Practicum work is a valuable opportunity for students pursuing a community support worker diploma to gain professional work experience in their chosen field. It presents new and engaging ways to become involved with the community, participate in different aspects of the profession, and build upon important industry connections.
Here are some tips for aspiring community support workers to make the most of their training experience, and help transition into the work environment.
Testing the Waters in Community Support Worker Practicums
One of the major benefits of practicum work is that it offers students the chance to test out the inner workings of their profession before making a full professional commitment. Community development and support is a demanding industry, with a wide range of assignments that vary in many aspects, from their geographical locations to the economic, cultural, and social demographics of clients. What may be right for some students may not be right for others, and it is important to learn which environment allows you to work most efficiently. Within Discovery Community College’s Community Support Worker program, students will have the opportunity to take 3 different practicums that span 3 weeks at a time, giving them a total of 9 weeks of on-the-job experience dispersed throughout their program.
Different communities have different problems as well as different solutions. Students engaged in practicum work have the opportunity to apply the theoretical lessons learned in class to real-world situations. Working with these communities during your community support worker training will help prepare you for the realities of the professional environment, and allow you to develop a sense of where and how your skills can best be applied in a way that cannot be taught in a classroom.
Networking Opportunities and Community Development
Another important aspect of practicum work is the opportunity to develop a professional network, which expands upon skills students attending community support worker college will already possess. By nature, community support work requires students to come into contact with people from all walks of life, and excellent communication and interpersonal skills are important keys to success in the field, as well as building a network of colleagues and peers.
The ability to cultivate a professional support system will also help engagement on a significant and meaningful level with the working community, as well as the possibility of finding future employment. Effective advocacy within the community is dependent on the critical skills of the community support worker, and their ability to problem-solve, negotiate, and think creatively and compassionately will benefit not only the community in need, but the development of the professional network as well.
Utilize Your Real-World Experience in Community Support Worker Training
After training is complete and community support workers begin their job search, it is important to note that potential employers pay great attention to professional experience, particularly if it is relevant to the industry. Practicum work gives students a competitive edge because it demonstrates to the employer that they have the motivation and passion to do active and meaningful work with real-world results.
In addition, prior history in the field not only boosts your C.V., but adds professional credibility, furthering your visibility to the employer. They are looking for a candidate who best suits the position, and practicum work is a superb example of legitimate and relevant experience. Furthermore, it clearly demonstrates your integrity and reliability as a trustworthy professional who is both equipped and capable of joining the workforce.
Interested in earning your community support worker diploma?
Find out more at Discovery Community College.