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Helping others can be a great way to help yourself

Madelyn Mays

Deciding a career path is hard.

There are more options than we know, but narrowing them down to what you really want to do for the rest of you life can be hard, and very stressful. Angie Linsenman is the counseling program director at our local Women’s Resource Center. In this segment we will be talking about what she does, and why you should consider choosing a path similar to hers.

As I mentioned before, Angie is the counseling program director for the Women’s Resource Center here in Petoskey. “I supervise out therapy program,” Angie explained when I asked her to give a description of her job. She explained that, at the WRC there are five counselors that provide their services completely free of cost. These counselors help victims of child abuse, harassment, stalking, domestic abuse, and sexual assault. “I’m kind of watching over this whole program, so the work that were doing, supervision of staff, training, that kind of thing,” Angie says speaking further on what she does on a daily basis.

The next thing I wanted to talk to her about is how she got to doing this for a living. I asked her if she started off as a counselor, or if she jumped right into program directing. Her response: “I started with Women’s Resource Center a long time ago as a volunteer actually,” she said. She had an Associates degree at this point. As she was volunteering, she was working towards her bachelors in social work, she explained. “When I received that, I was hired on to the Women’s Resource Center,” Angie said, talking about her Bachelor’s degree. While she was working at the WRC, she was working on getting her masters degree. “When I received my Masters degree for clinical social work, there was a job opening about a year later for this position, and I jumped in,” said Angie.  

Knowing what you want to do for a living right out of high school is rare. Not many people know exactly what they want to do before they get to college. I asked Angie if she knew what she wanted to do right out of high school. “I did, I was a little bit interested in the medical field too,” she said. “I had two ideas going for a long time, and one of them was being a registered nurse, like my mother, and the other was social work.” She explained how her mother was a nurse, so she had that idea in her head since high school.

The next question I asked her was what really drew her to the WRC. She talked about how before she was at the WRC, she worked at the Odawa Casino. “ When I was there, I was really looking for something more,” she said. She talked about how she did enjoy her work, and she enjoyed looking with people, but she wanted something more. “ I wanted to help. I wanted that piece that was really missing,” Angie said. She talked about how she was talking with her supervisor about this piece of her life that was missing. Her supervisor mentioned the WRC, and said she would be be a perfect fit to work there.

Next I asked her if she would recommend this career to someone who isn’t sure what they want to do with their lives. “I think social work is very very rewarding,” Angie says. “So the whole idea about being a social worker is about empowering people, acknowledging their strengths, and helping them be exactly who they want to be,” Angie says.  “If that sounds like something that someone wants to do, really helping people find their passions and goals, and work on themselves, and advocate for them through the different systems in our community and culture, then this is the place for them.” She also talks about how there is so many different jobs for social workers, and it is a really broad spectrum that you have to explore.

Over all, Angie explained how her job works, and helped me understand the perks of being a social worker. She talks about the variety of jobs included in social work. She also talked about the steps she took to get to where she is. If helping, empowering, and guiding people is something you are interested in, social work is the job for you.

In this series, we will continue to talk about, explore different job opportunities, all while getting advice and information rom the experts. In the next segment, we will talk to a college professor.

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