The problem with career guidance counsellors is that they have no idea what you are good at, what you like and the sort of temperament you have. Plus, many students walk into careers guidance sessions without any idea of the types of jobs that are out there, which they would like, and what is on offer. Quite often, careers in community services are overlooked simply because younger students are not informed about them. Yet, a qualification in community services has four very obvious and serious benefits that you should genuinely consider.
1. There Are Always Jobs Available
There are certain industries that will always have job openings all year round. A classic, albeit sad example, is jobs working in care homes and working with the elderly. In fact, many people start in care homes and leave within a year, which is a rather depressing statistic.
Other jobs that are always available are in community services. The reason for this is that taking community services qualifications is not often the first thing that students think to take, especially since some people associate community service with the thing criminals are forced to do to avoid prison time. Here are the sorts of qualifications you can get in community services:
- Diploma of Community Services Case Management
- Diploma of Community Services
- Diploma of Youth Work Diploma of Alcohol Other Drugs
- Certificate III in Home and Community
- Certificate IV in Youth Work
Take any one of these qualifications, and you open yourself up to a world of new and interesting jobs that can stretch into a 40-year career if desired.
2. It Teaches You Life Lessons
This is both a positive and a negative point. Take the example of a prison guard. A prison guard learns some pretty awful life lessons, but on the plus side becomes able to spot danger very quickly in an almost Spider-Sense way, which is a handy skill to have in real life.
If you are working in social services, then you will learn some negative and positive life lessons that will help you in your daily life. Some of the downsides are that you have to deal with people who are having a very hard time, and as much as you wish, you cannot help them or fix their problem, all you can do is help things not get any worse.
On the other hand, you learn how to spot liars, addicts, and people with mental illness. It doesn’t sound like much of a comic book superpower, but imagine your daughter is dating somebody with a reputation. You could tell a great deal about that person very quickly in a way that other people cannot. You also learn a lot about motivation, not just in terms of working your way through the daily grind, but also what motivates people to make poor quality life decisions.
3. You Can Go Anywhere
A great thing about community service qualifications is just how broad the industry is. You may be dealing with asylum seekers, troubled teens, family services, and much more. The broad nature of the industry means that you are needed all around the country and the globe. It is not like being a programmer where you work in Silicon Valley, or the movie industry where you work in Hollywood. You can pick a place on the map, and you are guaranteed that there are social services jobs available in that area.
4. Plenty of Career Movement and Progression
Not every person who pursues a career in social services is going to reach the top. Part of this is because the job often transitions from a very interpersonal job to a mostly administrative role. The higher up the ladder you go, the less you deal with real people, and the more time you spend planning, accounting, filling in paperwork, and so forth.
Yet, if you are looking for a job where you get to switch roles as you progress, then your social services qualifications will help you do just that. Here are a few roles that people with social services qualifications may take up.
- Community Care Coordinator
- Support Case Worker
- Community Services Manager
- Team Leader
- Halfway House Supervisor
- Program Coordinator
- Women’s Centre Program Supervisor
- Team Manager
- Community Development Officer
- Case Management Supervisor
- Child Protection Officer
- Welfare Worker
- Crisis Intervention Worker
- Case Worker
Again, it is not like a surgeon qualification where you either slice people up or consult, and there is no room to take up other roles. With your community services qualifications, you can take up many different roles.