Posted Thursday, May 15, 2014 by Team Northwoods

Why I Chose to Be a Social Worker

“Embrace difference. Seek justice. Be the change.” These seven words are how The Ohio State University College of Social Work describes social work. This is the mantra that has been driving my last two years of education and will launch me into my career as a new social worker. 

What is social work? It seems like such a simple question, yet it means something unique to each social worker. It could be a personal hardship, a special client, the scope of practice, or a hope for a brighter future. There are countless ways to live by the above mantra and impact individuals and our communities through social work. 

As for me, social work is both a career and a lifestyle. My first social work class, Introduction to Social Work, opened my eyes to a wonderful world of humans who think similarly to me; and a career that aligned so perfectly with my beliefs about people, community, and the world. It reinforced the idea that I had made the right decision and I am heading down the right path. 

There are many stereotypes associated with the profession. I am often faced with people who think my job is taking babies from happy homes, or people who pity me based on rumors they have heard about social workers’ salaries. These challenges just prove to me that it is my duty to honor my title and work to change society’s perception. 

The classroom combined with my field education provided an opportunity to practice social work skills, form client relationships, and hone in on my desired scope of practice. Each client taught me something unique that I will carry with me through my career. My classmates, supervisors, and interns are all members of the social work community that I will continue to work with throughout my career. 

Where I go next, and what my first job will be, are still undecided. I am excited for the endless possibilities that lie ahead. Social work has not let me down yet, and I am excited to contribute to the field. 

With graduation behind me, I am simply waiting on the last bit of paperwork to go through before I am officially Abigail Hust, MSW, LSW. When looking back, I am extremely pleased with my choice to be a social worker and very ready to get out there and put my education to use. Looking forward to my student loans seems pretty scary—especially when looking at an entry-level social worker salary. I am confident, however, that I have chosen a career that will always challenge me and provide me with opportunity to change and grow. For that, I am happy and grateful. 

So remember, the next time you run into your friendly neighborhood social worker, be kind and genuine. Then help her get out there and change the world. 

Thanks to Abigail Hust for sharing her thoughts about entering the field of social work through this guest blog. And congratulations to Abigail, who graduated from The Ohio State University College of Social Work in May!