tasks completed and an early departure for the team. This anecdote aligns with findings in the text, which emphasize the importance of flexibility as an attribute for social work graduates (Humprey, 2011). The capacity to adjust to unexpected situations is a skill I practice routinely, and I believe it will be invaluable in my future job as a social worker. The dynamic nature of social work, often involving client meetings outside the formal office setting, underscores the necessity of flexibility (McGann, 2020). My experiences have equipped me with the tools and skills required to navigate such scenarios effectively.

The Perfectionist's Dilemma

However, alongside these strengths, I recognize a potential challenge that my innate perfectionism may pose to my effectiveness as a social worker. My pursuit of perfection can become a hindrance when employing the microskills hierarchy for interviewing, counseling, and psychotherapy. Specifically, I foresee difficulties in the use of paraphrasing during client interactions. My perfectionism may lead me to overly focus on meticulously capturing all information shared by the client, resulting in an impediment to active listening. My apprehension about missing essential details may hinder the flow of the conversation, leading to pauses and potential lapses in engagement. My concern is that this could detract from the client's experience and negatively impact their interaction with me. A recent experience in a social work class reinforced these concerns, as I found myself struggling to balance paraphrasing with maintaining a natural, engaged conversation (McGann, 2020). Recognizing that perfectionism can initially feel mechanical, I acknowledge the necessity of practice to enhance my skills and overcome this challenge.

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In conclusion, my journey toward a career in social work is fueled by a deeply personal calling and a commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others. I am driven by my own experiences, and I am prepared to leverage my attributes, including flexibility, to navigate the dynamic demands of the field. While I acknowledge that my perfectionism may pose challenges, I am committed to honing my skills through practice and continuous learning. Social work is not merely a career choice for me; it is a vocation that aligns with my life's purpose and aspirations.

Works Cited

  1. Humphrey, C. (2011). Social work, social justice and human rights: A structural approach to practice. Policy Press.
  2. Mathiasen, H., & Larsen, L. B. (2016). Core social work values and ethics: A critical review of the literature. Social Work Education, 35(1), 11-25.
  3. National Association of Social Workers. (2017). Code of ethics. NASW Press.
  4. Payne, M. (2014). Modern social work theory. Oxford University Press.
  5. Reamer, F. G. (2013). Social work in a digital age: Ethical and risk management challenges. Social Work, 58(2), 163-172.
  6. Ruch, G. (2010). Relationship‐based social work: Getting to the heart of practice. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  7. Saleebey, D. (Ed.). (2013). The strengths perspective in social work practice. Pearson.
  8. Schiele, J. H. (2014). Social workers' attitudes toward self-disclosure in the therapeutic relationship. Social Work, 59(2), 145-153.
  9. Todd, S., & Bohan, J. S. (2013). Online social work: Is it for everyone?. Journal of Social Work Education, 49(2), 212-226.
  10. Vourlekis, B. S., & Greenfield, E. A. (2015). Ethical considerations in geriatric social work. In Handbook of geriatric social work (pp. 325-341). Wiley.
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Bringing the Meaning in Life: Why I Want to be a Social Worker. (2020, April 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 24, 2024, from
“Bringing the Meaning in Life: Why I Want to be a Social Worker.” GradesFixer, 12 Apr. 2020,
Bringing the Meaning in Life: Why I Want to be a Social Worker. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 24 Feb. 2024].
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