Why I Chose to Change My Career and Become a Social Worker

Why I Chose to Change My Career and Become a Social Worker Blog Header Image
Why I Chose to Change My Career and Become a Social Worker Blog Header Image

I’ll always help, no matter what. I’ll help you move or pick a tie for an interview. I’ll listen, and I’ll give advice. If you’re anything like me, you probably know how challenging it can be to help someone who doesn’t really want your help. It turns out it’s even more difficult to help someone who desperately needs support, assistance or advice. As I turned 35, I found myself in a place where I not only want to help others, I have the time and resources to do so. But I simply didn’t know how or where to start! It seemed like some of the skills from my Sales Executive position could be applied, but in which direction? That’s when I seriously thought of changing my career, and obtaining a degree that would allow me to be a social worker. As I dove into how to make this happen, here are a few things that I learned, that might help you if you are thinking of a similar leap.

Many Social Work Jobs in Canada Now Pay Well

One afternoon, after yet another challenging volunteering experience, I sat at my desk, blankly staring at my laptop screen. I know there are people that need help. I know I want to help. I’m just not sure how. I googled “social work in Canada”, hoping that the Internet would do its magic and give me some answers. And my prayers were heard! What I learned is that over the past few years an incredible thing has happened: social work jobs in Canada have started paying adequate salaries! For the first time, I actually considered the possibility of making a career change in that direction. Upon glancing through dozens of job postings for many different social work positions, it became pretty clear that there is a demand for social workers, a vivid market, and an industry that expects a certain level of competence. Now that was the language that I speak!

Figuring Out Which Degree Program is Right for Me

After some initial research into the Master of Social Work programs that are available, I knew I needed a place that was well-respected within a community, accredited by Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE-ACFTS), offered a flexible schedule, coursework could be completed online, and that I didn’t need a BSW to be accepted. I also needed a program that would open multiple paths for my new career, so that I can choose to work with community health agencies, social services, social policy analysis and development, or directly with individuals and families. I want to obtain a knowledge base that covers social work concepts and theory, from various perspectives that will allow me to explore different areas of social work.

Professional Fulfillment in a Career that Matters

After reviewing the job market and the degree programs that are available, I suddenly stopped to realize that I might actually become a social worker. It was only a matter of additional education, and it would all come together. In my corporate life, I worked my way up the ladder, advancing from working directly with the customer, to managing people who work directly with people, to managing people who manage people who talk to people. I suddenly realized how unimportant it all was to me. And if I’m lucky, I’ll do the exact opposite in my new career. I’ll start with what I’m best at. And with the right education, the help of the beautiful community that I now know exists, and hard work, I’ll be able to get back, closer and closer to people who need someone to be there for them. And I know I will be equipped to help them deal with anything life had been throwing their way. I can and I will be there for those in need. You’ll see.

If you are looking into making a career change or obtaining your MSW, Wilfrid Laurier University now offers an online Master of Social Work fully accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE-ACFTS), so can you can complete your degree in 2.5 years with 100% online coursework. You do not need a BSW to apply. To learn more, visit our program page.