I had the opportunity to interview Mrs. Taylor Cole, a Licensed Certified Social Worker - Clinical (LCSW-C). I met Taylor through her spouse who works at my job place. Her husband and I began talking about Social work and he mentioned that his wife is licensed and had opened up her own business. Taylor has her own private practice in Maryland. Her business is in support of children who have or had involvement in foster care. As CEO of her own company, Taylor is responsible for providing therapy to clients, billing, and tech support. Taylor is responsible for both the clinical and business sides of her business. Taylor received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of Maryland and it only took 5 semesters for Taylor to graduate. I mentioned to Taylor how intimidated I was about having a fulltime job and trying to pursue a Degree in Master of Social Work (MSW). She reassured me that it is highly feasible to take MSW program courses and have an internship while working full time. She worked full time in the first year of her MSW program, held a part-time waitress job, and was planning a wedding. She mentioned that it may seem overwhelming, but its’ worth it. Here last year at UMBC, she sat for her Licensed Graduate Social Worker (LGSW) examination. Upon graduation from UMBC and completion of her exam, she was hired by a foster care agency in DC. Taylor worked at that agency in various positions (including that of a program manager) until last year when she left to be a stay at home mom. During this time, she also sat for her Licensed Clinical Social Worker -Clinical (LCSW-C) and 2.5 yrs later she obtained her LGSW. She has now successfully set up her own private practice, where her focus is children and adolescents.
This is a dream come true for Taylor since from the days of High School all she wanted to be is in the mental health field. In High school, her parents had sent her to a therapist and since then she knew that she wanted to be a psychologist. The most memorable moment for her is when she started working in foster care and instantly fell in love with it. Foster care shaped her path in the field. She told a story about a young girl who is tough and continued to run away. She began to get attached to the young girl and tried to do all she could, but the young girl was removed. Since that day, she still thinks of the young girl and reflects on things she can do in the future to help others. When I asked Taylor about what her likes and dislikes were in her career, she stated that “the work is amazing and it is important work but it is also draining, overwhelming at times and is not very glamorous in terms of salary”. She says that at times, as mental health professional, we forget to take care of ourselves as our needs come last. At times, it is a thankless job. Another thing she loved about the mental health profession was its breadth and broad scope. You can do just about anything from foster care to addiction. I enjoyed interviewing Mrs. Taylor as she has been a great motivator for me to pursue a career in social work. I love volunteering and working with kids, but I dream to do it full-time. When I got into a rut and feeling stuck, she has encouraged me and has offered great advice and support. When I speak with other individuals in this field, I feel the same fire that they have. I only hope that one day I will be just as happy and successful as Mrs. Taylor Cole.
“I have never for a second regretted being a social worker. Although there definitely nights where I came crying because of what I'd seen and days where I was in my own personal turmoil and had to learn to forget about it because I was there to serve my clients and my needs were inconsequential compared to theirs. There were times when there was an emergency at work and I wouldn't get home till 8 or9 at work. I don't say this to scare you; I just say it to be real. It's an amazing career path but it is also a career where you are serving others, and quite frankly, your daily needs don't matter. If you decide to take the plunge, wahoo for you!! If you don't, I applaud you for your volunteering efforts as that is so important” Taylor Cole