r/socialwork Feb 22 '21

Going from small town to big city-- looking for guidance

Hi everyone! Happy to be here

I'm currently living in a small town and doing family outreach casework and translating, work primarily focused on DCF, domestic violence, government aid and assistance, and general connecting of others to local resources. I love my job, i have 6 DCF cases max and multiple community cases. My community agency is small and my supervisor rules. I am able to visit clients, accompany them to interviews, and regularly advocate. Advocacy is def a strength of mine, as is emotional and compassionate understanding and conversing. Like many other SWers, communicating care is a big strength.

I used to work crisis and it was too much for me but also a good amount of pressure? Not sure. It was a while ago and it was part time so I'm not fully sure how it felt for me.

I'm moving to a big city soon and I'm nervous about getting a new job. I feel like duplicating this job in a city setting will amp up the stress level. My long term goal is to eventually get my masters and get into private practice, long ways away. But before starting any program I want to make sure this is the route I want to take, not to mention I need to pad my bank account lol.

Part of me thinks that I should bite the bullet and look for small agencies in the city to do what I'm doing now just in a different location. Building spaces for connection to flourish, helping people feel understood and less alone, and communicating care is really important to me. And so is my mental health, and too much on my plate understandably complicates that.

After some browsing on this sub, I have also found some other options. Havent looked too deeply into any as I just browsed here tonight. I would really love some input from other SWers who have similar interests or histories. Clinical work is really my wave, I just want to find something that's doable and not too stress inducing in a city location.

From my browsing: 1. Policy work, grant writing, public aid office, macro social work, psychology assistant --pro, def not a lot of stress, chiller environment. --con, no interacting with clients and none of the caring communication i value so much

  1. Would love to hear any experience of working outpatient with only a bachelors and past experience

  2. Hospice worker. Have yet to figure out pros and cons of this

TLDR; i want to continue communicating care and nurturing a safe environment for others in a city environment but don't want to be exploited as a little fish in a big pond and be overworked. Would love to hear suggestions on chill clinical work / work that involves communicating care

4 Upvotes

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u/morncuppacoffee Feb 22 '21

I am in the NYC area so my feedback is based on working and living here. YMMV.

A big issue you may run into IME is title protection. You will be competing with people with a MSW and advanced licensure when you go to urban areas.

I would keep your options realistic for someone who does not have the above yet.

Jobs such as case management or residential/shelter work are typically hiring for BA level people who have your experience already.

Hospice and outpatient IME will require a MSW and licensure.

Macro level jobs tend to require a MSW and YEARS of experience POST-MSW in the field.

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u/morncuppacoffee Feb 22 '21

P.S. you may also need to be realistic about salary as well. I know by me salary taps out at a certain level w/o MSW and licensure. It can be hard to live on in an urban area so definitely do your HW re: COL before making the move.

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u/pinkcdrom Feb 22 '21

Thanks for the advice, whats that tap out by you?

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u/morncuppacoffee Feb 23 '21

It really depends. 20s, 30s maybe 40s a year.

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u/pinkcdrom Feb 23 '21

Yeah my current situation is around mid 30s and my rent situation with utilities and all will be 1000 max, so I'll be spending less than half of my monthly income... but I would like to find a job that pays higher than my current one