What Did They Tell You About Social Work?



There are a lot of rules, traditions, and beliefs about the social work profession that no longer serve social workers. Actually, I don’t know that they were ever truly beneficial to social workers. Today they are definitely dividing us, limiting us, and disconnecting us.

They Said: Social workers are in it for the outcome and not the income.

Nicki Said:  We all deserve a job that fills our hearts, minds, and wallets.

They Said: Don’t expect to make a lot of money in social work.

Nicki Said: Social workers don’t take a vow of poverty.

They Said: All social workers need clinical experience.

Nicki Said: Define social work career success on your own terms.

They Said: Social workers aren’t paid well because the degree isn’t respected.

Nicki Said: You paid for your degree and you deserve to be paid well for your expertise.

They Said: You need a social work license to advance in social work.

Nicki Said: You are a brand and your career is your business.

They Said: You must leave the social work profession if you want to be paid well.

Nicki Said:  Social work skills are high-income skills.

Nicki’s Social Work Philosophy:

  • I believe social work education (bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree) from an accredited school of social work makes one a social worker.​​​​​​​​
  • I believe that social workers should be paid more for our education and expertise.​​​​​​​​
  • I believe that all clinical social work students should take a few macro courses. ​​​​​​​​
  • I believe that licensing should be the same across all 50 states.​​​​​​​​
  • I believe that the BSW and LMSW is gatekeeping, not title protection. ​​​​​​​​
  • I believe that all clinicians/therapists should be licensed (LCSW or LCSW-C).​​​​​​​​
  • I believe that a macro and/or mezzo license could be a game-changer because it shows equal value for these practice areas.​​​​​​​​

Career fulfillment is possible for you and available to you! If you are feeling confused by or stagnant in your career in social work leadership, let’s schedule a 15-minute chat to discuss how to help you become a social worker who is energized about your work, well-paid for your work, and appreciated for your work.

My schedule is open for new private coaching clients. Are you ready to join my On My Terms 10-week leadership development private coaching program?


  1. Are You Really Saying YES to Your Social Work Career Success Workshop; January 17, 2023
  2. Social Work Your Social Work Career Workshop; January 19, 2023




Nicki Sanders, MSW, ushers high-performing women of color in mid-level social work and human services leadership through promotion to senior leadership. 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. 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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