Community service can be a rewarding career. People in this field help their clients deal with social or personal problems. They also administer and implement community assistance programs or social assistance programs. Community service workers are employed in group homes, substance abuse shelters, correctional facilities, or government agencies.
Working in community service is a perfect fit for some people, but not for everyone. Before you enroll in a community service worker diploma program, consider your own personality and skills. If you have the following qualities, a career in community service may be right for you.
A Desire to Help Others
Have you always wanted a career that would let you make a difference in people’s lives? For people with a strong desire to help others, community service may be the perfect career choice. In this field, you’ll get the opportunity to help other people every day.
For example, you could end up providing guidance to people with developmental disabilities. With your help, they could learn daily life skills and become more independent. Or, you could provide guidance to people in addiction treatment programs and support their treatment. If that sounds appealing to you, this may be the right field for you.
Excellent Communication Skills
Excellent communication skills are essential for people working in community service. You’ll need to be able to talk to clients about their problems and their needs. You’ll have to know how to ask the right questions to get the information you need. To provide guidance and support, you’ll need strong communication skills.
If you’ve always liked talking to people and explaining information, you may like this field. Of course, communication skills can always be improved. If you tend to struggle with communication, that doesn’t mean you need to rule out this career. If you’re willing to work to improve your communication skills, you could still enjoy community service.
Do you tend to put yourself in other people’s shoes and understand what they’re going through? That’s a great trait for a community service worker. People in this field need to understand their clients’ feelings and concerns. They need to be sensitive to these feelings, and they must relate to their clients.
Clients don’t need someone to feel sorry for them, but they need someone to support them and validate their concerns. Empathy lets you fulfill this need. For example, community service professionals should be able to relate to their clients in addiction treatment facilities, even if they’ve never had an addiction themselves.
Community service can be a difficult job. Every day, you’ll be helping people who are going through difficult times in their lives. When everything is going well in people’s lives, they don’t need help from community service workers. Over time, exposure to other people’s struggles and traumas can wear you down.
That’s why resilience is so important for people in this field. Resilience means you can recover quickly from negative experiences and not let them affect you. If you tend to bounce back from negative experiences, you may be perfectly suited for this career. On the other hand, if you tend to dwell on negative experiences, you may not like being a community service worker.
Ability to Remain Objective
Every client deserves the same assistance from community service workers. Some clients may be unlikeable, or they may have made bad choices in the past. Community service professionals can’t let these factors affect the service they provide. You need to be able to remain objective and not treat some clients differently than others. If you think you’ll be able to do this, community service may be right for you.