Numerous studies show that a detailed analysis of the characteristics of human social interaction with the environment allows people to critically comprehend and adjust their future actions. Accordingly, personal reflection in terms of the learning process, along with a clear understanding of oneself as an individual, can have a positive impact on further self-improvement and professional development. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the main characteristics of the self to determine the appropriate vocational training areas and the desired specialization in social work.
Characteristic Features of the Self from the Perspective of Social Work
The Self and Social work
First of all, one needs to assess one’s perception in terms of personal qualities, beliefs and values, social background, and experience. For example, people may benefit from the awareness of their personality traits to predict their attitudes and style of behavior with other members of society (Martin, 2018). Consequently, I can describe myself as a sociable, responsible, energetic, achievement-striving, confident, and stress-resistant person. It is quite natural for me to find common ground with people and prevent possible conflicts, without making a passive member of society in constructive dialogue. However, such negative traits of my character as stubbornness and a little shyness also strongly influence the interaction with the social ecosystem.
Moreover, my socioeconomic status as a middle-class Canadian may be a factor of privilege. An average level of affluence allows me to get an education and maintain good health. Accordingly, this may lead to an incomplete understanding of daily life’s peculiarities and the problems of other groups of the population that social workers have to deal with. Therefore, for me, there is a need to develop awareness in various social life topics, as knowledge and experience shape a professional social worker (Martin, 2018). Accordingly, my educational work with school-age children and understanding of such theoretical aspects of social work as the theory of psychological development, cognitive behavior, and the social learning approach will be useful. These factors will positively affect my level of professionalism; however, this does not negate the need for further training.
Additionally, it is also essential to analyze the impact of an individual’s beliefs and values and how it is projecting on social relations and work. Since social work requires professionals to focus on relational selves (Park, 2018), I believe that my principles of social justice, competence, and integrity are of paramount importance. My central ethical conviction is that I should represent the community of social workers with dignity and work for the public good, not for personal benefit.
The Self as a Student
During the study of this course, the issue of child protection was especially interesting, as it allowed me to evaluate my previous experience from a different perspective. Moreover, I was surprised and fascinated by how much interdisciplinary knowledge a social worker needs and the level of responsibility required to work not only with children but also with adults. However, the biggest challenge for me was identifying my weaknesses in terms of personal and professional qualities. Most importantly, this course helped me realize that I am committed enough and have the strength to initiate positive change in society.
The Impact of the Acquired Knowledge on Future Specialization
I have discovered that I have only basic knowledge concerning the physical health of young people and how it affects the psychological development of younger generations. Furthermore, I am particularly interested in studying the fundamental areas of social work with other populations. Accordingly, I concluded that it is necessary to explore the theoretical and practical aspects of work with families and their children regarding the relationship between physical and mental health (Simpson, 2019) in SOWK 2202 and SOWK 2203. The course leader and guest lecturers also encouraged me to consider working in remote areas. Accordingly, the course allowed me to prioritize the main areas of interest without rejecting the importance of studying other social work areas.
The Self as a Professional
Regarding the professional vector of development, my values, and the ability to manage ethical dilemmas will be useful for sufficient social work within families. Focusing on working with people of the same social status will help them perceive me as equal, facilitating effective communication and empathy on my part will allow me to treat others with understanding. Finally, my professional abilities and character traits, such as responsibility, determination, and enthusiasm for improvement, will be useful in teamwork and, most importantly, change others’ lives for the better.
Overall, this course allowed me to assess my values and beliefs objectively, to explain the impact of experience and social status on how I interact with people and how they perceive me. Moreover, I realized that my character traits, experience, and knowledge formed the priority areas of development in the field of social work. Selected specialized areas of work will allow me to treat people with understanding, and they, in turn, will perceive me positively as a professional.
Martin, B. (2018). Lecture 4: The self and social work [PowerPoint slides]. Web.
Park, G. (2018). Lecture 4: Spiralling Self: Three Stories [PowerPoint slides]. Web.
Simpson, M. (2019). Lecture 8: Social Work and Health [PowerPoint slides]. Web.