I’ve always been a person who has had respect for people in power. I also think that it’s possible to have power without being in a position of power. In our world, many times power comes with money. The more money someone has, the more their opinion or perspective is respected. Because of this power, they can also influence others to a great extent. Power can also come from the set of initials behind or before your name. Initials like “M.D.” “J.D.” or “PhD” are generally more respected than “B.A.” “B.S.” or “M.A.” A few weeks ago I received a professional license that I’ve worked toward for the past 6 years. Along with credibility, one of the things that this license allows me to do is to sign a piece of paper that can hospitalize a person involuntarily for a certain period of time for evaluation. While there are certain parameters and guidelines that dictate when this option is appropriate, I get the opportunity to use my clinical judgment to see if those guidelines are met and I sign a piece of paper that can turn someone’s life upside down. My decision affects a lot of people including parents whose child is being taken out of their custody. Family members, friends and other people involved are all entities who can be impacted by the decision that I made. The thing about power is that it can be used as a means for good or for evil. It’s not a bad thing in itself, but it can be misused and mishandled. This can be especially true when people who are insecure are given an extremely large amount of power. All their decisions are made through the lens of their own self-identified deficiencies and the results are usually disastrous. I think that this is one of the reasons why it’s important to know who you are because power will only magnify your true character and your flaws or strengths will be showcased in your decisions.
This article was super interesting to me. As someone who has an MSW and also knows a lot of people who have MBA’s it struck me as odd that we are just now connecting these two degrees. Personally, I think that the intersection of social work and business would produce more well rounded professionals with better people skills and a better understanding of personality theories. I’ve read other articles that have stated that getting an MBA is becoming so popular that it’s weight has often been disregarded. The truth of the matter is that many business people could use social work skills just like social workers could use more business skills. From my perspective, I think that learning how to start and run a non-profit and having the necessary tools to help it to succeed would be a good thing for social workers. Being in a profession that is thankless and where you rarely actually make the salary that you’re worth, an additional degree could give the needed edge to reach a higher socioeconomic status. As someone who appreciates education that is practical and gives one the skills necessary to succeed in their chosen field, I think that the MSW-MBA degree will become quite popular because it’s the best of both worlds. The combination of the skills sets in these disciplines will be something that will be highly coveted in coming years.
So the month of March is Social Work month so I thought that I should post something related to that. To be honest, I didn’t want to be a social worker growing up. I wanted to go to medical school and be an ER doctor. Unfortunately my high school education in the sciences was very skimpy. I took Algebra I and II and Biology. No chemistry whatsoever. Needless to say, I quickly realized after my first Biology class that I was missing a whole lot of the fundamentals. To be honest I had no idea what I wanted my major to be as I began to prepare to move away from home and start college. While I knew that I wanted to go to medical school, I knew that I didn’t want to major in the sciences. I remember standing in the registration line for college and when I got to the counter the registration lady asked what major I wanted to declare. For some reason the words “social work” came out my mouth and I just stuck with it. I did this with the understanding (at least in my head) that I would just take all the classes needed in order to ensure my admission into medical school. However I soon realized that without any reference point in the sciences, I would have a hard time taking the necessary classes and actually passing them. So I did what any person with common sense would do—quickly formulated a plan B. I decided that the social sciences were more suited for me and they held my interest. One of the things that I like about social work is that it’s very person centered and takes the individual, their background, and their environment into consideration. The field is so diverse and there are a lot of opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others. While I love the other social sciences, I’m appreciative of my social work education because it is fairly practice based and while there are mounds of paperwork, many times I get the chance to actually interact with people and implement interventions that improve their quality of life.
This article was so interesting to me because the author took the time to break down what (he) thinks it takes for a woman to marry. Granted, while he (supposedly) is quoting information from a book, there is absolutely no citations or references at the end of the article. Despite this, the article was very direct and organized and makes a lot of sense. I have to admit that my favorite part was the quote about making getting a husband a priority after age 30 and not being the last person to “get off the bus” in terms of matrimony. Overall, I think that there’s some great advice that one can take away from the author’s perspective. Plus, it’s an easy read.
I’ll be honest, I very strongly dislike standardized tests. The source of this dislike can be credited to my mother, who also strongly opposes standardized tests. Growing up, I didn’t have many tests. The homeschooled life afforded me the luxury of learning my way. High school was challenging because I literally had to teach myself subject I knew nothing about with limited internet access and textbooks. Yet, this was not as challenging as it sounds like because all my tests were open book. When I say all, I mean ALL. Because of this experience, I am quite comfortable with open book tests. Partially because I think that it’s reassuring to know that all the answers are contained somewhere in the book and you just have to find them. Piece of cake. Consequently, when it came time in my high school career to take the tests that indicate if you’re smart and if you’ll go to a decent college, I experienced a high level of anxiety. The results of this anxiety was that I took the SAT three times (yes, three) and the ACT twice. For a grand total of…………a lot of hours spend in a cold room filling in bubbles. I prefer essay tests to filling in bubbles. Eight pages of blank paper and a one sentence question on top of each page? I’m down. I’d much rather give a speech in front of thousands of people than take a timed standardized test. Honestly, one of the things that I liked about graduate school is that I only had ONE test the entire length of my program. It was great. However, my professional goals demand that I take tests for licensure in my field. And, the time has come to start to study and prepare for this test. No, I’m not excited but I am more than ready to get this out the way so that I can move on with my life. I can’t wait.
So today I started a new job. Not a hustle or on a “as needed” basis, but a real job. It’s something that I’ve (halfway) actively pursuing since early last year. While I’m excited about new opportunities, I’m also hesitant. I love flexibility but it’s time to have something resembling security with health insurance and a 401K. I’ve met so many people who settle for a “regular” job, they put in their hours, go home, raise a family, take a vacation once a year, retire, and die. Not a bad plan, but definitely not for me. This job is not where I want to be for the rest of my life. It’s a means to an end. And if I have to sacrifice by waking up early EVERY morning in order to get stuff done and to meet my goals, so be it. I’m not a morning person but I’ll be one because what I want to be as a professional is bigger than pushing the snooze button on my alarm clock. There’s a saying that says one has to be willing to do what others won’t do in order to get what others won’t get. In my case, getting a regular job is doing what others are doing. However, my special twist is that I’m also pairing it with three additional jobs and an increasingly challenging doctoral program. With the end goal of being in a very very good professional place by the time I’m 25. The biggest challenge will definitely be balance and making sure that I don’t get in my own way. I’ve made some hard choices and there are plenty more to come. But, as I tell my clients, settling feels good for the moment but you never get any lasting results. Being deliberate and planning takes time, effort, and sacrifice but it sure beats waking up one morning and realizing that you’ve wasted your life. At least in my opinion.