Careers in Aging & Social Work
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April 1st – 7th was Careers in Aging Week, which celebrated the vast career opportunities available in the field of aging. GSWI funded 10 Careers in Aging Week awards to universities across the country who planned events that gave students the opportunity to learn more about gerontology and social work. To read more about the award winners and the activities they planned click here. Continue reading this edition for more career resources related to the fields of social work and aging or click here to travel to our homepage, which contains additional resources for job seekers.
In This Issue:
Research & News
AGE-SW Pre-Dissertation Award applications due: May 1, 2012
AGE-SW Award Nominations due: May 1, 2012
Health & Aging Policy Fellows application due: May 15, 2012
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Groups Provide Networking Opportunities for Emerging Aging Professionals
Are you looking for ways to network with individuals in your area who share your interest in aging? Many cities including Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC have seen the development of networking groups for emerging professionals. The following are a few of the groups that GSWI is aware of and we are currently working on developing a webpage directory of local aging networking organizations in order to provide our Ripples readers and website visitors with ways to meet others in the field of aging:
- The Chicago BRIDGE: Emerging Professionals in the Field of Aging - The Chicago Bridge is a grassroots organization for professionals in the early to mid-stages of their careers in aging. Their goal is to provide support, as well as, networking and social opportunities for members of all ages while encouraging leadership. Events include resume workshops, and lectures from local professionals.
- GenPhilly – Generation Appreciation Philadelphia (GenPhilly) is a network of emerging professionals who are inspiring Philadelphians to connect with older adults through their work and personal lives. Through creative programming and professional development opportunities, they are working to change stereotypes and establish Philadelphia as a lifelong community for everyone.
- Emerging Leaders in Aging – ELA is a non-profit organization with a mission to cultivate, support, and sustain tomorrow’s leaders in the field of aging by providing networking and learning opportunities for professionals in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Stay tuned for more information about the web directory and other aging networking organizations in the months to come. Please e-mail Jenn Kaufer at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of a group who should be included in this web directory.
n4a 37th Annual Conference and Trade Show
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) will hold their 37th annual conference and trade show in Denver, Colorado, from July 7-11. Topics will include Area Agencies on Aging and their roles in managed care; care transition grants; opportunities in the Affordable Care Act; and livable communities. For more information, or to register for the conference, please visit: n4a Conference
National Retirement Planning Week 2012
Last week was National Retirement Planning Week, which was sponsored by the Administration on Aging. This year’s theme was “Retire on Your Own Terms”. Even though the official events are concluded there are still many financial literacy resources from which older adults and their caregivers can benefit. For more information on National Retirement Planning Week 2012, click here. You can also get additional information on retirement planning at the Administration on Aging-sponsored National Education and Resource Center on Women and Retirement Planning website at www.wiserwomen.org.
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Research & News.
Gero-Social Worker finds unique career opportunity in banking industry
Amy D’Aprix started her consulting career as a social worker with expertise in aging. She never thought she would find herself working for a financial institution. Yet this important skill set meant she was perfectly suited to be a life transition expert. In this unique role, she has presented to over 150 groups on issues related to retirement and estate planning. Financial institutions appear to be continuing the trend of hiring aging experts (rather than experts in finance) to work with an increasingly aging client base. To read more about this unique career option, click here.
Why are you working in the field of aging?
Nora O’Brien-Suric, a Senior Program Officer at the John A. Hartford Foundation, recently wrote an interesting blog about why individuals choose to pursue a career in aging. Inspired by an article written by two gerontologists on how they became involved, Dr. O’Brien-Suric asks the same question of her readers: How did you decide to pursue your career in aging? To read the entire blog post and respond with why you chose to pursue a career in aging, click here.
Diverse panel of professionals provides advice to those seeking career paths in gerontology at the AGHE 2012 Annual Conference
A diverse panel discussion titled “Career Paths in Gerontology,” was held at the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) Annual Conference on Saturday, Feb. 25th, 2012. Panelists included a broad range of professionals including consumer advocates, service providers, policy advisors, volunteers, and an aging service recipient. These professionals provided advice to those seeking career paths in aging. Their advice can be best summarized into the following 6 points:
- Volunteer! It can lead to a paid position, but most importantly it will provide an important perspective that you don’t receive as a paid worker.
- Take a course in fund development. Asking for money is a skill everyone needs, especially in gerontology.
- Be entrepreneurial in spirit. You are not going to find an ad for “gerontologist needed.” However, aging issues will arise in many settings so find a job that will allow you to position yourself to be an aging resource.
- Network! Set up information interviews, attend networking events at conferences and other meetings, and seek out internship & fellowship opportunities. If you are looking for policy experience, check out the National Academy of Social Insurance summer internship program.
- Pay attention to trends and buzz words. The panelists predict that data evaluation is going to be crucial to the future of aging. This data will be critical in showing the effectiveness of programs and help make the case for funding. Current buzz words that indicate other important aging focus areas are “consumer directed care” and “care transitions.”
- Broaden your credentials. Gerontology is a broad field so respond by broadening your credentials & your experience (see #1 Volunteer!).
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AARP's Summer Scholars Program Seeking Applications
AARP is hosting a Summer Scholars program for 20 minority undergraduate and graduate students interested in a variety of issues inherent to a large non-profit organization, including aging issues. Full-time, paid internships are available from June 11 to August 10, 2012 at AARP's national office in Washington, DC (housing is not provided). Internship placements are available in Legislation, Volunteer and Civic Engagement, Research and Analysis, Procurement, Event Planning, and many other areas. These mentor-guided internships provide hands-on, real life, career-related experiences that will challenge, inspire and provide practical application that complements and amplifies the scholar’s academic education. Applications are due April 25, 2012. For a description of the program and an application form, please contact Winifred Watson-Florence at email@example.com or 202-434-3655.
The following opportunities are from the Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health:
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Social Work Careers Magazine Highlights Resources for SW Graduates
The Winter 2012 edition of The New Social Worker magazine highlights a variety of interesting articles and food for thought for social workers just entering the job market. Two articles in particular are aimed at new graduates. The first titled “3 Components of Turning Passion into a Successful Social Work Career” is written by Sonya O. Hunte, MSW. Ms. Hunte provides advice on how to define your vision, seek mentorship, & participate in professional development activities that contribute to career success. The second article “Kryss Meets Career: A Social Worker’s Resolutions” by Kristen Marie (Kryss) Shane, MSW, LMSW takes an introspective approach to planning for success. She shares her 2012 success resolutions including better utilizing her network, putting herself (and her needs) first, seeking knowledge regarding finance & saving, and diversifying knowledge about client populations. Check out these articles and many others in the Winter 2012 edition by clicking here.
NASW’s Social Work Career Center has resources for you
Whether you are new to the job market or just changing careers, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Social Work Career Center has something for you. Check out the “Find a job” section of the website & you can access information about social work salary trends, get tips on writing a winning resume, access tools to help you prepare for the interview process, and identify resources to help you in your job search. The site also provides job listings, professional development & training resources, and other tools to help you explore the social work profession.
New Career Guide Provides Tips for Finding Your Ideal Career in Aging
A new 25 page career guide titled “Strategies to Successfully Surf the Age Wave to Your Ideal Career in Aging” includes worksheets, surveys and other tools to help job seekers identify their unique skills, interests, and passions and ultimately aid them in locating their dream job. The guide is authored by Urrikka Woods-Scott, gerontologist, entrepreneur, and founder of UBW Senior Solutions, LLC. The guide, a self-published e-book is available on the web for $15.99 at www.agewavesurfers.com. Individuals who take the “Career Attainment Experience Survey” (accessible through the website) by May 1st will be included in a random prize drawing. To read more about this resource, click here.
Check out Exploring Careers in Aging
Exploring Careers in Aging is one of the go-to websites for students of gerontology and others interested in working with older adults. It's full of resources and includes a list of nearly 200 jobs associated with aging, links to over 130 related organizations and articles by guest experts working in popular careers in the field. Click here to visit the site.
Social Networking Site Exclusively for Social Workers
Socialworkhelper.com is a new, free social networking tool created exclusively for social work, social care, and human service professionals and students. The mission of Socialworkhelper.com is to connect people in our profession from around the globe to help increase collaboration, engagement, and support for one another. Additionally, you can create groups, forums, events, blogs or import blogs, upload photos, create forums, keep up with birthdays, and not lose the things you love about other social networks. Click here to check out Social Work Helper.
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Social Security: Research Brief Provides Overview
A new research brief from AARP's Public Policy Institute is a concise guide on Social Security, benefit levels, the financing of the program, the timeline for how long the program can pay out full benefits, and possible strategies to ensure solvency of the program. Sixty-four percent of beneficiaries are retired workers, and 51% of these retirees are men, with an average benefit of $1,231 in February 2012. Women represent 97% of people who receive spouse benefits, with an average benefit of $588 in February 2012. For more information, visit: AARP PPI: "Social Security: A Brief Overview"
Origins of Individual Mandate Explored By National Public Radio
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the Affordable Care Act in March and National Public Radio recently examined the history and origins of one of the most controversial parts of the law, the individual mandate. Mark Pauly, a health care policy expert, explained that the idea originated from a group of academics brought to the White House in 1989. While President George H.W. Bush liked the idea and legislation was drafted, it was never introduced because Congressional Democrats indicated they would never vote for it. Under this earlier proposed mandate, failure to buy health care insurance would have resulted in a penalty costing the same amount as the cheapest qualified health insurance policy. The mandate re-emerged in 1993 as an alternative to President Clinton's attempted health care reform. For more information, visit: NPR: "The Individual Mandate's Growth In Unpopularity".
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