What Qualities Make an Effective Human Services Worker?
There is no single path to becoming a human services worker, but those drawn to the role often experience an internally rewarding career.
As a discipline, human services requires professionals to support people from all walks of life. A deep understanding of others helps workers continue to learn as they help individuals and groups through meaningful work.
With their ability to connect to people, a human services worker can inspire growth and change lives—but it takes a unique type of person to thrive as a servant leader.
Read on to learn more about the top traits we’ve identified in today’s influential human services worker.
Social and Self-Awareness
An important quality for an impactful human services career is an awareness of self and others.
The best human services workers seek ways to improve their skills and expand on their competencies. They may add to their learnings through a variety of methods including self-evaluation, soliciting feedback, or undergoing educational training.
Making adjustments to their individual performance helps those in the field stay in tune with others’ needs.
At the same time, a human services worker must maintain empathy and an awareness of the unique challenges their clients may endure.
As they support diverse communities, they must strive to understand the ongoing impact of societal, economic, cultural, or racial disparities that may be faced by the clients they serve.
Strong awareness helps professionals in human services become more proficient. They develop a keen understanding of dynamics as they build rapport with those in their care.
Another important quality of human services workers is maintaining a strong ethical core that underpins professional practice.
Often tasked with promoting the health, safety, and wellbeing of others, a human services worker is responsible for upholding client confidentiality and adhering to standards of practice that protect vulnerable populations.
Individuals with a passion for helping others and a strong moral foundation already have the groundwork to do well in this field.
Those who thrive in human services show an unwavering commitment to the profession. Serving as an active listener, advocating on a client’s behalf, and demonstrating consistent follow-through can all reinforce one's dedication to the human services role.
Flexibility and an Open Mind
Many human services workers have a routine far from the traditional office job; some frequently travel in the field while others may be stationed in clinical settings, crisis centers, prisons, and more. Each day is different than the one before, introducing new challenges.
Given this dynamic environment, another critical quality in human services is flexibility.
Professionals need to be able to adjust to any disruptions or changing needs that may impact busy schedules. Embracing an open mind will help you reprioritize tasks and minimize stress, in addition to being able to overcome sudden barriers or setbacks.
Despite challenges that arise, being adaptable also helps you stay productive. As a human services professional, it will empower you to handle adversity—and pave the way for resourcefulness as well.
Strong Organization Skills
Given the multitasking aspect of many human services careers and the daily demands placed on professionals, organization is essential.
Tasks in the human services field vary greatly. For instance, some professionals handle a large caseload while others are responsible for managing their clients’ routine needs.
There are also a wide range of work environments; some roles might be anchored in the office, while others may involve home visits or court appearances. Regardless, organization is key to being prepared for every client interaction.
In a fast-paced human services role, strong organization skills will improve control over tasks at hand, such as maintaining accurate documentation or safeguarding client files.
Some experts also believe that organization benefits your communication skills, allowing you to be more effective at relaying information.
What Can You Do With a Human Services Degree?
Graduates with a human services degree can expect a bright outlook. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 17% growth rate, opportunities in the field are growing at a much-faster-than-average pace.
The human services field encompasses a broad range of services to individuals, groups, and communities in the public and private sectors.
Those pursuing a human services degree receive instruction in social science, psychology, social services, policy, evaluation, and more.
Earning your bachelor’s in human services opens doors to many pathways. For one, it will prepare you for a master’s in counseling or social work.
You’ll also gain versatile knowledge and skills that will equip you for a variety of roles and work settings, including:
- Social and community service manager
- Social services care coordinator/case manager
- Government social services
- Nonprofit administration
- Faith-based organizations
- Probation officers/correctional treatment specialist
- Patient/client/victim advocate
- Community outreach specialist/community liaison
- Bereavement/grief specialist
- Crisis intervention specialist
Read everything you need to know about what you can do with a human services degree in this blog.
Why Earn a Human Services Degree Online?
Your decision to become a human services worker will change many lives—the first of which is your own.
Whether you have recently graduated with your diploma or are working professional, Spring Arbor University’s online Bachelor’s in Human Services degree program will prepare you for an enriching career helping others.
Students in the online Bachelor’s in Human Services program establish foundational knowledge in the field. As a graduate, you'll be ready to apply class lessons towards any current or future work experience.
At Spring Arbor, you can schedule your schoolwork around your life—lectures and course materials are 100 percent online and accessible anytime, anywhere.
For those with prior college experience, there is a generous transfer policy (up to 84 college credits), allowing for a smooth transition so you can be closer to completing your Bachelor's in Human Services degree.
Spring Arbor also incorporates Christian teachings in the curriculum so students can grow in faith as they become ethical leaders and advocates.
Take the Next Step
As a human services worker, you can make a difference in your community and beyond, while enjoying a career that’s in demand. Be prepared to touch lives with a flexible, online degree from Spring Arbor.
Download our program guide or contact us today to get started.
Learn More about Becoming a Human Services Worker Today.
Read more of Spring Arbor online's top blogs below:
1. Social Work Jobs: Today's Top 15
2. Social Work Values: What Are They?