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Social workers: DO NOT give your job 100%

Social workers: DO NOT give your job 100%. Give it only 25%.

Hear me out...

  • 33% belongs to the rest of your life (family, friends, faith, fitness, fun, etc)

  • 33% belongs to sleep (your health depends on it)

  • 25% planned time at work, because you need to save the other 1/4 of your work time for crises that pop up, so...

  • 9% buffer at work for unexpected crises (which are part of the job)

And that’s just the math for a 24 hour workday.

If you count weekends, the proportions lower the work percentage. So give 100% of your effort during 25% of your work week. Set aside 9% for crises at work.

Get your needed sleep and live YOUR life.

Stop trying to be “the best,” social worker; an exceptional social worker; an outstanding social worker; etc. Instead be a sustainable social worker who remembers that your job, or even your calling, is not who you are and it is not your life."

It’s a job. A career in social work is a marathon. Pace yourself. Be dedicated. Be compassionate. Be focused. Stay humble. Keep learning. Do good work.

Above all, protect YOUR time. Most will not respect that. That’s because it is counter cultural. Nevertheless, make those boundaries firm and if they start to drift, quickly direct course.

YOU and YOUR family deserve it!

Todd Stanfield

School of Social Work

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