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1. You Like To Help Others
Firstly and most obviously you want to make a difference in the world. You want to go home each day with that warm empowering feeling of knowing that you have helped make a difference in someone’s life. You may have thought about helping people and how rewarding it would be or you already help out your friends and family when they need advice. You’re passionate about wanting to improve and enhance the lives of those around you and you know that while you may not be able to invent something that’s going to end global warming and change the world that you can still do your part to empower and guide those around you.
2. You’re Creative
Although it may not seem like being creative has much to do with helping others and working in community services based career it is actually a great characteristic to have. If you have the ability to find resources and to potentially think outside the box you can open up a whole new way to help people. For example you could use art, music or a trip to the park to inspire your clients, make them feel more comfortable and able to open up to you.
3. You Have Empathy
If you can not empathise with people how can you help them? Having a caring and compassionate attitude when working with people who are experiencing heightened emotions due to a particular stress factors, such as finances, relationships or addictions is very important. You need a sense of empathy and the ability to hold an insightful and meaningful conversation with these people so you can help with whatever is currently blocking them or putting them in a rut. While a sympathetic person would say ‘I hurt with you’ someone with empathy would say ‘I see that you’re hurting and I want to help you cope and move forward’.
4. You Know How To Talk To People
One of the most important skills you can having working in community services is the ability to successfully communicate with people. Often those who need help simply want someone to listen to them and someone to offer advice. Indeed understanding that most careers that focus on helping people are about human relationships and how they are developed through good communication is crucial. So making sure you are able to effectively communicate with these people and their partners, families, friends and other people from the community is important.
5. You Know How To Be Organised
Generally people who have life experience naturally know how to be organised. After all dropping the kids off at school, going to work, collecting the mail, going to appointments and doing other everyday general tasks on time require organisation. So why do I need to be organised if I’m helping people? Well if you’re helping multiple people, who each have different issues, needs or wants it can become overwhelming quickly if you’re not prepared or organised especially if you miss an appointment or get that same appointment mixed up with someone else’s.
6. You’re Open Minded
It is to be expected that you will help many different people from many different cultural and socio cultural backgrounds in any career that works with people, so being open minded and accepting of all different types of people is important.
7. You’re A Problem Solver
One of the main goals when working with people is to empower them. In order to empower them you must help that person work through their challenges. Finding a solution to their challenge, then helping to implement it and then making it successful is also important so that person can overcome whatever got them stuck in the first place. Everyone and anyone has problem solving skills, and we use them every day. For example your fridge is not working, do you hire a mechanic or do you go buy a new fridge? You weigh up the pros and cons and make your decision, this is problem solving.
8. You May Have Been In Their Shoes
Often the people who most want to work with and help others are those who have, at some stage of their life, been in a similar situation or have required help. Often these people have had negative experiences first hand or have witnessed these experiences and they don’t want it to ever happen to someone else so they really want to help others.
‘Working in community services is one of the best things you could ever choose, every day you wake up feeling good because your going out and helping people. You will never have the same day, never have a normal 9-5 job, and every day you will experience something different’ Lorna Murray – Social Worker
So you have some or all these skills listed above and you want to get into a career where you can help others? That’s great!
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8 Ways To Know You Were Born To Have A Career Helping Others June 2, 2020 December 1, 2015