Use NASW As the Blueprint for Your Next Career Level



I’ve taught Introduction to Human Relations since 2015. Most professionals are unaware of human relations as a college major and professional discipline and that presents an additional challenge in the job market for my students.

I begin each semester with a focus on grasping a full understanding of Human Relations which includes developing a professional brand and exploring career paths. My students are required to create a personal mission statement, determine their core values, understand their learning and leadership styles, and take a personality quiz.

Seasoned social workers often forget to check in with themselves regularly or take time to inventory their assets or slow down long enough to reevaluate their career goals. Clarity is key throughout your career journey.

Need a little inspiration? Utilize the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) as your blueprint to answer the following questions.

  • How do you describe yourself as a social work professional?
  • What are your social work strengths/areas of specialization?
  • In what area of social work do you want to work?
  • What are the guiding principles you use to navigate your professional world?
  • Do you have a personal mission statement?
  • Have you determined your core values?
  • What is your learning style and leadership style?

The NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world. NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards for social workers, and to advance sound social policies.

Social Work Practice: The job of social workers is to improve the living conditions of a society. NASW organizes social work practices into three systems: micro, mezzo, and macro social work. One of the many benefits to a social work degree is being equipped to work among any of level of practice which can include helping people obtain tangible services; counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; helping communities or groups provide or improve social and health services; and participating in legislative processes.

The NASW Code of Ethics is a set of standards that guide the professional conduct of social workers. The NASW Code of Ethics offers a set of values, principles, and standards to guide decision-making and everyday professional conduct of social workers. It is relevant to all social workers and social work students regardless of their specific functions or settings.

The NASW Code of Ethics first Section, “Preamble,” summarizes the social work profession’s mission and core values.

The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.

The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. These core values, embraced by social workers throughout the profession’s history, are the foundation of social work’s unique purpose and perspective:

  • service
  • social justice
  • dignity and worth of the person
  • importance of human relationships
  • integrity
  • competence

Broad ethical principles are based on social work’s core values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence. These principles set forth ideals to which all social workers should aspire.

How did you do?

If you want extra support or assistance in clarifying who you are as a professional and the value you bring to the profession, APPLY to my On My Terms private coaching program.

IMPORTANT: There are limited coaching slots available.

If you have enrollment questions, message me, I am here to answer them.



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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