Top five reasons to work with troubled youth
Working with troubled youth as a child psychologist, youth sponsor, social worker or friend can be exhausting and thankless work. Why would anyone choose to work in such a job? After all, the pay is usually nothing or next to nothing, the hours are often long and unpredictable, and sometimes you don’t even get to see the end result of all your hard work. Well, there are actually several good and worthy reasons why people choose to work with troubled youth, and here are the top five:
1. There’s a huge need: With divorce rates skyrocketing, drugs and alcohol becoming more readily available, and television and songs depicting more and more anger and violence, it’s no wonder more teenagers and young adults are feeling lost and themselves and are acting against the people and systems they believe put them in their dire position. One excellent reason to work with troubled teens is that the need is great and growing every day.
2. It’s rewarding: Working with troubled children is difficult. It takes everything you’ve got and then some. It’s not your typical nine-to-five job, because when you really care about the kids you work with, you’re either constantly thinking about them or almost always there for them. It’s tiring, but it’s also incredibly rewarding to know you’ve made a difference in someone’s life.
3. It’s a Learning Experience: One would think that working with troubled youth would make you a teacher and the youth a learner, but that’s rarely the case. As with all good relationships, a relationship with an at-risk youth is one of give and take. Even in the worst of times, working with troubled youth can help you learn to open up, be more patient, and let go of your petty little anger. Additionally, working with troubled youth can improve your communication skills, your listening skills, and your sense of understanding and empathy.
4. It’s never boring: Sitting at your desk all day answering phone calls and pushing documents can get old in about five minutes. Working with troubled youth, on the other hand, never gets boring. Every day you must dig deep to find the strength you need to build strong relationships with troubled youth. Because no two children are the same, and a child can become a different person between Monday and Friday, you never know what to expect. If you’re tired of doing the same thing day after day, working with troubled youth as a full-time job or part-time passion could be a great solution for you.
5. It’s Worth It: Unlike some jobs that make you feel like just a corporate cog, working with troubled youth allows you to truly make an impact on the world, one child at a time. With every life you change, you make the world a little better place, making the job even more rewarding and interesting.
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