“Sometimes the slightest things change the directions of our lives, the merest breath of a circumstance, a random moment that connects like a meteorite striking the earth. Lives have swiveled and changed direction on the strength of a chance remark.”Bryce Courtenay
I often recall how I fell into social work when invited to consider applying for a Financial Counsellor role locally. I was studying Bachelor of Business at the time and this role changed my career choice immensely as well as my university degree.
Over my social work career, I have loved all my roles and the diversity of both clients and the work itself. Generalist social worker, mental health clinician and Community Development Officer.
I initially came to private practice after applying for accreditation as a Mental Health Social Worker and initially began in a one day a week capacity. The role I was in at the time didn’t have any direct client work and I found I was missing this. Ironically, I now miss the community development and education role and I often have the ongoing discussion in my mind of how this could be managed in a private capacity.
I love working with clients and watching them grow. It is such a privilege to be part of their lives.
I continue to have a foot in both the public and private systems and do this for many different reasons as not everyone has the financial ability to pay for a service and these are subsidised in the public system. Conversely, 9 to 5 Monday to Friday appointments isn’t suitable for everyone and the public system doesn’t always fit in with clients needs and/or preferred worker or therapy. There are always positives and negatives for both, both for the clients and me.
I also need to balance my needs[s) and this includes my professional development and my work/life balance. The flexibility that working for myself has been beneficial and this was paramount when my health needed more attention. Working two days in the public arena and 3 days privately is a great split for me and helps me juggle the delicate balance of life and all its complications.
Now that my health is on a better keel, I now find myself at a new crossroad and I am changing my public health capacity to a new direction as a part time oncology social worker, and I am really looking forward to working in a new role for me. I am also looking forward to working with an experienced multidisciplinary team, one that will assist me (and the clients) on this new journey. I have so much to learn.
Endings and beginnings are both happy and sad – sad to leave the old organisation and looking forward to the new. Sometimes priorities change – both personally and professionally.