Social Work Careers: What Does Compelled Really Mean?

Multi-ethnic group of business people meeting

Licensed Clinical Social Workers or MSWs work in their professional social work career niche when they demonstrate being “compelled, competent and comfortable in a specified context.” I am often asked to explain what I mean by the word phrase ‘compelled to a work.’ I describe ‘compelled’ as an “overwhelming urge or insatiable desire to perform a particular work or skill.”

In Gillan Zoe Segal’s book Getting There: A Book of Mentors, Anderson Cooper, anchor of Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, discussed the path he took to become one of the most recognizable figures in cable and network news today. He described the risks he took to learn the craft of reporting and to reach his goal of being a foreign news correspondent. His statement clearly expresses the feeling of a professional who is ‘compelled.’

“I was miserable a lot of the time, but even so, I knew that this was the career for me. The more I saw, the more I needed to see. There was no place I wouldn’t go. I didn’t let risks get in the way and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I know this sounds irrational, but I literally felt as if I had no other options. It wasn’t as if I were dabbling in this. I felt as if I didn’t have a choice. It had to work out. There was no Plan B.” Excerpted from Getting There: A Book of Mentors, by Gillian Zoe Segal. Published by Abrams Image. 2015 Gillian Zoe Segal.

Are you compelled in your current work?

Professionals who are compelled to a work, demonstrate competence and are comfortable in their work setting have found their professional niche. This leads to success and satisfaction in their professional lives.

I would love to hear from you. You may join the conversation by commenting on this post on our Facebook fan page REAL Social Workers Online Magazine or joining the “Social” Social Workers Project. You may also contact me directly on Twitter @Marcyline #LCSW15

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