Is social work a good field to go into? Well, there are many ways to answer that question. Today, I will focus on primarily if it is a good field to go to in Singapore.
Firstly, it depends on what you are looking for.
If you are looking for money, then working as a social worker in a voluntary organisation might not pay as well as any other corporate job.
However, efforts by the National Council of Social Services (NCSS) have pulled the gap between the pay of social workers and other corporate professionals. Also, they have started to introduce salary guidelines, recommending social service agencies (SSAs) to follow them. Furthermore, they have increased the funding to SSAs so that they have more to pay their staff.
In conclusion, this means that your salary will not be outrageous. But it also wouldn’t be substantially less than what your counterparts are earning elsewhere.
Secondly, social work is a good field to go to due to the rising demand for social services.
Living in a complex world, especially with today’s pandemic, means that more and more people are facing social issues such as poverty. This means that there is a growing demand to meet those needs through the help of social workers.
Thirdly, social work is a good field to go into due to the great satisfaction you get from helping others.
Why does social work matter to me? In one of the first cases I managed, I was working with a homeless man who had been living in a homeless hostel for 7 years. He had been kicked, abused, and beaten whilst living off the streets. That resulted in him having to go through neurosurgery to repair his broken skull.
When I first met him, he told me that he didn’t have much hope for the future. He didn’t know how to navigate the many welfare schemes. He felt that his mum was always blaming him for his current position in life.
Eventually, we managed to find him a place. With that, he even managed to return to college as a 56 year-old man, studying history.
When I eventually left, he gave me a hug. ‘Thanks for believing in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.’The final parting words before I closed my work with my first client.
Yes, social work may not pay as well. But the satisfaction you get from the personal impact you have in each person’s life is not something that can be measured by money. Eventually, the question you need to ask yourself is:
What do you want to be remembered for?
If it is as a rich man, then social work is probably not for you? But if the legacy you want to leave is a world where people’s lives are transformed for the better, then social work is definitely a good field to enter.