student in blue sweatshirt, front facing

Why I Became a Social Worker

I have always enjoyed customer service jobs. I have worked in many different positions. Tech support, warehouse job, and even sales. I never got a full satisfaction in these types of jobs. I felt out of place when I was working in these environments. After earning an associates in paralegal studies, I worked as a paralegal for a year. During that time, my wife and I talked about me furthering my education. Even though I was getting paid $12.00 an hour, it still wasn’t enough to provide for the family we wanted to start. I took many career tests to decide where I needed to go. After looking at the results, social worker was one of the career categories that kept showing up in the career tests.

Instead of brushing that career aside, I chose to research what a social worker does. I had heard of social work, but I never fully understood what social workers do. Upon reading the different job possibilities, I felt excited and that this was something that I would like to do on a long-term basis. I thought it was great that there were many different areas that I could work as a social worker and not be tied to a specific field. I enrolled at Weber State University for their Social Work Bachelor’s program. Even when I was in the program I was unsure what field I was going to go into. Luckily, I had an internship as a Medical Social Worker that made that decision for me. I enjoyed the difference I made in the patients’ lives and I felt like I was part of a team that cared for their patients. After graduating in 2015 and getting my SSW license, I was hired as a Medical Social Worker where I did my internship. It was a challenging and rewarding learning experience for me as a social worker. I worked with families on a daily basis making sure they were satisfied as well as the patients.

I decided to pursue a Master’s degree because I felt limited as a SSW. I couldn’t practice therapy at that level, the only thing I could do was offer support for the client which was mainly a listening ear. I didn’t think that was very effective or beneficial for the patient. I didn’t want to be limited anymore, so I pursued a Master’s degree at OLLU.

Now that my field placement is coming at a close, I no longer feel limited but strengthened to make an even bigger change in my clients’ lives. I enjoy listening to my clients and utilizing theories and principles that we learned in class along with new methods learned during field. I feel that I have a large tool bag filled with techniques to help clients in their struggles and successes. I first wanted to be a social worker since it was so closely related to customer service. Now, I want to be a social worker because I am an empathetic listener while allowing the client to create his own change and I can play a part in it.

About the Author

 O L L U online Masters of Social Work student Joseph De Luca

I remember taking many personality tests, and always seeing at the bottom "social worker" as a career option. I was surprised that this kept coming up. I eventually looked up what social workers do. I felt like this was my personal calling in life. I also liked that it was not just one field I had to choose from but many different possibilities that I could choose from. I am currently working as a youth mentor and supervisor to teenage boys in a group home. It has been great and challenging. I have also been a medical social worker working in an orthopedic rehab center where I learned to work with patients and their families to ensure both were taken care of. Outside of social work, I love playing early morning basketball with friends. I am married and have 2 beautiful daughters, one is 2 years old and the other will soon be 8 months.