Real World Clinical Blog: Quit Your Social Work Job

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Too burnt out

I could benefit from some advice. I work in Mental Health and while the work is stressful, I find every agency I have worked for makes it unbearable. Nearly every boss and/or agency I have worked for is either Personality Disordered themselves or only cares about productivity and money so they work you to death with zero empathy. I have been micromanaged to the point of tears, constantly criticized, told to tolerate abusive treatment and sometimes endure others doing down right illegal things to protect the funding source of a program...I just can't do it anymore. I want out. I was happier working at the mall in college than I am in a career that put me into terrible debt, where I work my rear off for no thanks and no pay. I have attempted to go above an abusive boss's head and found all the agencies care about is protecting the abusers. In fact, my current boss has made life so unbearable that literally 85% of the employees went to HR to complain about treatment and nothing has been done. Even worse, she is making ice even worse now that we've complained. It's starting to effect my own mental health and I just need to get out. What are some of the easiest careers for social workers to transition into?

JSS more than 4 years ago


I did this god-awful job for 12 years. Rephrase-12 lonnnng years. Just as you said all supervisors/administrators in this line of work have serious and I mean serious personality disorders or multiple disorders. I left, completely changed fields to sales at Harley-Davidson. Lol. Guess what? No crazy bosses and people are happy to buy bikes!! Imagine that! Happiness. Been there 6 years. Good luck!!!

Jen more than 4 years ago

Reply to JSS

JSS I couldn't agree more with what you have said. The micromanaging and bullying is all through the field and I wouldn't mind betting that I'm on the other side of the world to you yet your story sounds very familiar to the state of the field in my neck of the woods. It's not worth staying in the field. I'm on my way out as soon as I can find an alternative career that pays my mortgage. ...and to Jen.. maybe you're onto something with the motorbike sales... I might look into that lol.

Aa more than 4 years ago

About Real World CSW

Dr. Danna Bodenheimer is the author of Real World Clinical Social Work: Find Your Voice and Find Your Way and On Clinical Social Work: Meditations and Truths From the Field. She shares practice wisdom with new clinicians.