Qualified career progression

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marvellouscreations
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Qualified career progression

Post by marvellouscreations » Wed May 13, 2020 12:30 pm

Hello! :)

I'm after some thoughts around ongoing career progression and enjoyment once qualified, especially keeping that initial passion for the role alive. I am less than two years qualified as a CP and have been in the same job this whole time (inpatient services). For the first year I really enjoyed the role and felt very lucky to gain supervision and support from very experienced psychologists, access to CPD and training, and an interesting day to day role. However, a few months ago (before covid hit) I started to feel myself getting burnt out, experiencing less enjoyment in work, having less motivation etc. I took some steps to 'slow down' and take a bit of time off, and whilst I'm no longer feeling burnt out I am just feeling less enjoyment and fulfilment with work, and feel I am losing a bit of that excitement and passion that drove me towards it in the first place. When I was feeling burnt out I referred myself for staff counselling, and recently had some sessions which has been helpful for exploring my feeling about what keeps me where I am, and what I might be missing/thinking of seeking elsewhere.

I have also been struck by the fact that up until now I have always moved on from a job or placement because my time was up, whereas now I am 'free' to move as I please and choose what I want to do career wise. I don't really have a longer term vision of where I would like to be career-wise, and I suppose just feeling a little stuck and unsure on where to go from here. I'd be interested to hear how others have felt in similar situations, was there a bit of a 'lull'?, did additional therapy training help? has anyone else felt unsure on which path to take now qualified?

Thanks :)

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Geishawife
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Re: Qualified career progression

Post by Geishawife » Thu May 14, 2020 9:26 am

I don't think this is at all unusual! I think in the first year or two after qualifying we ride a bit of a "crest of the wave" - there's almost a sense of "phew, I made it through that really tough process and now I can really prove my worth". It can be hard to keep that flame burning as the reality of paperwork, office politics and a more fixed routine takes hold. I was fortunate in that I continued to be inspired by the client group I worked with (still am!) but I did get to a point where the battles with management got so difficult I left and sought new challenges.

I'm not sure if there are any definitive answers to this. I think developing skills in a particular therapeutic modality, or developing neuropsych skills, or starting to think about taking trainees/offering supervision to assistants can all help but it will be different for everyone. Maybe start by asking what it is that's led to the lack of enthusiasm. Are you jaded with the client group? It's OK to admit it if that's the case - we can find ourselves in roles that, over time, turn out not to be the "fit" we hoped. Are you missing the research element? If so, are there any projects you could develop? You mention the fact you now no longer HAVE to move and so feel a bit "stuck". What can you maybe change about your present role to make you feel less stuck? Could you start to specialise within your specialism (eg focus on ASD within child services or dementia within older adult services)? Also, what is the track record of your trust? A very good friend of mine worked for a trust that was uber supportive in the 1st 2 years after qualifying then seemed to "drop" her. Turned out, they were renowned for making life difficult after 2 years so people would move on and they didn't have to pay higher wages!!

I'm not sure if any of the above is helpful, bit I do think it's important to know you are not alone in thinking and feeling as you do. Maybe now is a good time to reappraise your priorities and think about what you want going forward when our "new normal" kicks in? Above all, make sure you make the right decision for you. Our clients benefit most from a committed and interested clinician and that's more likely if you are doi g what you want. Good luck and take care.

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miriam
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Re: Qualified career progression

Post by miriam » Sat May 16, 2020 1:16 am

As ever, I agree with Geishawife. There is something about moving on every six months for the 3 years of training that makes it feel weirder and weirder to stay when you have gained some mastery of a locality and its systems, and feel like you have competence with a client group and/or model of work. It can make the 9-24 month period of a first qualified job quite challenging - I know it did for me! We learn to expect to move on to new challenges and unfamiliar systems, and it is right to look at what might keep you growing and learning as a clinician now you have been there a while.

Also, bear in mind what we know about burnout - it makes us want to step back to protect ourselves from emotional exhaustion, and treat it more like a job and invest less in the relationships, but this is not protective and in fact compounds burnout as it is the relationships and the sense of personal accomplishment that protects us from burnout, and those are harder to sustain if you step back. So you need to really think about what would make you want to step back in - would it be a change in client group, or way of working, supervisor, organisational structure - or are you seeking something that has a different culture or feel, perhaps independent work, or something like a clinician-led business, charity or social enterprise might feel more dynamic and supportive? Perhaps you can think of the coronavirus changes as freeing up some reflective space, and really give these issues some thought, and perhaps seek out some personal development coaching?
Miriam

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

marvellouscreations
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Re: Qualified career progression

Post by marvellouscreations » Wed May 27, 2020 4:00 pm

Thank you for your thoughtful replies, it is really validating to know that others have felt similarly. It was also great to get some ideas I hadn't considered before, like personal development coaching. I have decided to explore dipping my toe into some private work (therapy) to give me some variety and opportunities to work with a different client group. I feel like this might give me a nice balance in my work, or alternatively, lead me to decide my current role isn't for me any longer. I have also been thinking about some further training I might like to pursue too. Thanks again :)

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miriam
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Re: Qualified career progression

Post by miriam » Sat May 30, 2020 11:25 am

I just posted this on another thread, so I probably should say I don't have any financial interest in doing so and other coaches are available, but the guy I found helpful when redirecting my career was http://www.flexiblethinking.co.uk/ and he is currently offering discounted rates for health staff during coronavirus.
Miriam

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

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