looking to switch out of social work

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AMB in Wyoming, Michigan

60 months ago

Hi

I graduated my BSW. I went into the program with high expectation and came out with so many doubts. I wish I would have listened to my gut and changed majors at the beginning, but I thought there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. I have been constantly looking for jobs with no luck. I'm sick of competing with MSW's for entry-level positions and I have no desire to go back to school for my MSW. I recently took a job in retail, but it's not nearly enough for me to pay back the money I owe in student loans. I want to go back to school but I have no idea what direction to take. For those who have switched out, what path have you taken? What could be a somewhat easy transition? I like such a failure :(

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Mary in Randolph, Massachusetts

60 months ago

Hi there - I feel for you, believe me. You are NOT a failure. You completed a bachelor's degree. That's a great accomplishment. Truly.

I wish I had some suggestions for you as far as switching careers. I'm wondering what I can do myself. I like helping people, but you can't pay bills with meaningful work. I was googling info on what you can do with a social work degree other than social work and found your post.

I have a master's degree and the highest level of licensure in my state. I understand your frustration at competing with MSWs for entry level positions. Unfortunately, social work jobs have diminished over time as have salaries. Agencies hire people right out of school so they can keep salaries low. And budget cuts often end social work related programs. There's not a lot out there job-wise, and having your MSW does not magically open doors. Supervisory positions pay more than direct client contact jobs, but I'm not interested in management. I went to college late, went straight through for my master's and am so deeply in debt for student loans that I will never be able to retire. My monthly payment is over $600. so my best advice is - run away from social work as fast as you can! :) I know I have done a lot to help people in need, but had I the chance to redo my education, I'd pick a different path. Don't know what that would be, but it wouldn't be social work. A shame, because I'm good at what I do. Only wish there was some money to be had for working so hard every day.

I hope you find the career path that is best for you. Maybe someone will reply to your post and we'll both find a new career path!
Good luck.

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jslinfla in Delray Beach, Florida

60 months ago

You don't necessarily have to run from social work altogether.
I was able to make an easier transition with my BSW degree. I went to school online and earned a paralegal certificate. I am currently using my paralegal skills and my social work background at a Legal Aid office. I am doing this on a volunteer basis, and my supervisors love my work. This will help you put substantive work experience on your resume. Just my opinion.

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jslinfla in Delray Beach, Florida

60 months ago

You don't necessarily have to run from social work altogether.
I was able to make an easier transition with my BSW degree. I went to school online and earned a paralegal certificate. I am currently using my paralegal skills and my social work background at a Legal Aid office. I am doing this on a volunteer basis, and my supervisors love my work. This will help you put substantive work experience on your resume.

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toyapat in Kissimmee, Florida

30 months ago

Hi,
I recently relocated with my husband and son to Kissimmee, Florida. I have my masters degree in social work with a specialization in clinical social work. However, I have been searching for employment for man months and it has become extremely frustrating. I am at the point where I am thinking of changing careers. I am not sure how to make the transition and would like to do so without going back to school. I am already in debt with student loans. I spend day and night searching the internet for jobs. I have also been searching for staffing agencies but there seems to be no staffing agencies. I decided to relocate because i believed that it would be a great place to raid my son. I have been on two interviews and they were located downtown Orlando, which is 1 hour from where I reside and the salary did not seem to be worth the travel. Please any suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you

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aros in Norwood, Massachusetts

28 months ago

AMB in Wyoming, Michigan said: Hi

I graduated my BSW. I went into the program with high expectation and came out with so many doubts. I wish I would have listened to my gut and changed majors at the beginning, but I thought there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. I have been constantly looking for jobs with no luck. I'm sick of competing with MSW's for entry -level positions and I have no desire to go back to school for my MSW. I recently took a job in retail, but it's not nearly enough for me to pay back the money I owe in student loans. I want to go back to school but I have no idea what direction to take. For those who have switched out, what path have you taken? What could be a somewhat easy transition? I like such a failure :(

I feel the same way except I have my MSW. I took a social worker job where it included home visits. I thought I would love it. But it turned out that I was placing myself in unsafe situations. I thought "a career change" would never happen to me. I continued to search what else is out there for social work. Alot of jobs I got offered a position was either per diem, fee for service or part time work with no benefits. So now I decided to take a position as a preschool teacher which I love but I wanted to do more social work. But I needed full time work and insurance benefits. I'm still searching for different careers that have a higher pay and that it doesn't include going back for my Master's degree. I can't do nursing. So any advice would be helpful. I would just job shadow alot of thing before going back to school again. I wished that's what I did. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I hope I'm not the only person that feels this way after receiving a MSW. Ugh! The more I think about all the effort of schooling, the more it upsets me. So i try to remain positive and remind myself that you have to start somewhere in order to be happy.

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Kathleen in San Francisco, California

22 months ago

Hi,

I just graduated with my Master's in social work back in May and shortly after relocated with my husband to San Francisco from Memphis. I have been job searching in the bay area for over 2 months now and still nothing, not anything more than a couple of emails saying they decided to pursue better candidates. Then there are the smaller agencies that say I am overqualified. Are there just no jobs?? It makes me regret getting this degree and going into the helping/mental health field :( Just hoping and praying something comes along soon or I will seriously have to consider a different career or seriously lower my expectations. Good luck to everyone and I wish you all the best.

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Robin White 77 in DALLAS, Texas

11 months ago

I understand what you are saying about finding a job. I have a job right now but am looking for a new one. Working in a mental hospital to get my supervised clinical hours which I just finished 7/2015 and looking forward to taking my LCSW licensure. I was applying for jobs w no luck. My fiance suggested maybe it is my resume. Finally I decided to research a good resume software. As soon as I used my new resume I have had several calls for interviews. I would definitely suggest you improve your resume before applying for another job. It is great way to really shine to a potential employer. And if course I have put it in God's hands too. I want to be at a job I love and be appreciated. I wish you all the best!

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Kristin S

10 months ago

I'm a recent (BSW) social work graduate. I'm also an older adult learner in my early 40's. I have been a work from home mother for several years. I am finding it difficult to find social work jobs here in western NC. I am not interested in child services, but I have applied for positions in Adult Protective Services as well as openings for Medicaid, food stamps, etc. I've also sought and applied to jobs in other fields that are not identified as social work, but where my educational experience could be applied. I've sought assistance from an employment assistance agency with perfecting my resume,and job searching, but I'm still receiving a myriad of rejections,citing my lack of experience and qualifications as the reasoning behind their decision to offer me a position. I am, as I have in the past, volunteering in the community. I'm considering returning to school, but I don't want to earn my MSW. Although, my passion is to help others, I'm concerned that I still won't be able to find work and sadly, the income to help support my family is just not there. I really do not know what I would major in and I don't want to accrue more student debt that I'm already carrying. I feel incredibly guilty.Instead of helping my family financially, I've let them down by not finding work, let alone a living wage social work position and subsequently burdening us with debt.

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AA in New York, New York

3 months ago

I am a recent MSW graduate (May 15') and I am starting to think about switching careers. I know ppl say you don't go into social work to make money but I didn't think I would be living at poverty level. Thankfully, I work in higher education so I don't experience burn out or feeling overworked at all. I am more concerned about make in 40k with a Masters when I know ppl in social work that are making the same or more with their Bachelors. For people thinking about switching have you considered higher ed? It's not as overwhelming, but overall I would love to hear feedback on other careers. Nursing pays well but I don't think I would thrive in a hospital setting. I've thought about nutrition which I have recently developed a passion for but the pay is sadly no better than social work. It seems like the most needed fields are the most underpaid (teachers, counselors, dieticians, etc.)

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Lost in Transition in Kentucky

3 months ago

I am on my way out of the field as a case manager. I have a BA in human services and counseling. School is not an option for me. My degree only comes with a license if you advance. I am very overwhelmed by my state and the inconsistent management at state level. Some of my clients no longer have access to benefits the state provides due to an error. We are in a real crisis and I feel bad for them. We have had a lot of changes in regs to get prepared for and still hasn't taken into effect. This makes me so discouraged. I also have went by the rules and explained them to customers who get frustrated and don't want to follow them. But I'm suppose to act like its my fault to calm them down. Recently I had a person call who I had never spoken to because they were calling for a family member. Basically said I wasn't doing my job when I was and the client went to the hospital during our timeframe to have the end of the process scheduled and begin. There was nothing I could do. Although my supervisor handled the call with them I apparently gave away my feelings of what they called me through my non verbal facial expressions. I was able to explain to the members I actually had how the process worked and that a new application needed to be made. Due to this situation it sealed me into a "shape up or ship out" meeting. I'm not unwilling to perform the work it's a lot to do, on top of coming changes that still haven't taken into effect and the way some now view how info should be handled from 2 years ago. We are in a weird middle road half doing what we've always done half doing something new. I see corners being cut by co workers just to stay ahead. I have never said anything and don't plan to. Its impossible to get it all done before closing even visits can't always be made before closing.Ppl schedules don't fall into that span. But others can make requests and rules change at state level. Time off is rare for me. We are on call anyways so I have to answer ppl even on vaca.

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Lost in Transition in Kentucky

3 months ago

Being fresh out of school and stepping into roles like this is very eye opening. I can't believe the system is suppose to work this way. Yet I'm suppose to smooth it all over and not be honest with my clients. It's hard to support a system when it doesn't support you. I see hand outs given to ppl that don't need it. I see clients who need to be monitored 24/7 that doesn't have that from family for one reason or another. I am concerned that some stay in our care too long when in reality they need more than we can offer. I have had more and more families come to me in the beginning upset with the whole process. Apparently when I try to stick up for trying to do it exactly the way they want it done and not ignore the requests made for other info to be filed and putting me further behind its still wrong. But yet when other co workers are approached about the same requests they have told me point blank they tell clients they can't or it's not available. I would assume they are struggling too. But supervisors don't know that goes on. Others have went to the supervisor with concerns but because I'm being watched it's not ok for me to do that. I have even told my supervisor who wasn't very nice to me before they got the position that I don't want it to look like I can't do my job but I also am afraid the minute I don't run by something that doesn't fit the mold of guilines it will be a disaster and I'll be in trouble. I have had my fair share of odd cases.

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Lost in Transition in Kentucky

3 months ago

Basically I need to show I can handle it on my own and in a ridiculous amount of time. But like I said because others all over have trouble with something it can be changed. I believe most are hiding the fact that if you have 4 or 5 difficult/needy clients your not getting it all done "swiftly and with grace" as they want everyone to believe. For me like most of you I carry debt from school and life in general. Going back isn't an option. I want my family to be proud of my accomplishments and not see me sacrifice my well being for a check. Others I hear have had the same feelings and thoughts but have had time off and really been into getting a new hobby started. Hard to do if you are looking to find something else. I am more introverted and quite but every time I don't say hi or give a fake smile I am apparently looking like a bad person. I don't discuss a lot of personal things and rarely talk about life outside of work because I honestly don't have much to talk about.

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Confused in New York, New York

5 days ago

Hi, I'm currently looking into this field. Would like to get a BSW. I really do have a passion for helping people and bringing smiles to their faces. However with all these comments (not just in this forum) I've been reading - Im beginning to doubt if this is the right choice. I know I'll have to make the decision in the end whether or not to pursue Social Work but I would really appreciate any advice. ( Yay or Nay for a BSW )

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