This past week was busy!
Over the past two months I went from working 20 hours a week in an ok job to now working 40 hours at three different social service agencies. My perspective is growing, my enthusiasm is back and my heart is breaking.
Being trained at three different places all at one time has its benefits and also its disadvantages. I am getting to see how these three different places run, what their culture is like and how they help people in London in unique ways. I see this as a privilege to be working part time for three agencies because in my young career I am learning how different systems work; shelters, 1:1 support, health outreach and community development. I am learning so much so fast and my enthusiasm is great because I am fresh out of school and I have lots of energy!
The reason I wrote that my heart is breaking is because I have now been exposed to the challenges and politics of social work. When I was a student, people sugar coated things a little bit more, but now as an employee I am seeing things differently. On my first shift at one agency I was using a kind and soft voice with the clients, and I noticed some people kind of rolling their eyes at me, as if to say "she's so naïve". It's true, I might be naïve, but I do think that people deserve to be treated in a polite and respectful way no matter what. One person said they were compassionate when they first started as well, but it only took a month to change that. I was so discouraged! Yes, I don't think its healthy to get personally involved in clients lives or feel things so deeply that I cant do my work. But I truly hope that my story in this field wont end up with me saying that I used to be compassionate!