Hello and WELCOME to PsychAssist. Lately, we have received many requests to write an article for those career changers who aspire to be psychologists. This can be a very confusing and scary time in a person’s life when they are considering changing careers! This was one of the motivators for us to write this article to help those experiencing this. Within this post, we will explore the 3 main steps you need to take to transition from your current field, into the world of Psychology.
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Pros & Cons
Ok, so the first step in returning to Psychology isn’t actually psychology related or requires drastic action. The first thing you need to do is weigh up the Pros & Con’s. This may sound obvious; however, this will give you valuable insight into the practicality of returning to a career in Psychology. Lets’ give you a very recent example of a lady who contacted us a few months ago asking our advice on her returning to Psychology. Her situation was that she was a single mother with 2 children under the age of 5 and she was currently working in a sales environment. We asked her to write down the pro’s and cons of her returning to Psychology and she was able to see that this move did not make sense financially at this moment in time. Now that’s not to say that it won’t be an option 3 years from now, but for now, she was content with holding off until the time was right.
PsychAssist Tip: Writing down the Pro’s & Cons of making this switch is vital. We know it may seem like a really good or bad idea right now, however, once you’ve visual aids to help you make the decision, you’ll feel a lot better about your choice. Also, in our opinion, this will help you in the long run as factors such as family time and finances will have a massive impact on your commitment and engagement levels of anything you do in the future.
Gaining Recent Relevant Experience
Now, once you’ve written down your Pro’s & Cons and found that returning to Psychology is the right move for you at this moment in time; the next step is to gain some up to date relevant experience. The reason for this is that most paid relevant roles will ask for this and if you’ve spent the past 10 years in another field where human interaction is limited, this will work against you. Nevertheless, there are options to gain some relevant voluntary experience whilst you’re in your current field such as working with the Samaritans or a local mental health charity to sharpen your skills. This will also give you great insight into whether or not this is indeed the field you want to go into as you’ll actually see if the grass is greener on the other side.
PsychAssist Tip: Don’t be put off by this as this step is vital to your development. You can also volunteer for a few hours on the weekend or evenings or even juggle this around family life. This will show potential future employers that you not only have recent experience but that you’re committed to this profession and will even give up your precious time for free to help people.
So, the last step for those that have weighed up the Pro’s & Con’s and have realised that this is a good move and have gone out and gained recent relevant experience; the next step for those without a BSc Psychology, would be to enroll onto a conversion course. Now we will try to write a separate article on the nitty-gritty details of a conversation course, however, here is a quick summary. For those without a first degree in Psychology, in order to gain Graduate Base Chartership (GBC) from the British Psychological Society (BPS), you would have to undergo a conversion course. This is the equivalence to masters and would only take you 12 months to complete. However, you must keep in mind that in order to achieve this you would have to achieve an overall mark of over 50% which could prove difficult for some, especially if you haven’t been in academia for a while.
PsychAssist Tip: Don’t let this scare you! Many people have had the same fears you have right now and have come out after the course with a very high-grade. Many Universities that offer these courses will know that you may not have accessed education for a while and they will try their utmost to help. Bottom line is, it’s only a year and you’ll blink and it’ll be over and you’ll be ready to embark on a whole new career path.
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