Social work is an academic discipline and practice-based profession concerned with meeting the basic needs of individuals, families, groups, communities, and society as a whole to enhance their individual and collective well-being. Social workers practice in a wide variety of settings and work across three scales or levels to create change – macro, mezzo, and micro.
- Macro – systemic/large-scale interventions and advocacy
- Mezzo – direct intervention and support to large groups, communities, and organizations
- Micro – direct interventions with individuals, families, and small groups
My social work career coaching principles:
- Define social work career success on your own terms
- Social work skills are high-income skills
- Social work skills are highly transferable
Social work is more than private practice therapy, child welfare, and school or hospital social work. I am on a mission to eliminate the old, narrow view of social work and promote the expansive diversity, opportunity, and marketability available to those with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. It was hard to think of social work career fields that begin with the letters K, Q, W. X, Y, and Z, but with some help from social workers on LinkedIn, WE completed the career list.
A – Agricultural Social Work
B – Bioethical Social Work
C – Corporate Social Work
D – Development and Fundraising
E – Environmental Social Work
F – Forensic Social Work
G – Gerontology
H – Higher Education
I – International Social Work
J – Juvenile Justice Social Work
K* – Kinesiology Social Work (Found graduate schools online offering dual degree programs to expand the field of adventure therapy)
L – Labor Movement Social Work
M – Military Social Work
N – Nephrology Social Work
O – Occupational Social Work
P – Public Health Social Work
Q* – Quality and Compliance (Thank you, Yuen Tung Pham)
R – Reproductive Justice Social Work
S – Sports Social Work
T – Tribal Social Work
U – Urology Social Work
V – Veterinary Social Work
W* – Workforce Development
X* – Xactimate Specialist (Uses software to provide detailed insurance cost estimates for repair and rebuilding projects following a disaster)
Y* – Youth Justice Social Work (Thank you, Laura Reid)
Z* – Zoning Director (Community Planning and Development)
Although I couldn’t complete the alphabetical list alone, I can help you release any limiting beliefs you may have about what you can do with your social work degree.
Apply to my On My Terms leadership coaching package to move beyond societal and self-imposed restrictions and step into expansiveness and possibility.
RELATED: Fields of Social Work From A to Z
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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