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Doubting my calling

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I ended up in social work in a semi accidental way; I graduated from undergrad and didn't get into my grad program. My undergraduate was in psychology with a minor in computer science. Originally it was supposed to be a double major, but finances got in the way of that. So, 8 months ago I got hired by the state. I was part of the first class to be hired and trained entirely in the time of Covid. Before doing this I had worked two years in therapeutic foster care and absolutely loved it. My first district director was emotionally abusive, and pushed out the supervisor who at least tried to respect me. As such, I did an internal transfer to the same post but closer to home.

That whole drama was three months ago. Two weeks ago I got the first part of my caseload, and I am seriously considering whether I am cut out to continue in the social sciences.

The problem is that there are other things that I am good at which pay exponentially better. We're a single income family right now, can't get our tax return or stimulus check, barely getting by. I can't service any of the debt I acquired getting far enough to get this job. That wouldn't be a terrible deal if I wasn't so underwhelmed by my position. I'm pulled in ten different direction and have no central guide for what the appropriate action is. I feel constantly tired, and I dread going to work. It's burn out, but on a deeper level. I realize now that getting into a clinical psych grad program may well be prohibitively expensive. Further, and this is where I don't know if it is just my agency, I'm very unhappy with how little empirical science and evidence based practice my agency uses.

I like clear expectations, everyone else in my life understands that if the expectation isn't explicitly expressed then it can't be filled. Yet, this appears to be a profession where the expectation is to anticipate expectations and there are no rules. I see awful things, and I'm reasonably sure that my agency is complicit in making the problem worse. I care about my clients, but I can't keep lying to myself that I'm fulfilled when I'm not.

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I wouldn’t doubt your calling based on any of this. The problems you've faced seem primarily practical and external. Look inward and/or change your situation.

Edited by Suraj_S
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