Have you heard of the Liebster Award? The word ‘liebster’ means ‘dearest’, ‘sweetest’, ‘kindest’, ‘nicest’, ‘beloved’, ‘lovely’, ‘pleasant’, ‘sweetheart’, ‘endearing’ or ‘valued.’
It’s an award that has been making its rounds in the blogosphere for the purpose of discovering and recognizing new blogs in a “pay it forward” manner.
A couple of weeks ago, Professor and Dean Nancy J. Smyth at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work received the Liebster award for her wonderful blog: Virtual Connections: Exploring Social Work in the Digital Age and How We’re Transformed by the Digital World.
To my surprise and delight, Nancy nominated Social Work Career Development [renamed Social Work Career as of January 2015] for this award! I was most honored by her nomination. Please check out Nancy’s post to see her full list of nominees.
After thanking the Liebster Blog Award presenter [and linking back to this person], the award rules specify that a nominee is to:
- Answer the 10 questions from the nominator
- Nominate 10 blogs and create 10 questions for your nominees
So without further ado, below are my responses [to Nancy’s questions]:
1. What are you hoping to achieve with your blog?
My blog’s overall purpose is to serve as a helpful career resource for social workers and other mental health professionals.
While it began with my personal journey through social work graduate school and field placement, it soon evolved into a site that provided resources and helpful tips, interviews with mental health professionals, book reviews, as well as key learnings from various workshops.
2. Where do you get your ideas for blogging?
There aren’t specific places I get my ideas from; everything can be a source of inspiration.
Examples of things that may inspire posts for me include: conferences, books, encounters with other people, materials that I run across via social media, old posts, responding to a reader’s question, seeing someone doing something interesting/new etc.
3. What’s the hardest part of blogging for you?
The hardest part for me is that I have difficulty in balancing my self-care [sleep] needs vs. the social media needs to support the blog.
4. Which of your blog posts is your favorite, and why?
Parallel Processes, Boundaries & Authenticity is one of my favorite posts because it illustrates how much a social worker may learn going through graduate school and tapping into the vast treasure chest of online resources.
Without social media, I [nor Social Work Career Development’s readers] would not have known or been able to benefit from UBSSW’s or Jonathan Singer’s social work podcasts. Similarly, I would not have met or been provided with invaluable long-distance mentoring by a few experienced [and most kind] mental health professionals [nor would I have made some very close/special friendships].
Using the award terminology, Nancy qualifies on both counts – as both a treasured mentor and dear friend <– a testament to the value of engaging in social media !
The exchanges and interactions I had not only deepened my understanding of some difficult concepts but were encouraging and enabled me to be more patient with myself [my progress]. It is my hope that other therapists-in-training may read and benefit from them as well.
5. What is one thing that you think people would surprised to know about you?
I served two years in the Israeli Air Force [albeit not in a combat position].
6. What are your favorite ways to unwind?
My favorite ways to unwind are meditating [with guided meditation on my ipod], curling up with a good book, talking with a friend, or doing some sort of art project.
7. What are some books you are reading for fun right now?
Right now, I’m in the middle of “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown and “Self Compassion” by Kristin Neff among others.
Not long ago, I finished reading “Beginnings, Middles and Ends” by Ogden Rogers, “The Time Keeper” by Mitch Albom, as well as a series that I borrowed from my daughter: “Uglies,” “Pretties,” “Specials” and “Extras” by Scott Westerfield. I also read the “50 Shades of Grey” trilogy by E.L. James.
8. What are some of your favorite quotations?
There are so many wonderful quotes. A few that come to mind are:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said; people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
“The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.” – Author unknown
“That some good can be derived from every event is a better proposition than that everything happens for the best, which it assuredly does not.” – James K. Feibleman
“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” – Thomas Jefferson
“A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are for.” – John A. Shedd
9. What was a significant milestone for you in 2013?
I co-authored a journal article that is expected to be published in the Encyclopedia of Social Work in February, 2014.
10. What question do you wish I had asked you…and why?
Nothing comes to mind.
10 Questions for Nominees to Answer:
- What are the best three words that would describe you?
- What do you hope to achieve with your blog?
- Which of your blog posts is your favorite, and why?
- What has writing taught you?
- What advice do you have for pushing through fear?
- What are some of your favorite quotes?
- What do you do for self-care and/or relaxation?
- How did you find your current position?
- What advice do you wish someone had given you before starting your career?
- What are three things on your bucket list?
I hope that all of the nominees are willing to participate and accept their Liebster Awards…
*Please note that one of Liebster’s rules is to restrict the nominations to blogs with less than 3000 email subscribers [or Facebook fans] to allow smaller blogs a chance to grow.