Have you got to 2018 as a Psych Grad and are still struggling to get your foot in the door? You’re not alone as there are hundreds of graduates in the same boat. However have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe it’s something you’re doing (or not doing) that’s contributing to this. Within this post we will explore 4 reasons Why You’re Failing as A Psych Grad along with practical tips on how you can make 2018 the best year yet.
Just Graduated? Check out 6 Jobs for A Psychology Graduate straight out of university?
Need Some Motivation for 2018? Check out How to Get Motivated As A Psych Grad
Down about A Low Undergrad Degree? Check out So you got a 2:2, Now What?
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Not applying for anything and everything
This has to be the biggest the biggest reason Psych Grads are failing to get clinically relevant jobs. I always say “if you don’t buy a ticket, you won’t win the raffle”. How can you expect to get a graduate job, if you’re not hungry enough to apply for everything that comes up? I know it can be hard and you probably see your Uni friends gaining jobs that are 100k starting salary, but you have to realise that this career is all about the long term gains. I remember when I finished university and I thought I would swan into a 30k p/a job and wouldn’t settle for anything less. Boy was I wrong! Nevertheless, it was my eagerness to progress in this field that made me take a support worker job when all my friends appeared to be rolling in money. Remember, they may appear to be more successful than you at this point, but believe me it’ll turn in your favour in the long term.
PsychAssist Tip: I want you to apply for at least 20/30 jobs per day. This doesn’t have to only be on NHS jobs, you could also look at other job sites and even private services. Charity services are always looking for Psych Grads to come for short pieces of work which could provide the all-important experience.
Not putting the work in
The second most prevalent reason why most Psych Grads are failing is that you’re not putting the work in. I always say to Psych Grads that they should completely immerse themselves in a post for at least 6 months. I remember when I started my Assistant Psychologist position and for the first 6 months I would Start Early and Leave Late (StELL). This is a tip I always give to Psych Grads as this gives them the chance to learn as much they can about their target population. There’s no point in going through the application process of a job if you’re not going to give it your all. I guarantee after around 6 months of hard work, you’ll find yourself indispensable within your service.
PsychAssist Tip: Start StELLing (Start Early Leave Late) it, dedicate the next 6 months to your job and really immerse yourself in your service and learn as much as you can. Actively seek out new experiences within your role and don’t be afraid to ask to do things (remember the worst they can say is “no”).
This is something I really don’t understand when it comes to Psych Grads. Why would you waste an opportunity to network with people within our field? Do you know how many times I offer people the opportunity to sit down with qualified psychologists who just so happen to be service leads and they turn me down? Ok, I get it, not everyone likes admitting that they need help but from experience, the ones who ask for help always get ahead.
PsychAssist Tip: Get out there and mingle. There are so many local conferences that you can attend that will give you direct access to qualified psychologists. Once you’re in their presence then you can start gathering email addresses and that’s where you can really see progress. Don’t be disheartened if one person doesn’t speak to you or isn’t as receptive; there will be plenty more opportunities but this requires YOU to step up and HUSTLE
If you’ve read tips 1-3 and you’re still not making any progress in 2018, it may be how you’re approaching applications/interviews. I always say that psychology employers aren’t looking for someone to come in and be the finished product; they want someone they can mould into an excellent psychologist. In order for them to do this, you need to be reflective which means looking back on your experience and telling them HOW THAT FELT FOR YOU and also HOW THAT HAS MADE YOU A BETTER PSYCHOLOGIST. If you can crack this, 2018 will be your best year since graduating.
PsychAssist Tip: I don’t think a tip would give this topic justice as there is so much to cover in how to be reflective. Nevertheless, if you need any specific advice on this, FOLLOW US ON TWITTER or INSTAGRAM and we’ll see how we can help.
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