This week's writing is somewhat of a follow up to a post I recently put out there: Is It A Calling? In response to this post I was pleased to receive some insightful feedback and comments from several helping professionals. The sharing that was given demonstrated the strong feelings and motivating factors that have influenced their plight into the field. A common theme was "passion" and how this product of emotion impacts and motivates their practice and desire to help those in need. So, I pondered this emotion we know as passion and the impact it has on some, and how others may just have lost it somewhere along the way. Passion: Where You At?
I'm fortunate to be in a position to support MSW students as a Field Instructor, and within this role I am afforded the opportunity to hear from my students the said influences of what brought them into this career... The stories are similar and different alike, but often I am told again and again how passionate they are to serve. I am also fortunate in my Can You Hear Me? endeavors to cross paths with many helping professionals, and like the MSW students I am also given insight into this emotion and what motivates one to do the work they do. Of course the lens is different between the new to the seasoned, and as it does go the passion that once lead (those who have served) to this career can be impacted. Passion: Where You At?
Whether the career to you is a calling or not, it would be fair to say that as a helping professional one would need a certain emotional drive and level of attunement to provide such service that can transform and change. As my time and work (supporting helping professionals in need) takes its course I have been afforded a true understanding of the cause and effect of their struggles. The common factors are there: negative working environment, apathy, lack of support, unrealistic work load, compassion fatigue, psychosocial stressors, historical risk factors, burnout and many other intangibles that can impact one's personal self and professional practice. As you would imagine this impact can affect and effect their passion, that strong emotional influence that once lead them to this career has been jeopardized.
So, I ask the question: Why did you choose a career in this field? The shared response usually includes the desire to help a population in need, but the one factor that always presents itself was their passion to... Hear me if you can, we may not always be able to control the challenges that present themselves. However, we can control how we choose to cope with these challenges. No matter what you face or struggle with, may you always hold on to that passion that empowers and inspires you. When you find yourself in need, may you enact the same emotional drive to work towards bettering yourself, because when you do, you won't have to ever lose sight of the passion that brought you to this career, and you may never have to ask yourself, Passion: Where You At?
As I leave you with some thought and process of your own I want to extend the ongoing offer to share your story and the passion that resides within. The Learning Through Your Eyes Series is just that, another opportunity that is not going anywhere and will always be available when you are. Until we meet again may this find you with your head up and heart open, be well out there!
Daniel Jacob, MSW Email
Founder of Can You Hear Me? External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work MSW@USC. Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work). He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process.
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