Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Attention Macro Social Workers: How to Network and Find a Job

I found another blog dedicated to macro social work (woo-hoo!). He suggests five ways to find a job in your area (I am writing this in my own words):

1. Decide which track in macro social work you want to pursue (i.e., managing an organization, community organizing, program evaluation, or policy/advocacy work).

2. Do you want to work for a non-profit organization? foundation? the government? Think like an enterprising student. Search for organizations that have positions similar to what you would like to do.

3. Network! Unlike clinical social work, most macro social work job positions are not advertised. You have to know what is going in the social sector world. Attend conferences. Carry personal business cards with you. You have to sell your abilities and explain why you want to work with this organization.

4. Finding (and landing) the first post-MSW job will be the most difficult. It won't be perfect, but things will become much easier once you establish relationships and make an impact in your organization.

5. Once you become well-known in the community, people will want to recruit you. This can lead to better opportunities such as more senior-level positions and higher pay too.

As a macro social work student, you have to think like an MBA candidate. Some macro students may want to manage and lead a non-profit organization in the future or advocate for underserved constituents by writing legislation in state/federal government. The bottom line is you have to sell your skills and interests to stakeholders, colleagues, and allies. The best part is you will still feel like the work you do will have a significant impact on society. We are still social workers who help people, but our clients are larger social systems -- communities and organizations.

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