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.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bring it on

As of today, I am on vacation until Jan. 12. YAHOO! I am so grateful for a break from both work and school.

On Jan 12, everything changes. I will begin working 30 hours, instead of 40, at the city magazine where I have been an editor for the last five and a half years. I will also begin my 20-hour per week field practicum at TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). On Tuesdays, I will have four classes on campus. And somehow, in the remaining hours, I will study, do homework and try to carve out time for my husband, my dog and myself!

I am so grateful for the many helpful and supportive comments I've received from you, the readers of this blog. I hope you will continue to leave your thoughts and ideas for me and others to read. It's like a safety net for me. I especially like to hear how you did it and how you are continuing to plow through.

I am impressed and somewhat mystified when I read about those of you who, in addition to work and school, also have the responsibility of parenting. I don't know how you do it, and I tip my hat to you. Whenever I feel like whining in the weeks and months to come, I am going to think about you and know that I could have more to manage than I already do.

--Ms. T. J.


  1. Hi. I just found your blog this morning and was amazed to find another writer who is going for her MSW. I was a journalist for nearly a decade before deciding to make the switch to social work. The transition has been a bit nerve-wracking, but definitely exciting. Good luck as you pursue your new career!

  2. Christina-

    Wow. It's about a decade for me, too. Before the magazine, I worked in marketing for the same company, only for the newspaper, a sister publication.

    It's great to hear from you. I'd like to hear more about your transition. Where are you at in your program?

    --Ms. T. J.

  3. You know what's really not important...How clean your house is. As long as it is good enough that nobody is getting sick (and your husband can help with that -- not sure about the dog) and you have clean underwear, life is just fine.

  4. LOL...Carolyn, that's so true. Glad to see you found our blog!

  5. Carolyn-
    It's like you read my mind.

    This past year I actually hired someone 2 or 3 times because I absolutely could not do everything.

    Now, because $$ will be a little tighter at 30 hours, I am going to try to accept that my house is not as clean as it could be. As long as it is tidy, I can pretty much live with it.

    I think everyone has a line and when it's crossed, something has got to give. I have definitely crossed a line.

    It feels good, though, because I have always been a bit perfectionistic, which I do not see as an asset. Not being able to do everything has actually helped me in many ways. I can take a really deep breath and say "No," as I let the breath out...

    --Ms. T. J.

  6. Hi T.J. I am in the second year of a three-year (I'm going part-time) MSW program at Temple University's campus in Harrisburg, Pa. I'm doing my field placement at a children's advocacy center that provides investigative and support services to abused children and their families.

    It's been interesting to transition from a career where I felt quite experienced (journalism) to one where I feel like such a novice (social work). But it's definitely been exciting and invigorating to be exposed to new people and ideas.

  7. Hi Christine-

    My program is 2.5 years and I am in my second year. How many classes do you have in your p-t program? Mine is P-T, also, but I need to take four classes this semester. Up til now it's been two classes. Should be interesting!

    I believe we already are social workers, and that we always have been, don't you? We are just getting our credentials now.

    The writing skills certainly come in handy, don't they? But just because we can write, doesn't mean we don't have to do the same amount of reading, researching, and presenting as everyone else, huh?

    Please stay in touch.

    --Ms. T. J.

  8. Woo Hoo! A blog from a fellow MSW student.
    I have my BSW and am currently pursuing my MSW in a part-time program. I have a year & half to go.

    I'm blown away by your 4 class undertaking. It'll be intense, but sounds like you'll make it through!

    My ongoing motto through all of this (such as when I think grad school is ruining my life): I am doing what I love, I am doing what I love...

  9. Stephanie-
    Ha ha! I like your honesty.

    I had a moment in an accelerated 8-week summer school class where I thought the weekly 10-12 page papers were going to do me in. To push through the near-breakdown, I had to have a serious self-soothing moment and tell myself to "just do it" and STOP lamenting about the difficulty of doing it. It was almost a spiritual experience because I thought it was "quitting time."

    We really are doing what we love, or we would have to be crazy!

    --Ms. T. J.

  10. Christina-
    I just noticed I misspelled your name in my second comment. Sorry about that!
    --Ms. T. J.