The employment of community service workers is expected to grow by 11% by 2028.
If you have an intrinsic passion for working with people and making the community around you better, you will find a very fulfilling career in community services.
Here, read everything you need to know about starting a career in community services.
Who is a Community Worker?
Essentially, community workers are professionals who work with families, individuals, communities, or social groups to restore positive social functioning.
This is done through advocacy, and by linking people with services they need.
There are over 50 occupations in the community services umbrella and practitioners are differentiated depending on their scope of work.
What Is Required for a Career in Community Services?
A career in community services requires some formal training as well as certain job-specific attributes. Here are the key requirements:
To get a job, you will be required to have undergone some training. The good thing is that there are many community service courses to choose from depending on the field you want to get into. The following are some occupations to consider:
- Community worker
- Family support worker
- Disability services worker
- Parole or probation officer
- Youth worker
- Residential care officer
Community work has people at its core. For this reason, employers look for people that love working with people.
Aside from clients, you will also work collaboratively with other professionals like the police, lawyers, health professionals, government authorities and so on.
First Aid Training
You will require first aid training more so for roles that involve aged care, substance abuse counselling and child care.
It’s not uncommon to encounter medical emergencies when handling cases involving the elderly, children and recovering drug and substance addicts. Being able to provide life-saving care before getting them to hospital is an essential skill.
Clean Background Report
You will likely need a clean police background report to get licensing. The reason for this is simple.
You will be working with the vulnerable in the community, including children and the elderly. Therefore, it’s in your clients’ best interest that you are a person of good standing.
This requirement, therefore, locks out people with criminal records and sex offenders.
Problem sensitivity is the ability to know when something is wrong, or when something is bound or likely to go wrong.
This skill helps to pre-empt and hopefully avoid adverse outcomes that your clients might run into later on.
High Levels of maturity and professionalism
In this field, you will deal with numerous sensitive issues. This will require a high level of tact and discretion.
Both your clients and employer will need to know that they can depend on you with highly sensitive information and that you will treat each client with the dignity and tact they deserve.
Why Should You Consider a Career in Community Service?
Here are some reasons why you should consider getting into community service.
1. You Get to Make a Positive Contribution
If you are looking to make a real difference in people’s lives, this is a great option.
Every single day, your assignments will revolve around bettering people’s lives, giving hope and helping people be whole again.
You will also be helping to build healthier communities in the course of your duties.
Imagine the level of job satisfaction you are likely to get from that!
2. There is Room for Growth
With many different roles to consider, you are unlikely to run out of a challenge when you need one.
If you choose this as your career path, you can rest assured that you will have numerous areas of specialization should you wish to advance your career.
3. Excellent Job Prospects
Community service workers are likely to be in demand for a long time.
Think about the growing aging populations, for example. This is an area that is likely to remain stable in terms of job prospects for professionals in aged care.
Other issues in the society such as the high prevalence of mental health problems and drug abuse means that mental health workers, counsellors and drug and addiction professionals will always be in demand.
As more jobs become automated, losing jobs to technology is an issue of major concern.
The services provided by community workers require a human touch. As such, you are unlikely to lose your job to bots any time soon.
4. You Will Experience Personal Growth
Community work can be challenging, both physically and mentally. Seeing people in strife is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea.
However, these scenarios will push you to keep working on yourself and better yourself for your clients’ sakes.
Communication skills, empathy, resilience, advocacy and so on are some of the skills you will undoubtedly pick up along the way. Aside from these skills being beneficial to your career, your personal life will also benefit immensely from it.
5. You Have Flexible Study Options
While advancing one’s education is a goal for many, family and employment can make it difficult to do so.
Unlike courses where you can only study in class, most community work courses can be studied entirely online.
Whether you are angling for a promotion or juggling work and family, you can enrol in an online course and study with minimal disruption to your schedule.
Who Employs Community Services Professionals?
Practitioners in this field can find both voluntary and paid positions.
Employment can be in not for profit organizations, private sector and government.
Some employees opt for higher-paying contractual jobs in the private sector, while others prefer the job security that comes with government appointments.
Community workers seeking employment with non-governmental organizations can find jobs in various institutions. These include advocacy groups, community development organizations, emergency relief agencies, private residential care institutions and community care organizations.
Looking for internships and/or voluntary community work as a student or professional? Check out the Young Changemakers and the Social Impact programs by TribesforGOOD. Apply for Online Summer Program on Social Impact and Entrepreneurship 2021.
There You Have It
Many people find careers in community service to be fulfilled as they get to touch the lives of people. You are also likely to find a community service career exciting because there are many areas to explore. There are also plenty of opportunities for advancement.
Andrej Kovačević is an accomplished digital marketing specialist and an avid internet technologist. He believes that the key to modern marketing excellence is a constant willingness to learn and adapt to the ever-changing digital world. Currently, Andrej is the Head of Production at Amebae Online Pty Ltd.
Note: This is a sponsored post!