This is a post that I have been hesitant to write for a while now. Reason being, I didn’t want to put off future Psychology Graduates from entering the field. I asked this question at my last Pre-qualified group which sparked up an interesting conversation; from that conversation I gathered 4 common problems that many Psychology Graduates have encountered. Let’s explore this and see how we can help you overcome some of these barriers.
Recent graduate? Check out the Timeline of a Psychology Graduate
Looking for Assistant Psychologist Jobs? Check out the 5 Tips on Getting that Assistant Psychologist Job
Don’t know what Assistant Psychologists do? Check out So What do Assistant Psychologists Actually Do?
This is something that is experienced by every Psychology Graduate on the planet (and yes even the Consultant at your work feels like this). Imposter Syndrome is absolutely normal after graduation as you don’t feel any more “Qualified” than you did at undergraduate level. Even I feel like this at least twice a week; that thought of “I have no idea what I’m doing but let’s pretend I do” is a very familiar one to me. The main thing to remember here is, EVERYONE FEELS LIKE THIS AT SOME POINT. Just remind yourself that this is the time to learn clinical skills so this feeling will become less frequent.
Top Tip: Communicate this with either your peers or work colleagues. The more you talk about this feeling the more people will help you and in turn, the more you will develop as a clinician. Still confused? Check out the 7 Commonalities of all Assistant Psychologists to give you an idea of what to aim for in a career in Psychology.
I must get around 30 messages weekly from Psychology graduates asking for advice on how to gain experience after graduation. I know exactly how it feels to be constantly rejected from jobs that I know I am capable of doing. It does at times feel like a never-ending cycle of “you need to HAVE experience to GAIN experience” which can’t happen unless someone takes a chance and gives you a job. Don’t get too upset, every Psychology Graduate goes through this (regardless of that one person in your lecture that’s already got a job offer).
Top Tip: have you tried volunteering? This is something I recommend highly as this not only gives you clinical experience, but demonstrates your willingness to learn. Try and volunteer for a service that employs a psychologist and see if you can do some shadowing. Once you’re in, network and see what opportunities are in your area?
Being Certain in Uncertainty
This is a concept you MUST become accustomed to after graduation. Psychology is such a competitive field that expects graduates to perform at a high level. I know many graduates who are absolutely amazing on paper; however can’t manage to secure any clinical experience. On top of that, you have to deal with your non-psychology friends that are probably earning 3x as much as you and are moving forward in life. This is all part of the process and there’s a reason why majority of qualified psychologists appear to be so content and relaxed in life.
Top Tip: There isn’t really a top tip for this section as the only thing you can do is be patient and know that your time WILL come. Nevertheless if you want some extra tips on how to get ahead in this profession then check out the 6 Jobs for Psychology Graduates Straight after University
Searching for Advice
This was by far the biggest problem within our profession. There appears to be this feel of selfishness when it comes to offering public advice for Psychology Graduates. The advice seems to be shared with graduates once they have got their foot in the door which doesn’t quite sit right with me. This is one of the main reasons we started PsychAssist, to help aspiring Psychologists get the advice they need to progress.
Top Tip: Subscribe to PsychAssist for the latest blog posts. Share it with anyone you feel will benefit as there really isn’t much out there aimed at Psychology Graduates.
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