Some people have the desire to positively affect the lives of young people. If you are seeking a profession that will allow you to inspire youths, help them become productive members of society and assist them into steering away from negative influences, then becoming a youth worker may be just the right kind of job for you.
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To be a youth worker, you have to have a genuine concern and care for young people. Since your job will involve being in constant contact with them, you have to like being around them and have the ability to effectively communicate with them.
Understand that being a youth worker is not going to always be an easy job. You may sometimes be working with at-risk individuals who come from less affluent neighbourhoods and who face challenges, such as poverty, drugs, pressure to join gangs and the like. You must be up to the task of being a mentor to young people who are in daunting situations.
Having an education is important to becoming a qualified youth worker. You might take a professional training course or go to college and major in a field, such as Education or Social Work. Make sure to take a psychology class.
Find out what organisations need youth workers. If you have a degree in social work, this may be to your advantage, when trying to find a position. Submit a professional-looking resume, along with your application to places you are interested in. Be prompt, neat, informative and able to communicate well during your job interview.
Be prepared to have an extensive background search done on you by any group or organisation that hires you. This is for safety measures, to find out whether you have a criminal background and to especially see if you have any record of sexual offences against children.
Find out which communities have the greatest need for youth workers. If you really want to make a huge difference, then seek out neighbourhoods where you can make the biggest impact on the lives of young people. They need positive role models and you could be one of those.
Learn about the community the youth you want to work with are from. This will give you an understanding of the circumstances and influences that affect the young people you are dealing with when you become a youth worker.