Unexpectedly seeking an alternative career

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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flowery564
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Unexpectedly seeking an alternative career

Post by flowery564 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:41 pm

The forum came to my mind when wracking my brains for possible sources of support and advice; so I’m hoping I can find both here as I find life, and therefore my CP career, has taken an unexpected turn.

I am now 5 years post qualification and have always loved the CP role I’m in. I’ve been fortunate to have opportunities to progress up bandings within the same service that I joined as a newly qualified. I feel loyal to the service and feel very fortunate to have fantastic colleagues and supervisors there.

3 years after qualifying I experienced what I can only term a personal trauma which was completely unimaginable right up until the moment it happened. It’s had a significant impact on all aspects of my life and wellbeing and I’m still trying to process it all now.

I have brilliantly supportive friends, family, personal therapy and employers as described above (including plenty of time off, flexibility around my working hours and choices about my caseload quantity and content when needed).

Despite all of this, after much thought and seriously concerted effort over a few years to try to and make things work, I’ve reached the conclusion that working as a CP is just too triggering for me. The best decision for my own wellbeing is to leave my current role and therefore clinical work entirely.

I’m wondering what anyone else has ended up doing who has left the CP profession too, for any reason?

I’ve of course looked in to academia as an alternative option for continuing in the CP field and it’s not one I would rule out; but I am looking for some other inspiration and I guess some hope too that I can transfer and use my skills for another career.

Needless to say I never imagined I would be leaving the profession - it’s a heartbreaking decision to make and one I never would have made had I not been through this trauma. (I realised when reactivating my account I had last posted on here 10 years ago, in the flurry of colourful application progress threads! I never imagined this would be my follow up post.)

With thanks for any advice and inspiration that anyone might be able to share

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Spatch
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Re: Unexpectedly seeking an alternative career

Post by Spatch » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:58 pm

Sorry to hear that you are in the situation that you are in. That's a horrible place to be, and it's brave and self-aware to come to the conclusions that you have.

Back in the day, I used to hold a seminar with trainees about potential work options outside of the usual NHS Band 7 and upward ladder, and there are lots of options. Without prying too much into your circumstance, it will depend on how far you want to move away from your previous role. To start with, as you are probably aware, Clinical Psychology as a field is a very broad church, and there are several roles within the "standard" career path where there may be alternatives. If its things like therapy and mental health you are looking to move away from research, teaching, neuro or (public) health may be options. There are ways of conveying your clinical experience into management focussed roles both inside and outside the NHS, especially around service transformation and project management. Outside the NHS, there are training and consultancy roles for organisations.

Beyond that, there are ways of tapping into the transferable skills you will have picked up. Management roles are increasingly person centric and outcome oriented, and being able to package yourself with those skills could be helpful. There may be allied roles in other fields that would value your knowledge (such as education, HR, corporate), but I think one of the things you will have to consider is your level of comfort being an employee vs. being self employed, and this will partly dictate the types of roles you can go for.

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flowery564
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Re: Unexpectedly seeking an alternative career

Post by flowery564 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:38 pm

This is some very helpful food for thought, thank you so much for the reply and detail too!

libbynugent
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Re: Unexpectedly seeking an alternative career

Post by libbynugent » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:45 pm

It sounds like you are going through a period of massive change. I know for me I’ve used various creative exercises - such as writing “morning pages” after reading Julia Cameron’s book “ the artist’s way”. Also i loved reading “finding meaning in the second half” of life by James Hollis. Both I’ve found surprisingly impactful. I left my job in a London NHS trust about eight years ago. Everything had gotten too much. I had been intending to go back to the NHS at some point but instead ended up moving to part time private practice and living on a small holding in Shropshire. I hope you find what you are looking for, i am so glad i made the changes I did.

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miriam
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Re: Unexpectedly seeking an alternative career

Post by miriam » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:29 am

I'd look at a very different client group, or work in charities and social enterprises as a means to take one step back. There are both manager and clinician jobs that only involve consulting and not direct therapy in some of the care providers I work with, for example. If you want to take a few steps back then research, academia, management, commissioning, a role within the BPS or another professional body (or with a publisher or journal if you are well published) might work, or a role in politics perhaps?

But if you want to do something radically different, then start by thinking even more broadly. There are books like "what colour is your parachute?" to help people think about what they can do if they are made redundant or decide to leave an established career pathway, and great quizzes on the government employment pages to help you narrow down your thinking. Or, if you want to cut your own path by setting up something for yourself, I found Devi Clark's e-book on amazon "people, planet, passion" helpful to think about what I wanted to do, and where I wanted to be - and Impact Hub fantastic in helping me set up my own business with social purpose.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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flowery564
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Re: Unexpectedly seeking an alternative career

Post by flowery564 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:05 pm

Thank you for all of your really thoughtful replies.

You’ve all highlighted some great resources and avenues to explore - including ones I wouldn’t have got to myself - so will certainly look in to lots of your suggestions. Hopefully there’s something out there which is a good fit for my next chapter!

Even though I’m stepping back, i’m feeling very fortunate to be part of a profession where people are so generous in supporting each other. These replies have given me some hope in the midst of a tough decision and lots of uncertainty about what next, and for that I am so grateful.

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