16 April 2011

Finding Employment

Before detailing my woes of finding employment lets pause a minute for some background. Unlike a lot of professional masters level programs like teaching or business, social workers don't walk off the stage on graduation day allowed to do everything we've been educated to be able to do.  There are two tracks in social work one (the one I am doing) that is clinical work doing the things that you assume social workers do--therapy, case management, foster care work etc. and a second track that does more macro things like policy, advocacy, program management etc.

In order to clinical work you have to get a license. When you graduate you can sit for the Graduate exam and become an LGSW aka Licensed Graduate Social Worker. But the license you really want is the LICSW--Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. And herein lies the problem, In order to get that license you need a job (for at least 2 years with a supervisor who is registered with the state). But most places want licensed social workers (in my cause read: the army). Its the same dilemma most of us had after undergrad where in order to get a job you had to have had a job but you need someone to take a chance on you.

I have the job experience to land a job in the policy/advocacy/management world. I don't however have that clinical work experience that everyone wants other than my 2 field placements for school (year long internships required in order to graduate). Most of the jobs I'm attracted to want that dang LICSW. Its frustrating to say the least.

My other struggle is I don't know where I want to live. I fell in love with Seattle when I was out there in the summer of 2009 but I am not sure I want to be that far away from family--My grandparents and an Aunt and Uncle are in the Bay Area but I'm not super close to them and everyone else is on the east coast. But its been all I've been dreaming about for the last 2 years. However, I am not committed enough to move across the country with no job to do it. But most of the jobs I've applied to out there don't want to hire me since I'm not local.

Other places I've been thinking about are Austin/San Antonio/Killeen, TX; Jacksonville/Fayetteville, NC; Colorado Springs, CO;  and Boston, MA.

I want to live somewhere with a decent cost of living, minimal traffic, temperate winters and summers and in a military community. Any ideas?


  1. You may like to experience Fort Carson here in CO. The traffic is bad in the early morning --the military guys go into work quite early and out in mid-afternoon. It's not particularly temperate, moreso temperamental. But I think you would really appreciate the strong military culture in the Springs, and may amplify your insights with the problems with which the community struggles.

    On a separate note, the licensing is also an obstacle that many chaplains come across. We have to go through two years of training, and money out of the nose. After that is ordainment, which is much easier for Christians to do than Buddhists.

  2. Um. I'm all for the NC locations. Totally. OR, having lived here forever- the Killeen/San Antonio options. I heart Texas.