If you love helping others and would like to make a living by working with young people, helping them find the right path or giving a hand to people who abuse certain substances, there are hundreds of opportunities waiting for you in community services. Because of the nature of most positions in this field, in most cases, you need formal qualifications to get hired. And there are a lot of different options you could choose from, both when it comes to qualification and employment opportunities.
Variety of Ways to Serve Your Community
As an employee of the Australian community services industry, you can opt to work with families, young people, minorities or those who undergo certain life difficulties. The most popular way of securing a job are formal qualifications – and it doesn’t matter whether you are just entering the workforce or are looking to turn your professional life around. The most popular options include:
- Diploma of Counselling
- Diploma of Youth Justice
- Diploma of Youth Work
- Diploma of Community Services
Each of the above diplomas opens for you a path to multiple positions, available in non-governmental, not-for-profit and private sectors. Depending on the chosen area, you might be working for welfare centres, community development organisation social enterprises, detention facilities, and many other places. It’s important to at least slightly get an understanding of which path you would like to choose during your education process so that you focus on developing the most appropriate skills for that particular position.
Coping with People, Their Problems and Legal Requirements
Community workers serve people helping them resolve their personal or family issues. While there are skills that are impossible to gain with formal qualifications and which are essential for this kind of work – such as empathy – there’s a lot you can learn if you choose the right course. Because you will be working with families (often dysfunctional), pregnant teens, people who abuse certain substances, the homeless as well as elderly, it’s important that you learn how to develop a plan of action in each case, and the know-how to assist people with their emotional issues.
Apart from being genuinely interested in working with other people and helping them solve their (often tough) problems, you need to understand all the legal and ethical requirements and aspects of your work. Your primary job is usually to advocate for the rights of individuals you work with and provide them with support, information and care. You have to know how to help them and where to look for help, pointing them towards the right people or institutions.
Once you complete your diploma, you should focus on applying to organisations that you are interested in. Luckily, some diplomas require you to complete volunteer work during your education. Even if you don’t have such a requirement, it’s highly recommended that you look for volunteer work in the field. Not only you will get a better understanding of which path you want to pursue, but you will also get the necessary experience that together with your professional qualifications increase your credibility and chances of securing relevant employment in your chosen field.
The formal requirements have one other advantage. They stop people who do not have any formal education in the field from applying. This means that once you complete your course, you stand a much higher chance of landing your dream career. And since you are thinking of pursuing a career in such a demanding field, you probably have all the personal traits, required to work with others and all you need is a formal course to make your dream come true!
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