Beginning the journey

Your chance to ask for advice on any aspect of career development that doesn't fit in any of the above categories
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Beginning the journey

Post by Buxey » Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:59 pm

Hello everyone!

hope everyone had a great Christmas!

My name is Jack and I will be beginning the journey of one day becoming a Clinical Psychologist.

I will be starting my Degree in Psychology this coming February.

I have the whole career plan organised and would like to find out if this is realistic or not I know there are going to be many bumps along the way but I need to have some kind of clear goals and to know myself for myself how exactly I am going to be where I want to be.

so please see below

Career Rough Plan.

1. Start Degree, Finish two years.

2. start working as a support worker ( to gain experience ) within the last year of my degree

3. finish degree

4. start looking for an Assistant Psychologist role ( while having 1.5 years of SW Experience in a related field )

5. work as an Assistant Psychologist for minimum 1 year ( so I can apply for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology )

6. apply for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology ( 3 years to complete )

7. Finish Doctorate

8. Become a Clinical Psychologist

I fully understand that my 8 step list is going to be filled with errors but from doing all my research this is what I have came up with

I welcome any feedback and advise below

Many Thanks


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Re: Beginning the journey

Post by Geishawife » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:21 pm

At the risk of being accused of dampening enthusiasm, I would strongly recommend that you don't think in terms of plans like this. It is great that you ARE enthusiastic about CP, but what you've outlined above, in my view at least, is far, far too focused on the future. This can be counterproductive in that it takes your attention away from the here and now and means you can lose out on some of the most valuable aspects of the journey. There is one glaring ommision from your plan, which is to get the best grade of degree you can. Simply completing a degree will not be enough - you need to get the best possible grade (a 1st or high 2:1 ideally) because otherwise your options for training will be very restricted.

The best advice I can give is to forget the future and focus all your efforts on enjoying the present. University offers so many opportunities for growth and development over and above the academic side of things, and these are equally important in shaping the type of CP you will become. So focus on getting the best out of your studies, get the best degree you can and enjoy student life. Any number of changes could take place over the next few years, some in your hands, some totally outside of your control,so let the future take care of itself and enjoy the journey step-by-step.

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Re: Beginning the journey

Post by Buxey » Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:00 pm

Hey thank you very much for the reply.

you're right I do need to focus on the degree and enjoy the journey.

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Re: Beginning the journey

Post by maven » Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:19 pm

Indeed, as Geishawife says, horizon gazing loses the value of the present, like watching a gig through videoing it on your mobile phone. So, you should just let go of that idea, and try to enjoy each stage and make the most of it.

But I'd also say the timeline is unrealistic. Loads of people get some part-time experience whilst an undergraduate, but this isn't ever going to be enough to get an AP post, and one year as an AP isn't going to be enough after graduating to get onto training. Have a look at our "how many years after gaining GBC did you get onto training?" polls, and our big thread of people's path onto training, and you'll see people get a lot of experience, and typically take 2-4 years after graduating with GBC to get onto clinical training - and that's assuming they get a first class or high upper second class degree.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

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Re: Beginning the journey

Post by do4k » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:44 pm

I would advise you to not be in too much of a rush to qualify. It took me a while to get a proper full time support worker role after graduating despite having gained part time experience at university. When I got the job I was a support worker for 3 years and I really value the experiences and skills I gained during that period.

I have seen many graduates focus exclusively on job titles - for example assistant roles - which are often excellent but I have also heard of many that aren't all they are cracked up to be. Be aware of other roles that are also great which might involve working with professionals other than psychologists - nurses, occupational therapists etc.

Thinking back to my experiences after graduation - it often wasn't very straightforward with things not always going to plan - it's practically guaranteed! Having too rigid a plan risks leaving you demotivated if things fall outside the parameters you have set but it is great to have a rough idea of what you think might be helpful.

So as others have sad, take it easy and enjoy where you are at!

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Re: Beginning the journey

Post by Randomswirls » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:25 pm

Two things as a current trainee we were having a meeting the other day at uni and talking about things. One of the tutors says she used to recommend students got experience whilst an undergrad now she recommends they focus on getting the best degree possible (experience is a bonus but won’t make up for a lower mark on your degree). The trainees agreed as for example I had to move and do a masters due to getting a low 2:1 something that wouldn’t have applied if I had got a better undergrad degree.

Secondly being a second year trainee I almost wish I had been an Ap for a year longer. I felt ready to get on to training but the further along I go the more I look back and see the value in getting as much experience as possible as opposed to getting on as fast as possible. I guess what I am saying is it’s a journey not a race!!

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Re: Beginning the journey

Post by AnsweringBell » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:18 am

Echoing everyone else - enjoy university first! A higher grade is absolutely the best way to set yourself up well for getting onto the doctorate later - give some thought to your dissertation, and the areas you would find enriching to work in, and see if you can get a supervisor who'll really help you build good research skills. Being able to open up your options after you graduate in terms of having a research assistant post, or working towards publishing your UG research, can be really great on the cv too and get you out of the AP rat race.

I'd also say, while at university... think laterally a bit. Nightline can be a nice organisation to work for, or volunteering with the samaritans, or your university's welfare organisation. There isn't one way to get onto training, and focusing on that as the end goal can be really demoralising/anxiety provoking - especially if it all hinges on getting AP posts. Have a look around the site a bit more and get a feel for the varied backgrounds people come from and the length of time it often takes to get onto training - if it's all about getting that spot as quickly as possible, you may have a fraught few years.

Training is tough, being qualified is tough - so try to make as many choices as you can along the way that you'll actually enjoy, and that take some of the pressure off of getting through to the other side of it. My most enjoyable work times were absolutely as a research assistant and assistant psychologist.

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