Ok, here it is folks, my first blog. Some of you will know me already from my twitter posts and hello to all you new people.
The process of developing my website has caused me to consider how hard I’ve had to work to develop the skills to promote my services. I often meet social workers who can cheerfully and enthusiastically “sell” their organisation – no problem, but who are really uncomfortable with promoting their own work or services.
For those of us who work independently, we have little choice. If we want work, we are forced into the world of self promotion and it can be challenging!
Social Work students are graduating at a time when they are not necessarily walking into a job after the submission of a quick CV. An attitude of self promotion is needed. So, here are my top tips for all you students who are close to or recently graduated.
- Looking for work does not start when you finish university. Start actively looking in your final year, look in the usual places, The Guardian, Community Care, organisation’s websites BUT
- Not all jobs are advertised in the usual places. Temporary and sessional work particularly can be advertised in less prominent ways so…
- You need to let everyone you meet on placement or in the course of social work activities know – you are about to graduate, you’re looking for work and you want to work with them. I know this sounds obvious but they wont know unless you tell them and even if there’s nothing now, something may crop up later. It can be a foot in the door.
- Use your contacts. You have tutors and practice educators or workplace supervisors, enlist their help. Do they know of any opportunities? Will they provide you with a reference?
I know the prospect of promoting yourself to experienced practitioners and employers can be daunting but remember – you are newly qualified. That means you are the enthusiastic recipient of the latest, up to date training and have knowledge of the most current social work theory. They need you!