While all jobs can have times where they are more stressful or cause you to go through tough emotions, careers that require you to help others through their own personal problems can be especially taxing on people in those fields. For anyone studying or preparing to go into family or social services, you have to be ready to take on hard cases where people’s lives are at stake. While the rewards for having success can be great, it can still be challenging to see what people have to handle every day. So to help ensure that you’re ready for this type of work and won’t get burned out too soon, here are three tips to help you prepare yourself for working in family and social services.
Don’t Be Afraid To Practice Early On
Having a career where you help people deal with complicated issues that could have serious legal ramifications can be very stressful. Luckily, your education will help you prepare for how to handle these scenarios by teaching you proven strategies for assistance. But to truly know what will work in the field, Sharon L. Young, a contributor to SocialWorker.com, advises practicing the strategies you’ve learned either in the field or in your classes. By playing out what you’ve learned, it will help you feel more confident in the techniques you’ve been studying and will make you better at your job.
Find Someone You Can Talk To
After a hard day at work, it’s common to want to blow off steam or unwind by talking through your feelings about what you’ve been through today. For this reason, Jessica Fuhl, a contributor to The Guardian, recommends for those in family and social service careers to find someone that they can talk openly with about the stress of their job. This may be a friend, family member, peer, or even a therapist or counselor. Having someone that you can share your thoughts and feelings with will help you to not become overpowered by the challenges you face at work each day.
Set Healthy Boundaries
When you’re seeing the most vulnerable parts of a person’s life, it can be hard to separate yourself from what’s happening and not get sucked in emotionally to their problems. But to have a healthy balance to your life and your work, Elizabeth Marglin, a contributor to Prevention.com, shares that you must set healthy boundaries with your clients so you don’t internalize too many of their problems. While this can be a challenge, the more you practice setting firm boundaries, the more you’ll be able to help without compromising yourself in the process.
To help those in the family and social services better cope with the challenges of their careers, use the tips mentioned above to find ways to keep yourself safe and healthy.