When considering what to write in my Job Skills Research and Reflection Paper I thought about my experience on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. This was a walk down memory lane that was difficult for me to take due to the trauma that I experienced there. But I always remember the amazing learning experience that it was for me and the various ways that it allowed me to grow as a person. I developed many of the skills that are included in the Successful Workplace Attitudes and Behaviors and specifically in the Successful Service Skills for Social Service Workers. In evaluating my strengths and weaknesses as an employee, I considered the essay writer various ways that I do well, where I can improve, what I dislike doing, what I am willing to change in myself, and what I hope to achieve as a social worker. Ultimately, I have room for a lot of growth, but I realize I have so many skills that are highly sought-after in this fascinating line of work.
What I Already Do Well
During my time in the community on the Downtown Eastside, I was faced with many challenges. Obviously, having enough money was a major struggle, and I needed to do whatever I could every day to survive. But throughout each challenge I faced, I was able to overcome it. I realized that I am a survivor. It does not matter what is thrown at me by life, I am able to overcome it and come out stronger in the end. This plays well to the Successful Workplace Attitude of having “Positive Attitudes in Work and School.” I am not only able to focus on what is going right in my life, and understanding the bigger picture in any situation, but I can also encourage others to do the same. I like to make sure those around me are getting the support and encouragement they need to win the day. I have been called a walking cheerleader for my positive attitude that consistently brings out the best in life, in myself, and in the people around me.
What I Would Do Well if I Practiced
After taking different aspects of my personality and work skills assessment into consideration, it is clear there are three areas that I would excel in if I practiced as a social worker. To keep these areas, separate, I have included them and a description on a bulleted list which is below this introductory paragraph. Additionally, I have included why I feel I am good at these areas in a social worker setting.
- Sense of understanding. When I mention this aspect of social work, I am referring to the idea of someone who can personally identify with what the clients are talking about. Being poor, struggling to make ends meet with no education or hope for circumstances to change is something I am too familiar with. However, if I can do it, so can my clients. One of the main things I want to tell my clients about this area of life is there is no excuse for anyone to not get an education. Where this is a will, there is a way.
- Sense of empathy. I have always been the person who will give my last dollar or material resource to someone. I have a specific soft spot for children, older people, and animals. I have been jokingly told by those who know me I always bring home strays (humans and animals). I just hate to see people and animals suffering, so I do what I can to help even if it is at my own personal detriment.
- Possess a helping attitude. As stated above, I love to help others. Social work is known as a helping professional, so this type of work is suited for my personality. Simply put, I love to help others.
What I dislike Doing
I would say the biggest issue I have with going into social work is I have a sense of bias. I do not mean just a simple case of stereotyping someone due to race or gender, but some hardcore opinionsa about certain situations. For example, I would honestly say I would have a difficult time seeing LGBTQ clients in my practice. I realize everyone needs help, but there are parents who allow their three-year-old children to dress and act like the opposite gender. There is an issue with that for me because to make that kind of decision at such a young age is not logical. If my child turned 18 and they said they wanted sex reassignment surgery, I would support that. However, anyone younger than 18 does not have the mental capability to make that kind of life-altering decision. Also, any medical or mental health professional who supports a young prepubescent child in changing gender identity to me is not practicing their oath to do no harm. After all, how can a girl at the age of three know she was meant to be a boy?
The other situation where I feel I would not be comfortable in would be where client treatment would interfere with religious beliefs, such as with Amish or Mormon societies. Both societies are very closed when it comes to physical or mental health treatment and want to ‘pray’ problems away. I personally feel that God gave human beings the knowledge to help fellow human beings, therefore it would not be illogical to use those skills. Again, it goes back to my feelings of empathy which demand I help those I perceive as being in need. God would want us all to help others, so any society who would ask their members be left to their own devices are asking for a disaster to happen. This is why I choose Humanism as a better way to approach such clients. Humanism is a flexible school of thought that can be used when treating teenage clients. It allows for the therapist to not only focus on the client’s sense of self, but also encourage them to remain loyal to their own values. Therapy is not a way to force a teenager to conform to the expectations of others, but to allow them to find their own sense of identity. This is where the humanist school of thought, and offshoot of Maslow’s needs theory, comes in handy.
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What I am Willing to Change in My Attitudes and Behavior
The one area I want to change my attitude is where race relations and treatment opportunities for clients are equal. During the 20th century, there are several new branches of psychology. Anything from feminism to LGBTQ specialties have been created to specifically address the concerns of a specific target population. One of the largest target groups in the United States are people of African descent. While many people of color trace their ancestry to the African continent, there are Black people who trace their roots back to various nations in the Caribbean such as Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba. For the purposes of this discussion, these individuals are included in the generalized category of African Americans. Previous studies have demonstrated how disparities exist between Caucasians and African Americans, including the accessibility to mental health treatment.
What I Hope to Get Out of My First Five Years in Social Work
The main objective to my first five years on social work is to find out who I am as a helping professional. Human beings are not created to be the same. Because of our brains, DNA, and personalities, everyone is not like others. While many people with like-minded views and feelings tend to associate closely with one another, a variation of the hive mind can be found in individual members. I realized at an early age that not only are people different but are also in a constant state of change. I like to think of it as Darwin in Sociology; we as individuals evolve from one set of norms and values to another. This is what all social workers need to understand.