On the very last day of May, I returned home from the lake to find my full license for social work, otherwise referred to as an LMSW, in the mailbox! My relief? Priceless.
The process of obtaining this official document was three years (2012 – 2015) in the making, spanned across two jobs. I did not start the process immediately following graduate school, as most tend to do, because my employment following graduation did not require me to be licensed nor was there an incentive to work toward this goal. It was while in my second position that the opportunity to begin this work was presented and with full support from my then-supervisor, I went for it. And now finally, seven years after completing my MSW, it is FINISHED! Praise God!
Obtaining this license required numerous things: 4,000 hours of supervised work experience in the field, a four-hour test (that took six months to prepare and study for), fingerprinting / background check, and money to pay for each piece (the fee for a limited license every year plus the fee for my full license, fees for an exam-prep class, study materials and the test itself, fees for fingerprinting, and a monthly fee for outside supervision in my second job since I did not have an LMSW to oversee me in my place of employment). It took patience and a willingness to dole out a lot of money for that “L” in front of “MSW.”
While, admittedly, I found this process to be rather frustrating at times with the time and money it required of me, I always knew in the back of my mind that this all served an important purpose, namely proving that I have what it takes to be in this field and setting me apart as a “credentialed” social worker. And with it all said and done now, I’m so happy (and frankly, proud of myself) that I went through with it and thankful I had the support of those closest to me, including that initial push from my previous boss, to do whatever it took to get it accomplished.
The “coincidental” part of all of this is that the week I finished the requirements for my full license and sent in everything to the State of Michigan happened to be the same week I ended my position as Director, where oddly enough, having my LMSW wasn’t a “requirement” at all. However, my new position as a Regional Coordinator / Consultant, relies heavily upon my ability to manage, oversee, and supervise case management programs and staff, all of which the license allows me to do and proves I can do. I really don’t find it to be a coincidence at all, but rather God working out all things in His perfect timing for my good. He knew I would transition into a great position that I would love and that this credential was crucial to establishing myself confidently and positively in this role, so He made it happen! And that my friends is what we call a modern-day miracle! He is GOOD!
What I also find fabulous about the timing of having this done is that it all came together before summer activities started. That means I can really focus even more so on my goals of abiding and resting and soaking in every beautiful and perfect moment of this season without this monkey on my back. And that’s just what this girl needs … something else I believe God knew and ordained just for me. Again, He is GOOD!
At some point in the future, maybe in the fall and/or winter, I will pursue helping others work toward accomplishing this goal for themselves – whether it’s providing outside supervision for those who don’t have a LMSW in their place of employment or being a resource with the School of Social Work to help others navigate the license process. I learned a lot and found ways to keep myself organized and on track with accomplishing this goal, and if I can help even one other person through it, all those learnings will have been worth it!
In the meantime, I revel in having this goal marked “COMPLETE.” 2015 has been a VERY good year!