What Do You Want To Experience In Your Social Work Career?



When I worked with teens in the mid-2000s, I would ask them what they wanted to experience when they grew up instead of what they wanted to be when they grew up or what they planned to do after high school graduation. I understood that the latter questions were heavy and limiting and also that they were being bombarded with them. Asking what teens wanted to experience allowed them to dream without pressure.

Somewhere over the last decade, I lost sight of the value of asking myself the same question. I began to focus on what I wanted to do and become professionally instead of focusing on how I wanted to experience my career and life with authenticity and intention.

I settled in a toxic work environment because I loved the work. I accepted lower wages because I believed in the mission. I allowed my skills and job performance to be questioned even though I knew that I was making a real difference. NO MORE! Career fulfillment is my goal. I’ve returned to myself and my commitment to never being overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated again. Anything less than the combination of energized, well-paid, and appreciated is unacceptable.

Here is what I have set the intention to experience in my social work leadership career:

  • I have set the intention to only do work where I can show up fully and authentically as 100% Nicki.
  • I have set the intention to only do work that feeds my heart, mind, and wallet. I want to constantly feel the “my heart is full” feeling.
  • I have set the intention to only work with people and in places where my contributions are acknowledged, valued, and celebrated.
  • I have set the intention to only accept regular, long-term work that is virtual or at/near my home/community.
  • I have set the intention to maintain a work schedule that complements my natural sleep cycle and allows for balance and rejuvenation.

Remember that clarity is step 1 in my Strategic Career Management Framework, so now I’m posing the same question to you.

What do you want to experience in your social work leadership career?

I can help you on your journey to career fulfillment. I am accepting 4 new private coaching clients. If you are a woman of color in social work leadership who is ready to elevate in your career, APPLY HERE for my On My Terms Private Coaching package today.

RELATED: Successful People Are Decisive


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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