When you see someone in distress, you always have a sudden urge to help that person, even if it is a stranger. You want to help because, more often than not, that is a relatable situation, and the internal human empathy kicks in. Even if we talk about sports, the underdog phenomena always make you support the weaker of the two sides if you do not have any favorites. Humans have an intrinsic need to rescue and aid others without expecting any return, though sometimes greed suppresses this urge. Society consists of humans, and it works as a unit in which the collective good of everyone matters. If individual benefits do not translate to the collective well-being, society crumbles under the weight of egomaniac aspirations.
Over time, humans developed a systematic approach to protect the rights of marginalized communities. It started with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the UN, which subsequently made its way to many constitutions of the world. However, there is always a difference between the existence of something in theory and its practical implementation. When many governments failed to ensure the provision of human rights to everyone across the spectrum, someone had to fill the void. People made individual as well as collective efforts to reach out to the suppressed communities in every corner of the globe. These selfless people are known as “social workers,” and they help the society heal from the wounds inflicted by either tyranny of extreme poverty. Poverty leads to many other issues such as hunger, lack of education, health, and provision of any other facilities. Social workers are not alone as they act as a catalyst to stimulate different sections of society into action. Apart from helping the people directly, they also push the system to do a better job, hence keeping governments at their toes via social activism.
Psychologists explain this behavior in the social exchange theory, which helps them understand social interactions with an eye of cost-benefit analysis. You might wonder if social workers are selfless, why would they expect anything in return for their efforts? Apart from a basic need for a livelihood, they also attain emotional gratification that trumps any monetary or material remuneration. Many people study social work as a career path as it helps them efficiently leverage the meager resources and opportunities for helping others. Let’s take a more in-depth peek into how studying social work benefits society in a myriad of ways.
1. MAKING A SOCIAL IMPACT
Many people live a life, but only a few people make a positive social impact on society. People remember and venerate only those who helped them understand the greater meaning of life and attain the means to do that. Social work owing to its noble nature, not only helps the people from the marginalized section of society but also acts as an impetus for the community. Many people take inspiration and follow the footsteps of social workers to replicate their efforts. I do not think we must go any further than Mother Teresa, who took care of leprosy patients when the society cast them out. This kindness helped stimulate the cognizance among people to become more sensitive to the suffering of those around them.
2. THE WORLD NEEDS YOU
Though we have advanced a great deal with technology, the world still faces a multitude of problems that need an address. From the slums of South Asia to the deserts in Africa, millions face starvation resulting in deaths. Terrorism and incessant wars have ravaged humanity, and today the world faces one of the worst refugee crises in history. According to UN data, there are at least 71 million refugees and stateless people in the world right now, with numbers increasing every minute. One can safely say that today the world needs social workers more than any time in history. There are very few people selfless enough to go into war zones and help save lives either through rescue or providing aid. These warriors of a very different kind are the only reason many of these refugees do not lose hope and cling on to life, hoping for a miracle to help them.
3. GAINING TRANSFERABLE SKILLS
In life, you must gain many skills irrespective of your occupation as they are universally applicable. Social work studies provide a well-defined schema of buttressing your personality with these skills that help you stand out among others. Skills such as communication, teamwork, empathy, and time management will make your professional and personal life more comfortable. It will help you expand your network and meet new people, giving you numerous opportunities to learn and evolve. Today, apart from the degree, employers value the applicants who possess the knowledge of transferable skills because they add versatility to their job offers.
4. EXCELLENT CAREER OPTION
Apart from the transferable skills, you also have a wide range of career opportunities in social work. Social work is the right choice for you if you prefer communicating with people and physically helping them. On the contrary, social work also offers many opportunities for a desk job, whether in legal and policymaking or other aspects of the administration. In either way, you will never face a scarcity of opportunities in this field. Today many Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are coming forward to help others via their local donors and the international community. Forbes declares social work among the top ten most meaningful jobs that exist in the world.
5. PERSONAL GROWTH
Apart from the monetary benefits, the best thing about social work is the personal satisfaction that one can get from helping the destitute and helpless. Social work will help you experience unique situations that will make you appreciate the greater meaning of life. You will become grateful for every little you have after observing so many impoverished people who can only wish for those luxuries. Though this career will sometimes test your patience, whatever the scenario, you will always come out a better person. You also look for the good in the worst situations, and such optimism will make your life much more straightforward.
6. MEETING GREAT PEOPLE
Since this career path involves socializing and meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds, you will always find gems. Meeting all these people will give you a new perspective on life and increase your cultural competence. The world is becoming a global village, and understanding people’s sensitivities from varying backgrounds is essential for coexistence. You also get to collaborate with other social workers, owing to their empathic personalities, which might change your life for the better.
In a world so full of suffering, we all hope for the beacon to appear from the horizon. This beacon of hope comes in the form of social workers who selflessly put themselves in the way of danger to make others’ lives easier. As wars and terrorism have culminated in the recent times, the sufferings of humans have gone off the charts. Social work-study provides a mechanism for aspiring social workers to polish their skills and personality and prepares them for the challenge that awaits them. This work gives them not only personal gratification but also a very successful career path.