How to Get a Job as a Clinical Social Worker
To become a licensed clinical social worker you’ll have to sit through an exam. And before you can take the exam, you'll need to have approximately 3,000 hours or about two years of supervised clinical experience. But some of what is required to secure a job can't be taught. "A social worker must be compassionate," Booth says. "There's no way around that. You can have all the intellectual skills, but without a reservoir of compassion for people in all sorts of conditions, this wouldn't be the right sort of profession for you."
What is the Job Like?
Like anyone, social workers experience good days and bad ones. But the scale of "bad days" could be dramatically different in this line of work than for other professionals. For example, providing emotional support for patients in the last stages of palliative care could be particularly heart-breaking. Because of the intensive nature of the work, it's imperative that clinical social workers possess the compassion of which Booth spoke, as well as the ability to compartmentalize the most emotional cases in order to achieve some form of work-life balance.
Patience is another important quality, whether it's for dealing with the variety of people, or to handle the sometimes grueling schedule. Social workers work full-time, 40-hour weeks, but they may have to do evening hours to meet with clients, or they could be on call over the weekend for any emergent cases.