• Over half (52%) of social workers say they are yet to reach their full potential and have more to give at work
  • Staff feel they can give more despite over half (59%) of social workers in the UK being professionally fulfilled
  • Social workers believe the individual holds the key to finding success at work – adaptability and determination are key

Over half of Britain’s social workers feel they have more to give in their career in order to reach their full potential.

Amid increasingly positive economic signals, Britain’s social workers are showing they are not prepared to rest on their laurels. According to research by Randstad Care , the specialist recruiter, 52% of social workers feel they have not yet reached their full potential.

Benefits of successful communication in social work.

This ambition within the social care sector comes despite the fact the industry already has high levels of professional fulfilment compared to other sectors in the UK. Almost two thirds (59%) of social workers describe themselves as professionally fulfilled.

Victoria Short, managing director of Randstad Care, said: “Despite challenges in the social care sector, social workers still have high professional fulfilment levels. What is really encouraging is that despite the majority of staff feeling fulfilled at work, many social workers have the ambition to advance their careers even further in order to reach their full potential.”

Being the best that you can be
Personal characteristics are seen by social workers as the most important influence on achieving your potential. Almost two-thirds (59%) of staff in the sector feel this is the case.

Adaptability is viewed as the most important personal characteristic as over three-quarters (76%) of social workers see it as a vital trait. Determination is seen as the next most important character trait (68%) if you are to achieve your potential, while the ability to identify and understand your strengths and weaknesses is viewed as the third (64%). A sense of humour is also seen as important by 63% of social workers.

Victoria Short, said: “The characteristics seen as key to achieving your potential in the social care industry strongly reflect the sector itself. Varied case-loads mean adaptability is of paramount importance, and lean teams mean a desire to work hard is vital. While social work is an incredibly rewarding career, it can be stressful and pressurised. As a result it’s understandable that so many of those working in the sector value a sense of humour so highly.”

Outside help.

Support from your employer is seen as the second most important factor in helping you achieve your potential in the social care sector. Over half of social workers (50%) feel that training, development, good leadership and culture are key to success. This is some way above the proportion of the working population as a whole (38%) who feel the same and shows how much emphasis the social care industry places on training provided by your employer in terms of career development.

Roadblocks to success in social work.

Across the UK workforce as a whole, your individual characteristics are seen as being both the key to achieving your potential at work as well as the most likely roadblock to your success. More than a third (36%) of Britain’s most fulfilled staff say that it is the individual themselves who provides the biggest barrier to reaching their potential.

In contrast, a substantial proportion (56%) of social workers view the employers as the biggest roadblock to an individual’s success compared to just under a fifth (18%) of social workers who see it as the individual. Over a third (36%) of social workers believe a lack of passion in what you are doing is the main factor that might stop one from reaching their full potential.

Victoria Short, said: “A lack of employer support is viewed by social workers as a major barrier to success and fulfilment, but it is also lack of passion that will prevent you reaching your potential. Many regard social care work as a calling and if the passion to help others is not there, it will be very difficult for staff to progress and gain fulfilment.”

“It is vital that anyone who hopes to achieve more in their professional life understands what will help them do so and what may provide a barrier. And who better to glean this advice from than those who understand what fulfilment and success means to them and how they can continue to achieve it in the future.”

Randstad recently launched the How I Became platform, inspired by the real stories of real people who are fulfilled at work. The platform contains films from people who work in a range of business sectors, from education to finance providing key pieces of advice designed to help future candidates on their path to professional fulfilment.  The hub is designed to be a dynamic place to find career-boosting advice.

Victoria Short, said: “Those with the passion and purpose to drive their career forward and reach their potential have a lot to offer others who may feel at a crossroads in their professional lives. We believe in helping people find fulfilment at work which is why we have set up the How I Became platform in order for real people to share their experiences and advice. We invite anyone keen to pass on their thoughts on how to achieve fulfilment at work to visit the site and share their experiences.”