Make a career out of caring

Do you enjoy meeting new people, and find that friends or family look to you for advice and support? Do you take pleasure in the achievements of others? Are you worried about embarking on a career path where job security can’t be guaranteed during troubled economic times (who isn’t)?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then a career in social work could be a great choice for you. It’s not for the fainthearted and requires a lot of hard graft, determination and patience, but for many the rewards can be second to none.

‘Being a social worker gives you a unique opportunity to work with and help people experiencing oppression in their lives’, explains a support worker for a charity in Northern Ireland. ‘It’s a great feeling being able to offer help and support to those that need it the most.’

She also credits her university placement with securing her position: ‘I got my current job through a college internship I did with a women’s charity.’

The sector across the island of Ireland is a small one, and a common route in for graduates is via the contacts that they make on placements, internships or voluntary posts.

A Dublin-based project worker agrees, adding: ‘making good contacts and a good impression will make you attractive to potential employers and is essential to career success.’

So if you are looking for a varied, fulfilling career where helping people to cope with life’s difficulties is your priority, then it may be worth looking into social work.

More information on this career is available in our new sector career guide, available to download from

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