4 Reasons for Men to Pursue Opportunities in Social Work

career key

Some careers, for whatever reason — a stereotype, for example, or a history of hiring one gender over the other — attract a significantly higher number of members of a certain gender. Many women have strived to break down the gender barrier in various careers, but it exists for men, too, in some occupations. Social work is one area where the women greatly outnumber the men, but men can make a major difference if they choose that path.

A Rewarding Career

Men and women attending college both as an undergraduate and as a graduate student look for career paths that are enjoyable, growing and financially stable. Social work is a rewarding career that allows students to make a living while getting involved in the community.
Social work is a field that will always exist, no matter the economy’s state. In fact, there’s even more need for social workers when the economy isn’t doing well. Social work provides a stable, well-paying job even in a poor economy. Click here to learn about the financial benefits of earning a masters of social work.

Less Competition

In a struggling economy, every open job has dozens or even hundreds of job applicants. It’s a struggle to find any job, let alone a rewarding one. However, men will face less competition for social work positions, particularly if an organization specifically wants a male worker to work with male clients. After investing time and money in an advanced degree, it’s important to know there will be jobs in your field after you graduate. Not every major can offer less job competition, meaning you may not be able to work in your chosen field unless you choose one that’s actively seeking people like you.

Empathy With Male Issues

Everyone brings their own experiences to a job, even if given equal training. Women do well in social work not only because of their individual talents in the field, but because they can empathize with women’s issues when helping female clients; however, the same can be said of men. There are many men and boys who require social work assistance, and a male social worker can empathize with some of the male clients’ issues more effectively because of his insight into the male mind.

While social workers of both genders can work with clients of both genders, the fact remains that male clients are less likely to seek the assistance they need because they mistakenly believe there are only women social workers available who may not understand them.

Helping Other Males

There are a large number of male clients who may feel more comfortable with a male worker. There’s a stigma attached to men seeking mental health and poverty counseling, a falsehood that it makes them “weak” or “non-masculine.” Male social workers help to dispel the notions that mental health counseling is offered only by women primarily for women.

The goal of social work is to help people live healthier and more productive lives. That means helping not only people with poverty issues, but also helping people with substance abuse problems and even physical abusers to lead more productive, stable lives. A large portion of substance abusers and physical abusers are male; they may not feel comfortable talking about their issues with a female social worker, especially if their victims were female. But both to save these clients and to save anyone affected by their actions, they need support. Having male social workers available can inspire men to come for help.

PolyMic reports almost 82 percent of social workers are female. To say there’s a gender gap in the field is an understatement. Men searching for a rewarding career that allows them to get involved in their community shoulder consider social work. There’s plenty of room for talented male social workers, and you’ll help organizations attract and retain male clients. Look into earning your degree in social work today.

About the Author: Daniel Soria is a social worker with a masters in the field.


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Get Your Entrepreneur On

handshake in business

If you equate security with having a single employer, you’re wrong. As entrepreneur Chris Guillebeau says: “Think about what security really is. Are you really better off entrusting your well-being and livelihood to someone else?”

Instead, it’s time to think of yourself as an entrepreneur. Whether you start your own small business, develop a portfolio of freelance clients or decide to remain in industry as a W2 employee, you need to think of yourself as the single CEO and chief stakeholder in You, Inc.

The days of company loyalty are long gone, and any hard work you do as an employee can be erased in a second when your organization decides to change its bottom line. However, if you think like an entrepreneur instead of a company man, you’ll be ready to roll with the changes of the modern economy and always end up on top.

Here’s what to do:

1. Identify and package your core strengths

Successful entrepreneurs know that they are a brand, and the answer to “what do you do?” should be more than “I’m an assistant quality control manager at Company X.” If you haven’t already started branding yourself as a person, not a job title, it’s time to get started.

First, figure out your core strengths: are you a marketing genius, a programming guru, or a leader of men? Then figure out how to package them in a simple, effective, memorable way. Forget elevator speeches; you need a sentence short and pithy enough to fit on a Facebook page or Twitter profile.

Take Andy Baio. His tagline is “I make web stuff.” Then, on the next line, he lays out his projects: Waxy, XOXO, Playfic, Kickstarter. In a handful of characters, we know everything about Andy Baio’s brand without knowing a single one of his job titles.

2. Always work towards the next job and the next client

This advice combines the two aphorisms “dress for the job you want, not the job you have” and “always have an exit strategy.” It’s all very well and good to want a promotion within your company, but that’s less of a good idea when your company merges, outsources or goes bankrupt.
This means that throughout your career, you always need to be thinking about the next job and the next client. The day-to-day job is only half of an entrepreneur’s work; the other half is finding new opportunities.

Ask yourself: Where do you want to be in the next year? What would happen if your job disappeared tomorrow? Then use the answers to these two questions to start looking for the next opportunity.

Use the example of Adam Hasler, recently profiled in Fast Company. He alternated between self-employment and traditional jobs, always looking for the next way to use the skills he was teaching himself, like programming and interactive media. He never waited for a promotion – he found his next job and his next client on his own.

3. Don’t wait to start

Some employees are nervous about starting personal branding websites or publicly promoting their brand and skills. After all, won’t that make some human resources manager think they’re looking for a new job?

The truth is that if you don’t have a personal branding website, tagline and action plan, you’re already behind. Look at Nick Gholkar, who already has a professional website, a clear statement of career goals and a list of advice to other golfers and scuba divers – and Nick Gholkar’s only a junior in college. How old are you? When are you going to start taking your career seriously?

The other fact is that, these days, you’re always looking for a new job. (See point 2, above.) Waiting to get your personal brand online now might leave you unprepared in the future, when you meet an interesting contact at a party and have no portfolio of work or branded website to email him afterwards.

We don’t have a choice, anymore. If we want to be successful in the new economy, we have to think like CEOs and spend part of every day getting our entrepreneur on.


So You Want To Be A Pilot

Becoming a certified pilot is a challenging but rewarding process. Once you get your pilot license you will probably want to spend as much time in the air as possible. The freedom and excitement of soaring high above everything else does wonders for the mind and soul. But before you climb above the clouds you will want to make sure you have a few air plane and pilot accessories to fly with.

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