When can I fit in travelling into my career path?

Information about qualifications, experience and the typical career path

When can I fit in travelling into my career path?

Postby maven » Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:39 pm

There is more to life than the path to clinical training, so if other things are important to you, make sure you fit them in and don't wait on the never-never if you are likely to regret this later. Travelling is one example of something people think they should do either before they establish their career or after retirement. However, if you want to you can use either of two completely "safe" times for travelling. Firstly, you can travel for six months from when you are offered a clinical place until you take it up (April until October) or you could travel from when you qualify until you take up your first post. Neither of these times will impede your career at all, and both are quite common.

I do think that pausing at other times would be something you would need to be able to justify at interview (and on application forms) though it needn't be a big issue. Taking a year out within Clinical Training would not generally be seen positively, as it would remove you from your cohort and funding stream, and mean that the learning experiences are not immediately cumulative throughout the training process. However you could also take a year abroad before or after training that has some relevance to psychology - I know at least three psychologists who have worked on Christian or Charitable projects abroad for a year, and found it a really amazing experience. Also people who have done part of their degree or a placement year abroad... It can certainly be an interesting thing to talk about at interview.

LauraW talked about her own experinces of travel:

An option worth considering (but probably only if you already have enough relevent experience) -

I finished an MSC in August then Possibly unusually, I travelled for the 6-7 months between applying on 1 Sept and the interviews (all my potential interviews were towards the end), coming back a month before the first one.

I did consider doing this very carefully, and was worried it might affect my application. I did it because I was desperate to go travelling before Clinical Training, with no guarantee of when that would be, and because I had the money to do it at the time. Waiting till after the applications wouldn't have worked for me because where I was applying to I would have had 3-4 months before the course started, which wasn't enough for me. Also, I would have had to consider this in applying for jobs when the MSc finished, a years AP post would have stopped me travelling in the summer.

Doing it this way also meant that if I wasn't sucessful, I would have plenty of time to find an AP job, and potentially also travel for those 3-4 months if i was successful next year.

As I said, it was a big decision, and is really the first thing I've done that hasn't been done in order to get onto the Clinical Psychology course. It can take a long time to get in, if at all, and you don't want to end up bitter that you put off other things you want to do in life!

In the end, I got in this year, so doing it this way worked for me. Though now I've made it, I have to admit I'm very greedy, and even though I have no money to do it, want to have those 3-4 months as well and enjoy travelling all the more knowing I've actually done it! But I suppose thats an option as well, could always work abroad.

Dorothy added:

You may want to travel, and 'make a difference' at the same time. There is a rich world of culture out there that we don't find easy to access unless we are immersed in it. Experincing different cultures can be really helpful in clinical work. There are some great volunteering opportunities about, a a lot of them working with the disadvantaged or in health care systems abroad, or working on community based projects. Check this out for example there are some amazing places to go and some amazing projects to be involved with. Some seem pretty reasonably priced and you can go for 2 weeks, or much longer for many.

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Last modified on 26/2/12.

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