Lately, Psychology Graduates have been messaging the team on the topic of when to leave a job post, or when to start job hunting. Unfortunately there isn’t a one size fits all answer we can give in this scenario, as everyone is different and every situation is unique. Having said that; we at PsychAssist have noticed similarities in many Psychology Graduates that have left posts and we have condensed these into four reasons why people leave job posts. Hopefully within this post you will be able to spot the signs it may be time to start looking elsewhere for new clinical experiences.
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No Longer Learning
This was by far the number one reason psychology graduates left their current employment or started to look elsewhere. Clinical developmental is absolutely vital when it comes to your job role and as my old supervisor used to tell me “once you stop learning, you stop turning up”. This taught me that once my learning experience had halted, it was time to start either looking for a new post or for new opportunities. The overall message here is that, every individual knows when they have stopped learning once they reflect on their experience and find they haven’t developed for a couple of months. If that’s how you’re feeling, you may have a lot to think about.
PsychAssist Tip: Now I don’t want you to panic if your current role isn’t as enlightening as you would like; it may not be the role that is at fault, but you not pursuing new opportunities within your role. We have spoken about many situations where people have gained really amazing experience, just by simply asking. If you feel you need to change things up a bit, perhaps a conversation with your manager may help.
No Work-Life Balance
Now this may sound obvious to some, but many psychology graduates that we spoke to repeatedly referred to a feeling of their work taking over their lives. They reported they felt some form of duty to dedicate their whole time to either working or reading about work. Understandably, there is a point where everyone will break and unfortunately this almost always leads to the individual leaving their post. Now we may not be the best people speak to about work-life balance (as I’m pretty sure we’re all workaholics), but even we know the limits and recognise that our careers are only a small part of our identity. Nevertheless, there are some who give 100% to their role and it must be noted that this is recommended within moderation; however there are always risks attached to excessively straining yourself for the sake of your job.
PsychAssist Tip: Again we may not be the best people to get advice from; however let’s give it a go. What we found works in balancing home life and work is to have a hobby that is completely not Psychology related. Activities like baking or football, or joining a running club. All this helps in developing a good work-life balance as if we over strain ourselves, then who’s going to look after our clients?
Service/Population Not Right For You
This was a huge factor in people leaving job posts. Now this isn’t to be misunderstood, this doesn’t mean to try a role for a few weeks, decide it’s not for you and then leave. What this section is referring to is those who have been in a role for quite a few months, gave it all they could and are still not happy with the type of work they are doing. It must be noted that there is no shame in admitting that you don’t like working within a certain population. That’s completely normal and doesn’t reflect your capabilities or character; in fact it shows that your willing to try something yourself instead of listening to the perceptions of others.
PsychAssist Tip: Our advice on this topic is simple, if you have been in the role for 6 months and you still don’t feel an emotional attachment to your population, it’s time to move on. Notice however that we said “6 months” as this will give you an opportunity to get to know the target population a little better to make an informed decision.
Lack of Support Networks
Finally, this was another factor that we repeatedly heard. Now granted that this could have been an accumulation of the above 3 factors (as you probably would feel a lack of support if you didn’t have a work-life balance, whilst you feel your no longer learning and the service isn’t quite your cup of tea). Unfortunately this is something that can happen within some services. Clinicians can hardly keep up with their own support networks let alone have time to make sure you’re ok on a daily basis. Again if this is how you’re feeling then it may be time to move on as there is no point in choosing a job over your job satisfaction and above all your wellbeing. Remember there is no harm in admitting that it’s not working.
PsychAssist Tip: There actually isn’t a tip for this factor as the only thing that’s left to do when feeling like this is to move on. Again it’s not a reflection of your clinical abilities; it’s just the circumstances that you happen to be in. It’s worth remembering that NO JOB IS WORTH YOUR WELLBEING.
Thanks for reading this week’s Article by PsychAssist. Tune in next week for another great Article to help you in your Psychological Journey.