Reasons Direct Support Professionals Have the Best Job

Reasons Direct Support Professionals Have the Best Job

Author, Aonist Coles


Becoming a Direct Support Professional (DSP) is one of the most unappreciated and overlooked job opportunities within the social work field. Despite this lack of recognition, choosing to be a DSP is one of the best decisions you can make. These professionals not only have a great ability to bring positive change to the world around them, they also improve their own lives in many ways.

Through their professional work, DSPs provide care and assistance with daily activities to help people overcome challenges related to physical and developmental disabilities.  This includes teaching life skills and fostering a higher level of independence. The support and guidance DSPs offer allow those with disabilities to strengthen their community involvement and partake in aspects of life that many of us take for granted. While selecting this professional path reflects a sense of altruism, those who do will receive many benefits as well.


Photo Taken by Diamond Mosley

If you are someone interested in a career in social work, becoming a Direct Support Professional is an excellent way to start.  By doing so, you will gain exposure to the social work field while honing a variety of valuable skills. In addition to these benefits, you will also be making an immediate positive impact on the lives of those around you.

Much like all social workers, DSPs are motivated by the chance to help people in need.  If you share this motivation, then choosing to become a DSP is a perfect option for you.  As a DSP you will find fulfillment in your work because you will be helping others achieve fulfillment in their own lives.


Direct Support Professional Acquire a Wide Skill Set


As a Direct Support Professional, you will acquire a wide variety of skills.  While some of these skills are specific to the profession, you will also use skills that can be applied in any professional setting. Furthermore, many of the skills you gain are applicable to your life in general.

This adaptable skill set includes effective written and verbal communication, the ability to empathize on an emotional level which helps with the evolution of your emotional intelligence, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. These skills are helpful in any scenario, regardless of your career trajectory. Unlike many other jobs, the primary abilities you employ as a DSP can be applied to all facets of your everyday professional and personal life.

To be successful, as a DSP or otherwise, you must be able to communicate well. This quality communication will allow you to collaborate effectively and productively share ideas. Good communication is vital to your professional work, but it is also extremely beneficial to your personal life.  While working as a DSP you will be practicing your communication skills daily. We track everything about a client’s life and that information needs to be relayed.  Through this practice, you will become better at expressing yourself and understanding the desires of others.


Photo Taken by Moesha Jeffrey


In dealing with individuals, it is always important to account for emotional factors.  A DSP must evaluate their patient’s emotions to have a better understanding of their actions.  By empathizing with their emotions, you will have a better capacity to know what motivates people to act the way they do.

Likewise, you will need to be in control of your own emotional state. This profession has a much higher emotional demand than most jobs. By properly managing your own emotions you will be able to keep your clients development as the number one priority.  Direct Support Professionals tend to be masters at emotional intelligence. People with high emotional IQ’s are usually more self-aware, practice more self-discipline, manage time better, seems to be more compassionate and motivated when compared to people with low emotional IQ. Lastly, the work of a DSP can be unpredictable. If you choose this professional path, you will learn to deal with unexpected occurrences as they arise. Naturally, each client will have their own individual needs and goals. These can vary greatly from person to person. As a Direct Support Professional you can become an expert at crisis management. With experience, you will be able to adhere to your most important principles even as you face the unknown.

In short, the skills of a DSP are not limited to their professional work. These abilities are helpful to anyone interested in creating positive interactions with the people around them. By harnessing these skills, you will lead a more impactful life.



Professionals Have Valuable Networking and Development Opportunities


By becoming a DSP, you will have a chance to establish positive rapport within the social work community. This can be unbelievably valuable and increase your knowledge and skillset. Collaborating with so many different caseworkers and counselors and working as a team is exciting. This is the only profession where you get to sit in on psychiatry sessions and help the doctors implement a plan to help a client that you all have a mutual interest in helping. Or help the doctor understand what’s going on in a client’s life so the client can get the proper treatment or care. Another beautiful thing about this industry is, without even noticing, you will end up memorizing a long list of medications that you would have never even tried to pronounce before taking this job. Now your pronouncing them like a pro, after just a few months in the field you will know the kinds of illness different medications treat, dosage amounts, side effects, risk associated with missing medications and all kinds of information. Plus, given the essential need for DSPs the potential for future growth is nearly endless. Especially if you’re with the right company. The potential professional network developed with your fellow colleagues can result in career advancement opportunities and professional benefits beyond your belief.


Photo Taken by Moesha Jeffrey



Direct Support Professionals Enhance their Communities


The impact you can make on someone else’s life can be truly rewarding. Everyday you will be encouraging, guiding, and supporting your patient as they improve their lives. You will be the one to talk with your patients and create an understanding of who they are as a person.  Through this interaction, you will validate your patient’s challenges and aspirations while providing the support they truly need.

You can become the person your patient looks forward to seeing every day. You will be the person to put a smile on your patient’s face because you are helping them achieve something others may not have believed they could. You will have the ability to change the life of people in one of the most misunderstood populations. Your presence will allow them to lead their best life possible.


Photo Taken by Moesha Jeffrey

As a result of helping these individuals, you are helping the community as a whole.  As people with disabilities begin to achieve the life they want, they are also better able to interact with the people around them. Through your positive influence, your patients will be able to interact with their communities in a healthy way.



Take Action and Become Direct Support Professional


If you want to make a remarkable difference in other people’s lives, this is your calling. There are many rewarding benefits, personally and professionally, that no other job can give you. The relationships you develop among the people you work with and with your patients make a brighter future for your career.

These types of job opportunities are currently in high demand. Enroll now in a certification program to begin your career as a Direct Support Professional to make a difference in other people’s lives by helping them achieve their own goals in life.

In closing, being a Direct Support Professional is one of the most rewarding jobs a person can have. DSPs can develop relationships with people and treat them as more than just “patients”. They also have a variety of useful skills and access to an extensive professional network.  But most importantly by teaching, communicating, and providing excellent care, DSPs drastically change people’s lives for the better. In making that effort to help others, you will inevitably become a more well-rounded person as well.