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Showing posts from June, 2011

Social Work and the Laws of Economics

In an older post, I discussed why other majors seem to make more money than others. While this article focused mostly on the surplus of humanities and social science majors relative to job demand, I briefly touched on social work and how its altruistic nature results in less profit and hence lower salaries.

What differentiates social work from other humanities and social science fields is its increasing demand. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, social worker employment is expected to grow faster than average in the next decade. Contributing to this trend are the aging baby boomer generation, growing student enrollments in schools, and prison systems increasingly requiring substance users to participate in rehab programs as part of their sentence.

Now, a demand for social workers combined with a shortage of social workers due to retirement or burnout should result in higher wages, right? Unfortunately, many of us working in the field know that this is not the case. …

San Francisco Pride

Happy Monday! Here goes another week!

Yesterday was the annual SF Pride Parade. While I didn't attend the parade, I saw parts of it as I was walking towards the bus stop to go to another event. When I came back to Downtown San Francisco later that evening, clean-up crews were sweeping the sidewalks and taking down street barriers.

As I continued wandering San Francisco's Union Square area, I couldn't help but notice how the place was decorated. Above me, rainbow flags flew from windows, light posts, and flag poles. Different stores had unique signs and displays commemorating the weekend (which I doubt would be found anywhere else, except maybe New York). For instance, The Body Shop had a window display where its soaps were arranged according to the colors of the rainbow. Another store, Lush, had a sign in front of its store which read, "Support the Respect for Marriage Act". Inside the Westfield San Francisco Shopping Center, there were Pride Weekend displa…

Cheap Sunday in San Francisco

Today, I went to San Francisco to enjoy a free concert in Golden Gate Park with my boyfriend. While I was expecting a pretty mellow day in the city, I completely forgot that the SF Pride Parade and an SF Giants baseball game were happening on the same day! Indeed, it seemed like the entire Bay Area was packed into San Francisco today! While I had a good time in the city with seeing parts of the Pride Parade, getting free stuff at the concert, and eating cheap food at SF Chinatown, I think I'm done with battling large crowds for a while!

Anyway, I wouldn't have known about the free concert in Golden Gate Park if it weren't for FunCheapSF, a website that compiles a list of free/cheap things to do in the Bay Area. My boyfriend and I frequent this site when we can't think of anything to do on a particular weekend, and have many fun cheap dates as a result!

What are your favorite websites for fun cheap events in your area?

Thank You, Jeanne Philips!

While browsing one of my favorite social worker blogs, I ran across a post praising Jeanna Philips, also known as "Dear Abby", for defending the social work profession in her daily advice column. The text of the original article can be found here: Dear Abby

I can definitely relate to the "Melanie" discussed in the Dear Abby letter. As discussed in a previous post, I've been subject to many negative remarks from strangers, acquaintances, and even family members since graduating with my MSW. Reading something like today's Dear Abby column reminds me that there are people out there who actually appreciate the social work profession. Thank you, Jeanne Philips, for brightening my day!

The Costs of Moving Out

Hello, and once again, my apologies for not posting for so long! For a quick update, please check out my post here.

Currently, I'm working towards moving out of my parents' house. Given that I have fairly reliable work hours and a decent sum of money saved, I feel that I can support myself on my own. However, while the ideas of independence and self-sufficiency are appealing, I'm somewhat pensive about the fact that I won't be able to save much, if any, once I move out. Here's a sample budget I've drafted showing my monthly expenses:

Rent: $850 for a studio (Bay Area housing is expensive)
Utilities: $50
Internet: $50
Food: $250
Health insurance: $250
Car insurance: $100
Gas/Car Maintenance/Commuter checks/BART (subway) parking: $150
Hygiene, cleaning supplies: $50
Grand Total: $1750

Eeep! While my estimates look pretty scary, they are a little on the high side. I know I can cut down on some of the costs by conserving energy (using energy saving bulbs and s…

Update!

Hello, and sorry for the lack of updates these past few months! I'll try to do a better job in keeping this blog updated. Thank you to those of you who have left kind and supportive comments!

Since my last post, things have picked up in the job market. While on vacation last April, I received several phone calls from companies to which I had submitted applications months ago. I guess they never threw away my résumé. Upon coming back from vacation, I interviewed for several positions and got two job offers! On top of that, my current job decided to hire me as a permanent employee! Just shows that persistence and patient do pay off in the long run.

Now, I'm juggling three per diem jobs. While this may sound crazy, it actually works for my current lifestyle. The beauty of per diem work is the flexibility you have in setting your own schedule. At this point I'm not ready to settle into a 9-6pm position that will only allow me 10 vacation days a year. I don't mind …