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Preparation for the Professional Job Market

The decision to enter graduate school is when your professional development begins. Your coursework and fieldwork are designed to prepare you for your goal to become an MSW. Remember this when selecting your coursework and field site. To develop the necessary skill set and participate in useful experiences, choose each according to your professional interests, desired field of practice, and prospective job position.

Your professional development also includes your professional identity. At your field site, in the classroom, at volunteer sites, and in professional organizations and committees, your appearance, behavior, communication style, conflict resolution capacities, and ability to work within groups all project your professional image to your colleagues. It is important to keep this in mind, as you want to build positive working relationships.

Beyond this, professional development refers to continuing education in the field of social work, and staying connected to the field of social work. Many social workers do so by joining associations or committees, or through attending conferences and Continuing Education courses. Please refer to Networking with Professional Associations and Continuing Education for further details.

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