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Factors that Contributed to My Decision to be a Social Worker

Discuss about the Self-Awareness Reflective Journal.

The contribution of my Family and Life Experiences

My family played a major role in my life and career development so am grateful for my parents for bringing me into the world and raising me even when economic conditions were difficult. I come from a humble family that worked hard to make ends meets. At one time when I was sick, my mother stopped going to work to take care of me.  I was so vulnerable that some people feared for my life. However, with the support of my father and siblings, my mother patiently offered the needed care until I recovered. This occurrence, given that we did not have many resources, helped me to become a responsible person whose main desire to support others. I dream to help enhance the outcome of the lives of people who are in problem just like my family did to me. I am attracted by my mother’s caring and patient demeanor, and I have always endeavored to emulate it. Since the traits are critical for social workers, I am prepared to pursue the career and be equipped to help others. I strongly consider that all I need at this particular time are skills for maintaining professional relationships as I need to rely on my professional judgment to make decisions that the people who I am helping may not receive positively at the initial stages. My family and the experiences, therefore, helped to inculcate in me the vision and values that I need to pursue the career to be properly equipped.


Factors that Contributed to My Decision to be a Social Worker

The first factor is obvious my early childhood experience, which influenced my worldview and made me grow considering that enhancing people’s social functioning and overall well-being is the main responsibility of every person.  In a way, the support I received from my family during this time prompted me to see social work as my calling. So no one can convince me to ignore the profession.  As grew older, I became somewhat independent from my family and developed closer relationships with some of my age mates. Some of them later went to school in different parts of the country. Though I cannot count those of them who left my life without any direct contribution to my career direction, many of my friends helped to shape my vision. One of them, Mr. Johnstone, has a great passion for social work, and he always invited me to join his parents whenever they were taking care of sick people near my home.

Areas of Strength

In addition, some friends criticized my choice of career and pointed out that I have all that it takes to be a doctor or an engineer. Their unique perspective challenged me, and I almost abandoned social work for the other allegedly superior options. After years of self reflection, I realized I could only be happy helping the needy. The critics helped me to deal with my doubts, and from then on wards, I knew myself better and became more determined to succeed as a social worker.

Availability of accredited colleges that offer social work courses also influenced me to make the decision. Since a social worker needs to acquire certain skills to operate professionally, I would have failed if it was not for my current college. I am sure my lecturers who serve as my mentors as well are up to the task and will help me to graduate soon.

Areas of Strength

I have learned that I have an outstanding ability to identify with people who are in problem.  Whenever I see someone suffering, I feel for them and look for ways to make the situation better. Many friends agree with this view as they say I am empathetic by nature. As such, I believe I have a great virtue that many people in the profession are struggling to develop.

My other strength is the ability to set boundaries, which is essential for helping me to accept my limits. Social work is a difficult task, and it can be all consuming especially for people like me who want to see those who are in need are helped as soon as possible so this quality enables me to set practical goals and achieve them.

Further, I have developed the skill of attentive listening, without which no one can be an effective social worker. People who are hurting want to work with individuals who show them love and care and the easiest and most practical way to do this is to listen to them attentively.

In addition, I know myself, and that helps me to position myself appropriately as a loving, caring social worker.  Social workers can rely on feedback on their performance to be able to do better. However, feedback cannot substitute self-awareness. Social workers who do not know themselves can be manipulated to do the wrong thing or set impractical boundaries. My interaction with friends and family members helped me to know my strengths and weaknesses, and that is a great asset that assures me of success in the career.

Barriers that Get in the Way

Barriers that Get in the Way

My main weakness is struggling to make decisions quickly when people who I am helping are opposed to changes that I am proposing. In one occasion, I suggested to my clients whose houses had been demolished by floods to leave the location for their safety. They refused, saying they knew no other place as home.  I had a difficult time as they were emotionally attached to the land, and I could not understand the reason for taking such a decision. I thought they were out of their minds, and so I hesitated to stand with my decision. Today, I have learned that in such situations, I need to use various strategies such as telling short stories how we helped other people in the same situation to influence them. In addition, I can persuade them by offering strong reasons for them to take such an action. With these skills, I hope I will be able to make the right decisions and convince my clients to abide by them.

Another problem has always been a desire to have the last word. In some cases, when the people I am helping insist on their way, I feel they lack respect.  However, I am training myself to appreciate that teamwork is more important than having the final word. As such, I ensure I do not expose these feelings whenever I encounter similar issues and endeavor to humble myself so as to be able to help as many people as possible.

Ways I Have Felt Vulnerable, Disempowered, or Oppressed

One time when I was helping some elderly women, who had lost their sight, I began to feel unwell.  I did not know I was psychologically distressed. I took a short rest and went on with my duties. The problem persisted and I visited a nearby doctor who asked me to seek support for psychological problems, which I did and was helped. This experience left me feeling vulnerable as I considered that I was at risk of suffering from many diseases. I then began to look for ways to remedy this problem and resolved to learn about psychological stress prevention strategies. Some of the strategies that I use today include maintaining physical fitness, having quality rest, and eating balanced diets. The learning experience eventually helped me to overcome the fear.

When I was planning to go to college, one of my friends told me my career requires me to take a no-complaint diet every day, which implies not complaining while at work. In a way, I felt this would leave me helpless and exposed to abuse in the field by my clients. I was disturbed but resolved to rely on the passion to continue with my preparation for training. However, I quickly learned in college that complaints are dangerous for the performance of a social worker. As such, I have resolved to replace almost all my urges to complain with gratitude as the profession involves working with people from a wide variety of cultures who may not see things as I do.

Ways I Have Felt Vulnerable, Disempowered, or Oppressed


My stereotypes and prejudices

I have had exaggerated pictures and a negative predisposition against some poor individuals and black people, though I felt I was wrong to hold such views. The use of stereotypes and prejudices directly or indirectly affects how I relate to them as they often influence people’s views unconsciously. I had an inner feeling that black and poor are lazy and any efforts to help them cannot bear any fruits. When I had that some of them were rich but later went bankrupt, I considered they were thieves who had just lost the ability to engage in crime so they could not earn any substantial amount of money. Initially, I opposed those ideas as I had learned in school that several factors such as lack of education and access to cheap capital can have an adverse effect on a family’s economic power. However, with time, I began to treat them as lesser beings. After a while, my perception of what constitutes real riches changed. I noted that some black men and women from poor families that we were supporting began and managed successful businesses.  The community started to view these individuals favorably and later appointed some of them as local leaders. I learned that material things should not be used to measure the value of human beings. Stereotypes and prejudices misled me to value people depending on their physical appearance and economic power. I am currently working on myself to ensure I value humanity and not things.

Reflecting on My Reflections

Reflecting on the challenging questions has challenged me to focus on social work as I am not able to succeed in any other field given my level of interest in the profession. Some people choose their professions with the help of their teachers and parents. However, in my case, I cannot say anyone chose for me the course.  The passion developed on its own. All my siblings had an equal opportunity to pursue the same career as our parents have been good to all of us. Moreover, all of us have also had opportunities to interact with social workers, but all that never had a long-lasting impression on many of many family members. As such, I consider social work a duty that I have to perform to be able to realize my purpose on earth.

Further, I have learned that nothing can replace self-awareness as many people fail in their careers due to wrong advice. In the social work career, there are several challenges that people who work solely for salaries cannot handle. We are exposed to diseases and work for long hours so if it were not for my understanding of self and my mission, I would have started to pursue other careers. However, I have worked hard to acquire several communications skills. Consequently, I am able to persuade and influence my clients to follow the right direction.  I recognize that knowing self is a process, and, therefore, I must continue to receive feedback from my clients, family, lecturers, and co-workers, evaluate myself, and use reliable scientific tools to know all my strengths and weaknesses and find the best way to use to boost my performance.


Finally, I have discovered that seeking help is a sign of strength and not weakness. When I suffered from psychological stress, I decided to seek support, which helped me to overcome the condition and the resultant fear. If I felt I am a great person who should not seek support, my career could have gone down. Possible, I would not be alive today as well. So I consider that all professionals have a special role to play in the world, and we should view each other as equals to enable as many social workers and other professionals to seek advice whenever necessary. Further, individuals who seek to join colleges need to carefully evaluate themselves and seek help so as to make the right career decisions. No career is less than another, but an individual’s passion makes his or her work to be seen in positive light.  My friends and family and critics have played a central role in helping me to know myself and the right career path. Though I am still working hard to get the best academic qualifications to be able to serve more professionally, my passion and the life experiences have already given me an appropriate career direction.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

My Assignment Help. (2019). The Contribution Of My Family And Life Experiences. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/self-awareness-reflective-journal.

"The Contribution Of My Family And Life Experiences." My Assignment Help, 2019, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/self-awareness-reflective-journal.

My Assignment Help (2019) The Contribution Of My Family And Life Experiences [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/self-awareness-reflective-journal
[Accessed 26 February 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'The Contribution Of My Family And Life Experiences' (My Assignment Help, 2019) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/self-awareness-reflective-journal> accessed 26 February 2024.

My Assignment Help. The Contribution Of My Family And Life Experiences [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2019 [cited 26 February 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/self-awareness-reflective-journal.

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