Jan 04

Jobs with social responsibility – How should you approach them?

Some jobs are more difficult than others, but maintaining and keeping a job could be considered difficult in the first place. It requires constant attentiveness, the willingness to learn, and the willingness to care. It means being active in your social climate at work, and trying your best to meet the standard and sometimes going over it. In the event that you desire progressing up the corporate ladder, it takes determination and grit that might not otherwise be found if you didn’t have the reward enticing you to push forward.

Some jobs are mostly focused on profitability, shareholders, and consumer bases. Some jobs are concerned with supporting those structures of revenue. However, some jobs are very different. Some jobs require a degree of care, especially if caring in a social capacity.

For example, if you work as a staff nurse, you have not only a responsibility to your role, but a heavy social responsibility. You will be the main meeting point between a hospital and a patient, and that is a sacred position to fill.

But how should you approach jobs with social responsibility? Do you have a responsibility to approach them in a certain way? How should you begin if this is something completely out of your comfort zone? We’re hoping that the following tips should illuminate these topics:


Stay Humble

Care nurse putting blanket on senior woman in wheelchair

Yes, your job takes care of people. Yes, that is something to be proud of. Still, this pride has no real use in your general daily work. You can use it to motivate you, but on the whole it takes a humble person to have the moral fortitude to make it through some situations which require caring for people. Lending a listening ear is much more important when dealing with a tricky patient than simply and authoritatively telling them what to do. It matters how you approach people, and if you come across as anything other than sincere, it will be obvious on the surface.

Staying humble will not only help you in your job role regarding how people view you, but it will generally help you perform better mentally. It will help you be realistic about what you can do to help, and not overshoot your abilities or act overconfident in areas you’re less qualified to talk about.


You’re Not Perfect

Young male carer handing patient tea

Social responsibility is important to understand the importance of. While job market situation and salary info are essential to understanding the nuances of a job, understanding truthfully the social responsibility you will wield can be one of the most important things you can reflect on. Still, you must always understand that you are never, never, never going to be perfect. You will make mistakes, and this will mean you will sometimes fail in your social duties. Knowing this allows you to replace the fear of failure with the willingness to try harder. If you always aim to improve, and you genuinely try your best, then you should begin developing a self-respect that will transition to the perception your colleagues also have of you.



Woman holding girl with downs syndrome

Jobs with social responsibility are complex. They likely have many different tasks that need completing on a given day, and will stretch you to  the edge of your skillset. For example, a nurse is not only a medical practitioner, able to take care facilitating the work of the Doctor and deal with minor medical concerns, but they must act as a form of social security for the frayed emotions of the person entering. They must keep a watchful eye on those under their care, and have the presence of mind to prioritize many different tasks at any one time. This can be very difficult to get to grips with to begin with, but over time you begin to develop a feeling for the variety of a complex role. The more competence you can provide yourself from multiple different angles, then the largest safety blanket you have to attack every role with.


Understand People

Female carer smiling at elderly patient

Being socially responsible means being social. Being social means having the ability to truly form a connection with someone you need to. Understanding someone is not an easy thing to do, and you may not even completely break that initial barrier of communication with someone you are responsible for. However, if you have the ability to look past the awkwardness of discourse, and can relate to people on a human level by forgiving their inconsistencies or flaws, then you have instantly put yourself in a stronger position overall.

Sometimes this might mean drawing on past experience to help someone through an issue, or communicate with them in an appropriate way. Sometimes it might mean trying to find middle ground and use that as a platform for which you can both stand on and meet each other mentally. Always it will require that you listen to the other person in kind, and truly listen to the communication they might be trying to convey.

In high pressure and socially sensitive roles, sometimes reading between the lines in this manner can help you identify what to truly do. Let’s say that you’re a child safety worker. No child has a fully developed personality, and if they are subject to a form of abuse they might find this even more difficult to grapple with. Communication can be a challenge in these instances. Instead of fighting to find middle ground, slowly and warmly open the environment to allow for safe communication whenever it happens naturally. When you have the ability to do this and read between the lines, you may be able to glean more useful information than the child would otherwise be capable of revealing. Intelligent social discourse will always, always mean more than any other consideration regarding roles of such importance, so be sure to train your listening ear from the root of its ability.


Know Yourself

Man looking at his reflection in the mirror

Our list so far has focused on what you can do to progress in your role each day and treat it with the real respect it deserves. This is all well and good, but the basis of your daily tasks (meaning you) could also use some reflection. You need to know yourself in order to thrive in difficult roles like this. The challenge can sometimes become overwhelming when you’re dealing with high social and task demanding jobs. To continue the Nurse example, he or she might have to contend with tens of patients on a given night. Some might experience truly horrific incidents in the emergency room. Some might die. Some might be healed and available for discharge. This could all be in one twelve hour shift for a nurse, and all of those are quite different emotional states and happenings to experience.

If you don’t know yourself to a degree, you can never be sure where your limits for keeping this in perspective are. Everyone likes to think they are tough, but can be surprised when something truly upsets them. To know yourself is to work on yourself, and can only really come through experience, at least if it’s to be reliable in any form. Knowing yourself might allow you to avoid certain topics which truly unsettle you, or to identify a weak spot like that and try to resolve it in your own time so personal memories do not come up.

It’s also important to watch for changes in your personality. Of course you will change on account of the experience you gain in your given role. If you can see that the mental pressure of your job is getting to you, and the sadness of the social issues you contend with is making you feel a little more nihilistic in the world, then you’ll know you aren’t regulating your emotional or mental health as well as you could be in the face of such challenge.


Challenge Yourself

These jobs can be challenging. However, we’re willing to bet that if you have willingly taken on this burden to help people, you are much more of an amazing person than you realize. If you take the responsibility of additional challenges during the day, you will become more effective, well trained and experienced in your job. Challenging yourself might allow you to truly express the hidden talent you have deep within, the thing which draws you to help people in the first place. For example, befriending an elderly lady before she passes is completely optional for you from a career perspective. You might consider avoiding doing this to make her inevitable passing easier to stomach. However, if you make the effort to become friends with them thanks to their jovial personality, you automatically become much more valuable in your care for them, even if that means experiencing pain after the inevitable happens.

Of course, you are never required to do anything which makes you incapable or uncomfortable to continue in work. Temperance is key. But challenge can sometimes also redefine your love for a given career path, and this can remind you of why you keep this job so close to your heart in the first place.

With these tips, your socially responsible job is sure to be placed well in your hands.

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