Welcome to The New Social Worker's Blog

The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The first post is the hardest (the first cut is also the deepest!)

Hello social workers!

I am excited to begin this blog which may just serve to keep me sane in the coming days. I am a full-time employee getting my Master's degree in Social Work. Until now, my schedule has been pretty reasonable. All of my classes have been on Saturdays and my day job is just that: 9-5, M-F.

In January I will begin my first field practice which will entail 20 hours during the daytime (9-5). I will also have a full day of classes on Tuesdays.
If we do the math, that's 28 hours that will cut right into my 40-hour work week.

My life is about to change big time.

Last Monday (Dec. 1), I spoke with my boss about the schedule changes. I made a proposal to stay and work less hours at different times (afternoons, evenings and Saturdays.) I am awaiting her decision after she speaks with the publisher.

I am an editor at a city magazine. Ironically,
this fall I got a promotion. For more than 5 years I have worked at the mag, and now I have everything I ever wanted in terms of job description.

There are just a few minor glitches. No. 1: I want to be a social worker.

Glitch No. 2: It would be nice to keep the job for a little bit longer. While I am lucky to have a partner who has a great job and is very supportive, you know how it is when you get used to two incomes. I also carry the insurance for the two of us.

And, I've "turned it over." I am trusting "the universe" to make this work. I will do all the footwork and then let it go. There is nothing I can change about the situation. My field practice is set. I will be doing my generalist practice at TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) beginning Jan. 12. There is no turning back.

Stay tuned. I'll let you know how it comes out. Will I be given the chance to continue at the magazine or will I be looking at Plan B (Starbucks does offer full benefits at 20 hours)? Either way, I am sure it will be okay.

-- Ms. T. J.


  1. I commend you for taking this step even though it isn't an easy one! I can definitely understand the fear surrounding money. I work 2 part-time jobs (my husband is in med school!) plus grad school. I can't say I am looking forward to that little squeeze of my 16 hr/wk internship! However - all of our hard work will pay off.

  2. Hi Ash-
    It's nice to have company on the ride! Thanks for reading and writing.
    T. J.

  3. Good luck in your journey.Sounds like you have a plan and definitely the determination plus inner desire to carry it out. KUDOS !!

  4. You took a big step in deciding to go to grad school. I, myself was used to the two incomes and it was hard when I was the one earning more. But I decided to term my employment and go to school full time and had to rely on my husbands income and on the loans for two full years (with having a child in elementary and became preg my first year in grad school). Everything worked out and graduated in 2007. It didnt take me long to find a job and now (once again) am earning more than the husband (double the $$ than b4). Point is: you have to sacrifice a little to see the reward at the end. But no matter what decision you decide to make (staying at your job or taking another one to accomodate your schedule) if you have the determination and support, you will succeed either way! Good luck and keep positive!

  5. I am starting my MSW this coming fall. Now that you are done, what advice can you offer me and those in the same situation? What was the hardest part? Also, how were you place in your internship?

  6. The hardest part? The volume of work was a challenge.  Taking care of yourself is difficult. You'll have to let some things go that you may not want to let loose, like almost everything! The only reading you'll eventually do will be from textbooks.  Hanging out with friends and family is a juggling act.  My husband says I just dropped all the balls on the floor and let them roll into the (dusty) corners.  Which reminds me: Forget about keeping the house clean! Try to avoid all and any drama and politics in the classroom and on the campus.

    We were placed in our internships by the field instructor. As a Title IV-E student, I was placed in the child welfare agency for my final internship.

    ~Ms. T. J.