5 Tips for Surviving Your First Year as a Caseworker

Caseworker Survival Tips

  • Keep Your Books Handy
  • Talk to Your Supervisor
  • Connect with Others
  • Don't be Overwhelmed
  • Keep an Eye out for Opportunities

Leaving the safety of school can be a scary yet exciting time. You're finally ready to start a job with your own clients. It's a time filled with nerves and excitement, but the first year itself can be a bit difficult too. There are a few tips that should help you survive your first year as a caseworker.

Keep Your Books Handy

You studied hard and have a degree to prove you're ready for your career as a caseworker. That doesn't mean you have all the answers. If you're confused or need a refresher on something, don't be afraid to look at your books. You might also want to purchase some advanced material to help you navigate the real-world problems that you'll encounter.

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Talk to Your Supervisor

Throughout your career as a caseworker, you'll have mentors and supervisors who can help you navigate difficult situations. Don't be afraid to seek help with unique situations, or those situations that feel a bit overwhelming. It might be nerves, lack of confidence or self-doubt, but if you can talk to a supervisor, you'll likely find that you'll gain confidence over time. Instead of holding it in and hoping that you're doing the right thing, check with your mentor. Ask questions and discuss problems as freely as possible. You'll clear your mind and learn that you have the right instincts for the work.

Connect with Others

Along with supervisors and mentors, other people in the office can help you in your first year. It helps to have a tribe of coworkers for support during your career as a caseworker. You can join online communities of your peers who will be able to provide emotional support in your new career. These people will be able to help you if you run into difficult situations or if you need to find a new job in the field. It's important to network and connect with others to feel like you're not alone too.

Don't be Overwhelmed

In that first year, you want to prove yourself and impress your boss. It's easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm of being out in the world applying the knowledge you've acquired during school. You should start slow and not try to handle too many cases at once. It could become a serious problem if you become burned out and overwhelmed. Your performance reviews with supervisors will reflect a workload that is too heavy. Talk to your boss about the amount of work that won't make you feel overwhelmed. You can always increase the amount of cases you take later when you're more experienced.

Keep an Eye out for Opportunities

This first job is the beginning of your career. It's unlikely that you'll stick to this job forever, so keep your eyes and ears open for other opportunities. You should always give two week's notice to your current employer, but they'll understand if you have to move on to another job. There will always be jobs, but few will be ones that you absolutely love. When you find one you love, hold onto it.

Your first year as a caseworker can be incredible, exciting and overwhelming at the same time. Take it slow and make sure you're still learning as much as possible from peers during this time.