Exploring my career readiness and careers paths.
When I entered university, I thought I knew what psychology encompassed and I had my heart set on pursuing a career in clinical psychology and mental health. As this is often considered one of the most popular career goals in psychology and also one of the most competitive, this career path felt unobtainable at the start of university. Initially, I was told that to be a clinical psychologist you needed to be extremely passionate about the role and committed to the extensive journey and training needed to land what at the time I thought was my dream role. I felt apprehensive to undertake this journey and was concerned it would close doors to other opportunities and career paths if I focused all my energy on this one role.
One reason I began this degree focused on a career in clinical psychology was that I was eager to have a career plan, as I felt that without one, I would end up wasting my degree and complete it not knowing what to do or what I could do next.
Through attending many careers events and exploring a wide range of topics in my modules I have discovered many new areas of psychology including areas that I was unaware would be related to my degree. Although I would like to say my mind has been completely changed and I have now found a brand-new career path of interest, I must confess that clinical psychology is still on my radar. But now I have a wider range of career paths I could see myself following and have discovered a whole list of jobs that I had not realized existed.
When considering my career readiness for all these new job possibilities, one thing that springs to mind is whether I have the right experience that employers look for when applying for jobs. I was keen to volunteer and get work experience that would be relevant in the future, as every job application I had seen had “any relevant experience” written in bold letters.
Working from home during the pandemic whilst searching for work experience was difficult and at times draining. After reaching out to my academic advisor when searching experience felt hopeless, I had an interview to volunteer for some research and minute take for their PPI meetings.
This small role developed my curiosity about how research is being conducted. This led me to apply for a year placement role in research and eventually secure a placement position in current research at the university. I had dismissed the idea of working in research, but this year I have allowed myself to be excited about being involved in research.
Overall, this year has opened my eyes to the numerous options I have with my career. While my career path may be less clear now, I feel more prepared to endeavor on this journey and gain skills and experiences on the way.