AP job with no AP duties - what should I do?

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Vuvo
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Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:41 am

AP job with no AP duties - what should I do?

Post by Vuvo »

To keep it simple: I started a new AP role a few weeks ago (in the NHS).

It has since become clear to me that this is a support worker role with little to no AP duties. All of my coworkers are support workers, and my manager is a social worker. I technically have a second manager who is a psychologist, but they work part-time in a completely different department and I have never met them. There are no psychologists in my department.

I have asked why they hired me instead of an extra support worker, and the consensus seems to be that it's because I can be more flexible and because APs are on the same band - so it's a bit like "why not".

I have found out from coworkers that my predecessor (also an AP) quit after less than a year for this exact reason.

Aside from being a bit useless as far as my CV goes, this job is also a bit of a nightmare in other ways also, including extremely controlling management, systematic overwork and lack of adherence to COVID safety. There is an incredibly high turnover because of this (approximately half of the support workers I work with have left just since I joined, if you can believe it).

I'm basically really wondering about what I should do here, since obviously it looks bad to start looking for a new job so soon, and considering how things are at the moment with COVID and everything it's not guaranteed that I'd even find anything. Ordinarily I would stick it out for a bit, but it is so miserable and dangerous with the pandemic that I feel like perhaps I should just get out ASAP, but quitting without something else lined up looks even worse! But at the same time, if at my next interview they ask me what my duties were in this role there's nothing I can tell them that's useful.

What's best for my CV, and how bad would it look to leave so soon?
dancingqueen15
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Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2020 11:40 pm

Re: AP job with no AP duties - what should I do?

Post by dancingqueen15 »

Vuvo wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:02 pm To keep it simple: I started a new AP role a few weeks ago (in the NHS).

It has since become clear to me that this is a support worker role with little to no AP duties. All of my coworkers are support workers, and my manager is a social worker. I technically have a second manager who is a psychologist, but they work part-time in a completely different department and I have never met them. There are no psychologists in my department.

I have asked why they hired me instead of an extra support worker, and the consensus seems to be that it's because I can be more flexible and because APs are on the same band - so it's a bit like "why not".

I have found out from coworkers that my predecessor (also an AP) quit after less than a year for this exact reason.

Aside from being a bit useless as far as my CV goes, this job is also a bit of a nightmare in other ways also, including extremely controlling management, systematic overwork and lack of adherence to COVID safety. There is an incredibly high turnover because of this (approximately half of the support workers I work with have left just since I joined, if you can believe it).

I'm basically really wondering about what I should do here, since obviously it looks bad to start looking for a new job so soon, and considering how things are at the moment with COVID and everything it's not guaranteed that I'd even find anything. Ordinarily I would stick it out for a bit, but it is so miserable and dangerous with the pandemic that I feel like perhaps I should just get out ASAP, but quitting without something else lined up looks even worse! But at the same time, if at my next interview they ask me what my duties were in this role there's nothing I can tell them that's useful.

What's best for my CV, and how bad would it look to leave so soon?
Hi Vuvo,

Sorry to hear that you're not finding your role very fulfilling. I must admit it does sound pretty tough for you.

Are you able to talk to the second manager who is the psychologist about your concerns and see what her views are on you getting experience that will be relevant and enjoyable for you? Even if that means helping out or taking on some tasks related to her department. Also can you try and get involved in any research type things to make the most of your time there - service development, audits, mini research projects?

Do you feel able to stick this role out for a little while to see if it changes as it can sometimes be quite tricky to get a grip of things in the first couple of months?

Can you start applying for jobs now whilst sticking in this role and see what happens?

If you really feel that you need to leave right away, is there a way that you can do banking/flexible working as a support worker for now whilst you find an alternative role? Or can you apply for something like the PWP training?

Wishing you the best of luck with it all!
Vuvo
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:41 am

Re: AP job with no AP duties - what should I do?

Post by Vuvo »

dancingqueen15 wrote: Sun Feb 07, 2021 5:13 pm
Hi Vuvo,

Sorry to hear that you're not finding your role very fulfilling. I must admit it does sound pretty tough for you.

Are you able to talk to the second manager who is the psychologist about your concerns and see what her views are on you getting experience that will be relevant and enjoyable for you? Even if that means helping out or taking on some tasks related to her department. Also can you try and get involved in any research type things to make the most of your time there - service development, audits, mini research projects?

Do you feel able to stick this role out for a little while to see if it changes as it can sometimes be quite tricky to get a grip of things in the first couple of months?

Can you start applying for jobs now whilst sticking in this role and see what happens?

If you really feel that you need to leave right away, is there a way that you can do banking/flexible working as a support worker for now whilst you find an alternative role? Or can you apply for something like the PWP training?

Wishing you the best of luck with it all!


Sorry, I should have mentioned - the reason I was hired is that this psychologist wants me to recruit people from our SUs for some data they are collecting (ie, just check with them if we can ask them some extra questions - which the psychologist insists on doing personally - and to use their info). It's not a research project, and doesn't require any further work than that (I've asked), and they have no more work for me in that department as it has no APs and just the one psychologist who is rarely there. I have been hunting around, but doesn't seem to be any AP work to be done in my department at all, and I am rostered as a support worker. I have asked senior people in my department whether the scope of the job will change after lockdown etc and across this year, but they seemed confused and told me that there are no changes to how we work because of lockdown (a whole other issue, but not as relevant to my career). If I ask why I was hired as an AP, they just say the data collection and that they didn't realise what APs usually do (not their fault I don't think since they don't have a psych background. I was interviewed by the psychologist from the other department (they didn't tell me they were from a different department) and by an upper manager who ignores me when I try to talk to them via messaging, emails or phone calls - they work from home).

(Looking back at the job opening with a less trusting eye, most duties were phrased very vaguely, but the data was phrased as a research project I'd be in charge of. Once I started they informed me it had "changed in scope" but from what I've found out it's been like this since before the previous AP left).

I guess my main questions are, is it worse to have a gap on the resume or to have a job that has no AP duties, and how much worse is one or the other given the current climate? I am more than happy to start applying for jobs from this role, but are they likely to even consider me if I've been here for such a short period of time?

I was also wondering if there's anything I can do about this in general, really. I consider this to be pretty much a scam. I left another good AP role and turned down multiple other offers because it was the NHS, because the Trust was very highly rated and because they threw around vague promises of getting research published etc. I didn't apply for the DClin this year as I had only just started this role, hadn't made the realisation yet and thought I could get more of a variety of experience (I have postgraduate qualifications and 2 years of experience but didn't get past the interview stage last time). This is a massive step back from what I was doing before and it feels like they've cornered me where whatever I do hits my CV.

I know that whenever I leave, they will advertise again for an AP and get someone else just like me and like the person I replaced (not sure who came before them, none of my coworkers have worked there long enough to know!!!!!!). I trusted this job opening as it was on NHS Jobs and from a top rated Trust. It's not right that this department is misleading people, and when I got in touch with the previous AP they were shocked that they had hired another AP after the complaints that they had previously made about the work.

Thanks so much for your advice, I really appreciate it. Sorry if I'm rambling a bit. It's been a very frustrating time, made worse with the pandemic!
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maven
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Re: AP job with no AP duties - what should I do?

Post by maven »

A job has to live up to the job advert, and from your description you are right to feel conned. I'd book a time to talk to HR and/or your line manager, present them with the guidance for the employment of APs and ask how they are going to make it an AP role - which requires an hour of supervision from a CP per week, experiences that build your competencies towards being a clinical psychologist, plus time for professional development. You can also raise the BPS/ACP guidance for pandemic working. Or (if that sounds too daunting) find a local CP that you can speak to who can raise those things for you. Failing that, I'd raise it with the BPS/ACP and see what they suggest.
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Vuvo
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Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2021 11:41 am

Re: AP job with no AP duties - what should I do?

Post by Vuvo »

maven wrote: Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:06 am A job has to live up to the job advert, and from your description you are right to feel conned. I'd book a time to talk to HR and/or your line manager, present them with the guidance for the employment of APs and ask how they are going to make it an AP role - which requires an hour of supervision from a CP per week, experiences that build your competencies towards being a clinical psychologist, plus time for professional development. You can also raise the BPS/ACP guidance for pandemic working. Or (if that sounds too daunting) find a local CP that you can speak to who can raise those things for you. Failing that, I'd raise it with the BPS/ACP and see what they suggest.
Thank you so much for this. I didn't even realise there was official AP guidance. Do you know where the best place is for me to find this? I had a Google and it was mostly just random PDF hosting sites!
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miriam
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Re: AP job with no AP duties - what should I do?

Post by miriam »

This looks like them, but via some weird website: https://nanopdf.com/download/attached-b ... ociety_pdf
Miriam

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