The Gentlemens Tour

Finding Social Work

If you’re making decisions about a career, then social work can be an attractive option: social workers have the opportunity to define the arc of their own careers, whether they want to end up in management, research or even policy setting! There are also multiple routes into the profession, from degree courses, post-graduate qualifications and on the job training, so whatever stage of life you’re in you can find an entry point that suits you. You also benefit from the knowledge that your job makes a positive difference to people’s lives every day – the sort of satisfaction that it can be hard to find in accountancy, admin or retail.

While there are plenty of depictions of social work to base your decisions on, both in fiction and in the news, as well as lots of information about the different training and qualifications that are available, one part of the process that can be difficult to visualise is actually getting a job. What are the mechanics of applications and interview and how do they differ from the conventional recruitment process? Today we’re putting the microscope over finding social work, to give you something to go on.

Full Time Jobs, Short Term Contracts, Cover and Secondments

Thanks to the changing demands of social work in different areas and services, you might find yourself working shorter term jobs, providing cover or doing agency work more than settling down for the long term, at least initially. While this might feel less secure than an ongoing contract, it allows you to gather lots of experience, and make lots of connections to help find somewhere to settle in the future.

On top of that, social work agencies are set up to provide meet this need, both for employers and social workers so you should find yourself regularly in demand!


When you’re applying and interviewing, one of the things you need to keep at the forefront of your mind is the experience you have. Your qualifications are important but a social worker is only as good as the extent to which they can put those qualifications into practice. Proving you can do that when working at the sharp end of social work, and not get overwhelmed will make you that much more valuable to an employer, so be ready to discuss the practical experience you have on the job.

Prepare examples of specific situations, how you dealt with them, and the steps you took when or if you felt overwhelmed. Bear in mind the job you’re interviewing for and ensure you’re picking examples that speak to it specifically, and that gives you the best chance of finding the social work job you really want.

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