My career as a youth worker has always pushed the boundaries. Whether it was pushing social workers in family services work to listen to the voice of the young people in the clientele or getting local government youth services to use more social media I have always pushed for the next evolution in working with young people. I have also pushed the boundaries with other youth workers. Asking them to be more and do more than they ever thought they were able to do. I have asked them to be more professional, more qualified and advocate more for their profession. In all of this I have never asked anyone to do more than I would ask of myself. I take immense joy from developing myself, others and the youth sector!
[Tweet “When you get people pushing you to do the status quo, walk away.”]
However, whenever change is sought people like to try to drag you back to the status quo. Walk away! They like to take your joy and squash it. Walk away! Whether it is people telling you that you can’t do something because it hasn’t been done before or perhaps they say that you wanting to be better is some sort of patriarchal step towards the abyss. I remember speaking at a conference and being told that no one could be an Ultimate Youth Worker in the current political climate so why even try? At a meeting of those who want to see a professional association of youth workers I was told that we could only become a functioning group by having a monopoly from one university with one focus on youth provision. It is times like these that really take away from my joy.
In youth work there are times when we have our joy attacked. Unfortunately it is usually by the people who should be our biggest supporters. When you get people pushing you to do the status quo, people who harsh your buzz, people who want to steal your joy… walk away. Life is too short!