Can We Eliminate the Division and Competition Among Social Workers?



  • There’s Pepsi and then there’s Coke.
  • You can choose between Sprite, Sierra Mist, and 7-Up.
  • Would you prefer Sunkist, Fanta Orange, or Orange Crush?

These are well-known soda brands, yet every major grocery chain has its own brand of cola, lemon-lime, and orange sodas. The soda market isn’t saturated, there is more than enough soda market for everyone.

Such is the same with the social work profession. There is more than enough work, clients, and agencies for everyone which should lead to collaboration, not competition.

  • There is more than enough.
  • I’m more than enough.
  • You’re more than enough.

Social workers are resourceful and I’m glad to see so many social work professionals expanding social work education outside the classroom and outside of traditional CEUs to include career development and business development outside of private practice therapy.

When it comes to social work career development, there are too many social work students and new and seasoned social work professionals who are overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated. We need us.

When it comes to social work career development, there are too many social workers at every stage in their career who are feeling disconnected, stagnant, or confused. We need us.

The world and the economy have changed, and I believe the social work profession was standing ten toes down in the dark ages and leading the charge to its own demise. We are the change that we need.

The professional helpers who have committed to helping the professional helpers grow, excel, and increase their pay have different areas of expertise and experience and have different personalities, language/vocabulary, coaching frameworks, and delivery methods that speak to different segments of our profession. Clients get to choose the coach who best suits their needs and desires! There is more than enough.

Social work career coaches are change agents.

None of us career coaches have the capacity to serve all of us alone.

None of us career coaches have the capacity to change the reputation or trajectory of social work alone.

I’m 100% confident in my belief that none of us career coaches really want to do it alone. The coaches who won’t collaborate are being led by fear and won’t last long.

Isolation, skepticism, and competition don’t build successful social work careers or career coaching businesses.

My career success has been accelerated by relationship building, resource development, and getting things done in a way that was true to me. I used my individual strengths and gifts to excel in my roles as much as I used my education and training. I relied on my contacts as much as I relied on my assets.

I don’t want what’s yours and you can’t have what’s mine!

RELATED: Social Work Month Interview with Kenia Maldonado, LMSW, Founder of OnBoarding Solutions, LLC

What is my social work career sweet spot? Social work leadership

I was hired into my first formal leadership role in 2007 and earned my Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in management and community organization and a specialization in social action and community development in 2008. I have hired, coordinated, and managed many multi-disciplinary teams. Amazing teams!

My professional competencies also include:

  • Program development and management
  • Community engagement and public-private partnerships
  • Corporate social responsibility

I believe wholeheartedly that great leaders don’t create more followers, they create more leaders. Real talk, this is exactly what I do! My career coaching and supervision track record is filled with clients, staff, and students who have moved into leadership roles and/or launched businesses. It’s what I do well!

My Brand Promise: I help women of color in social work walk in their power, leverage their expertise, and claim a seat at the decision-making table.

This social work leader is stepping into her power, showing up fully, and taking the lead…again! 

If you are a woman of color in social work leadership who is ready to elevate her career with authenticity and intention, APPLY for my On My Terms Private Coaching package today.

It’s Our Time To Shine!!



Nicki Sanders, MSW, supports high-performing women of color in social work leadership in developing careers that feed their hearts, minds, and wallets. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams, volunteer recruitment and retention, and social impact programming. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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