Just wanted a bit of career advice

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Natbee
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:01 am

Just wanted a bit of career advice

Post by Natbee » Sat May 11, 2019 3:48 pm

Hi guys,

Just wanted to get some opinions on my situation from people who may have been in a similar situation previously. I have been lurking around for a while and find this forum really helpful.

I will give you a bit of background...
I have been working in health and social care in various roles for approx 10 years mainly with children and young people but this also involves parental issues as they arise. I have qualifications in youth work, child development and 2 degrees, one in health and social care and one in health science. Most recently I have been working in the NHS in health visiting as a community nursery nurse, so I have lots of safeguarding experience, working directly with clients doing various assessments and working with other clinicians. I left this post to do a conversion masters in psychology as a common theme within my qualifications was my interest in the psychological aspects.

I have really enjoyed the masters so far and I am coming towards the end. Like so many other people, I would be interested in doing the doctorate at some point. However, I am under no illusion that this will be an easy ride. Having said that, I definitely do not want to do it straight away so time is on my side in terms of gaining more experience should it be something I still want to do in the future.

So, I recently applied for a couple of jobs. Both of which appeal to me for different reasons.

One is the trainee IAPT role which appeals to me as I really enjoy working with service users, something which I have really missed whilst in uni. And of course it is something that interests me, I can gain another qualification, and would be good experience, amongst other reasons (edited to add that I am also aware that some people in this role haven't enjoyed it due to the pressure of high targets etc, so this is something that I think about).

The second is as a project officer on a project working with schools to improve the emotional well being and mental health of children. This would involve sharing relevant research with staff in schools to underpin their knowledge and practice, managing an online portal for them to access this research, managing a forum for teachers to gain advice and information, and holding termly meetings. Again this appeals to me for a few reasons, I have a lot of experience of working with children so have a good understanding of their needs, have an interest in mental health, haven't used my research skills in an employed position like this before so feel this would really help me develop in that area. I would also have training in policy writing and leadership. Plus it seems like a really exciting project to work on as it is ahead of the curve in terms of the governments plan to implement this. This is fixed term for a year-ish.

I have been offered the second job, and I am currently waiting to hear about the IAPT job. I am feeling torn about whether to withdraw my application from the IAPT position, as it is something that also appeals to me, but I know the IAPT jobs come out yearly so I would have another chance next year when this position is coming to an end.

I really can see the benefits of both roles, and like them both for different reasons. In terms of clinical psychology being a future goal, which would go for at this time? My gut is telling me to stick with the role on the project, but I am also in the midst of exams and hand ins so I have a fuzzy head which isn't proving helpful when I have a decision to make, and think I am scared of making a 'wrong' decision.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts, thanks in advance.

N x

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Geishawife
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:10 pm

Re: Just wanted a bit of career advice

Post by Geishawife » Sat May 11, 2019 6:43 pm

I would suggest that if you are excited at the prospect of the project officer job, then go for it. From what you have said of it, it sounds like it has a lot to recommend it and will help you develop many skills which could enhance a future application for the clinical courses. At this stage, I wouldn't worry too much about future goals. It's easy to get swept up in the "how will this look on a future application" game and try to second guess what future selectors might want. The truth is this only distracts people from getting the most out of the journey and really enjoying the here and now. So, instead focus on what you will enjoy and what will fit best with where you currently find yourself. There are many routes in to CP, but the best routes are those that you enjoy. Good luck.

Natbee
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:01 am

Re: Just wanted a bit of career advice

Post by Natbee » Sun May 12, 2019 1:50 pm

That is really good advice, thank you.

I've tried to clear my head a bit since I posted, and I really am excited by the job and project, it is definitely something I am passionate about. And because of that, like you have suggested, I think I will get a lot out of it and I have a lot to give to it.

I have withdrawn my application for the other post so as not be distracted by that. The conversion course is really intense, and there are a lot of very competitive people so I think it is quite easy to get caught up in 'have I done the right thing?!' thoughts, but they really aren't helpful :?

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