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Re: Overrated?

Post by J1mmy » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:09 pm

Well, I know that some people have mentioned the idea that some applications don't have as much experience as those who represent themselves on here do. But this again is reflective of the poor selection process, and possibly the fact that these people exist, albeit only a few which could be probably considered exceptions.

My motives are to find out what other people think about all of this, some of which I don't think have fully thought about it til now. If people are put of by it, well, I can only say that it might be considered a good thing that people are personally realising that they don't want to spend so long trying to get onto course like this, but no, that's not why I start this thread.

I've rephrased mental unit to mental health unit.

(Have people even realised that the existence of this very forum reinforces everything that I've said earlier?)

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Re: Overrated?

Post by J1mmy » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:15 pm

BlueCat wrote:J1mmy, your posts confuse me on so many levels. Of course it is possible to be better paid. But if you want to be a CP, then that is what you want to do.
But this what some people are using to justify working for so long...the pay. Yes, you want to be a CP, but why? "Because it pays well, and I like it"

Tesco, HSBC etc Gradaute Schemes will get you a nice salary before 30 with progression onto a six-figure through promotion. But I know, that's not the field everyone wants to work in. But if people are using the salary to justify their training etc then perhaps they should reconsider a field more lucrative in terms of pay.

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Re: Overrated?

Post by eponymous85 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:22 pm

On a personal level (rather than a level associated with my role on the forum) I find your views verging on obnoxious j1mmy. You seem to make, very confidently, a number of incorrect statements in a way that is not in the spirit of the supportive nature of this forum. I won't even begin to dissect the number of things you have said that are inaccurate and misleading as I just don't think we are communicating on the same wavelength. This is how the rumour mill starts people.
The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader. The mind is a complex and many layered thing.

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Re: Overrated?

Post by workingmama » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:47 pm

eponymous85 wrote: What are your motives? ...Are you trying to put people off?
Man, why didn't I think of that as a plan?! By the way, did everyone hear that all of the Scottish Uni's now want you to eat a raw liver at the interview to show your committment? Honest. I think you'd all better stick to the English Uni's - it's going to be awful up here from 2011 onwards. :wink:
Fail, fail again, fail better.

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Re: Overrated?

Post by e » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:29 pm

Who has said that the only reason for pursuing CP is pay?
People might say it as one reason, that its not bad pay, along with lots of other reasons?
Also I don't think anyone is expecting to become a millionaire, but in relation to all other jobs it is well paid.

For comparison Directors and chief executives of major organizations remained the best paid job in Britain with an average annual salary of £96,202


And the average is something around the early-mid twenties. (although not sure if that includes part-time)

Also on further searches, being above £31 puts you in top 25% and being above £58 puts you in top 5%


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Re: Overrated?

Post by miriam » Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:26 pm

I can earn a lot of money for court work, but that isn't my primary motivator. I do a job that is interesting and worthwhile, it allows me to learn about other people, work with amazing altruistic colleagues, and be part of one of the biggest and most amazing organisations in the world. My NHS salary has always matched or been better than the earnings of friends and relatives in various other jobs and in the private sector - and the jobs that earn megabucks I couldn't do, or wouldn't find interesting or ethical. Most people who are successful in getting onto training do so after a relatively short time that they find enjoyable and continue to enjoy the training and the job, and to develop throughout their career. Not everyone has aspirations to climb the ladder, but there is potential to do so. Some CPs do end up on band 9 or VSM grades as directors of NHS trusts, and some end up in private practise or specialised niche work. There are posts advertised for CPs that break into 6 figures, but they don't really tempt me!

As to what is a good wage, I think its well worth reminding ourselves how lucky we are: http://www.globalrichlist.com/

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

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Re: Overrated?

Post by freyjab » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:32 am

I know you can't totally ignore training and pay levels but if we just set them aside for one moment...

What about passion, drive, and doing something for the love of it?
What about the fact that some people just feel CP is what they were meant to do?

Shoot me down in flames, I'm still 'only' at the beginning of my journey, but I wouldn't be bothering if I didn't love what I'm doing at the moment, and what I see myself doing in the future.

And Miriam - that richlist website is awesome! :)
There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living -- Nelson Mandela

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Re: Overrated?

Post by beeny » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:10 am

Personally, the 'drawn out' nature of getting into CP doesnt really bother me that much-I am willing to spend more time 'gaining relevent experience' as long as the jobs I take are interesting, fulfilling and I feel I am progressing in some form (and im able to pay the rent!). Lets face it, the majority of us are going to be working until we are 65+ so thats plenty of time to enjoy the results of all that 'slogging' :lol: .

Saying that, I have never been very career/ambition/money minded and the idea of reaching 'Dr' status had never crossed my mind until a few years ago. The only reason I am pursuing this path is because I really believe that CP is a good fit for me but if I dont get there, my experiences wont be wasted.

I think some people might get caught up in specific time frames (e.g. qualified before 30) or don't think seriously about a plan B which can make the process a lot more stressful and perhaps less enjoyable, but I would say that the majority of people are well informed and seem realistic about this career path.

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Re: Overrated?

Post by RzrbldeSuitcase » Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:42 pm

J1mmy wrote: But this what some people are using to justify working for so long...the pay. Yes, you want to be a CP, but why? "Because it pays well, and I like it"
So did you just choose to ignore the, 'and I like it' part?

The very reason why I never went down the tesco/sainsburys graduate route is because 'I don't like it'. I had the opportunity working there for 5 years while in uni, I chose not to because I didn't like it. So...

CP with, according to you, lower pay and more job satisfaction/enjoyment.... or ....Tesco graduate scheme with better pay and less job satisfaction.

It depends what your drivers are, if money and pay is it for you then good for you, it isn't for me and its that reason I'm willing to give maybe 3 post graduation years to aiming at becoming a CP.
Last edited by RzrbldeSuitcase on Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Overrated?

Post by ell » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:06 pm

This is an interesting discussion. Some random thoughts below.

To answer the question posed by the original poster, regarding why they don't have more training places... well, as far as I understand it, it is becoming harder to find CP jobs, so it would be a bit of a problem if the numbers of qualified CPs each year were increased. It's only going to get worse of course.

I think the bottom line is that CP is something someone does for the love of it (whatever part of 'it' speaks to the individual), not because someone wants an easy life or loads of cash. However, I think we can all be guilty of 'talking up' clinical psychology. This may be because when you are working hard towards something, and maybe making a sacrifice such as doing voluntary work or taking short-term AP contracts, the last thing you want to do is say to yourself 'this CP lark is not going to be great all the time'. Also, with all the applications/interviews we tend to do, we are used to constantly extolling the virtues of CP. It can be very challenging to us, as people who populate a forum all about CP, for someone to come along and say 'are you sure your chosen career path is actually that good, and worth the hassle and time that you have put into it?', but that doesn't mean it's not a valid question.

J1mmy - it would be really interesting to hear about your plans at the moment. What experiences have led you to ask the 'overrated' question?


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Re: Overrated?

Post by HayleyT » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:19 pm

In response to the OP, I think there may be some case for selective reading of replies!I am ashamed to admit I am a long time lurker but rarely respond but here goes!

I guess that my reasons for going in to CP were certainly not the money alone, I agree you could make much more money in another career route, and probably get there quicker.

I think it’s important to consider that everyone decides on a chosen career for many different reasons, so for some people clinical psychology is overrated – if you were aiming for money and status alone it may be a let down. For other people clinical psychology, although not perfect is a fulfilling and comfortable career. I think it is so popular as it because it is rare to some degree in allowing you to work with people in distress and the emotional challenges and rewards this brings, but to also be encouraged to challenge yourself academically, whilst being paid a comfortable salary and no outlay for training.

Initially, I knew only what I didn’t want to do in terms of a career, I knew I didn’t want to work in business, I can’t imagine anything worse for me even if I were to earn a fortune. I knew I wanted to work with people but I also wanted to do a job in which I could continue learning and being challenged, with options to move areas and specialities if I found things were getting stale. I know CP isn’t the only job that encompasses all these things but for me it was the route that was most logical and achievable. It also pays much better than other similar training routes, which made it more attractive to me as I really love shopping! I went to uni having no idea what CP was and still didn’t know when I left. I found a job working with people where there was a very kind and patient CP and the rest is history. It wasn’t a great slog I didn’t do a phd or a masters. I enjoyed all my jobs, and I have gained much more than money and a list of experience from them. I have made friends for life with like minded people from the teams I have worked in and I have become much more confident as a person, once I realised that I do quite well at talking to people I felt much more confident in doing this in my own life.

I am challenged by the academic requirement of the CP course and placement; I use my brain everyday and find it challenging to apply theories to people who most certainly do not fit with them like case examples at uni did. I guess if you are not challenged by the academic demands, good for you! But to me it’s a very different challenge than chemistry is, so not really worth comparing. If psychology is not academically challenging for you and your primary motivation for career selection is based on money then CP is probably not for you.

Whether CP is overrated or not is entirely a personal decision which is complex and will be different for everyone, so not as simple as is it overrated or not. People embark on careers for such a variety of reasons that if it is overrated or not is a moot point. I don’t think it’s as simple as, 'lets make CP accessible to everyone by having an abundance of training places' - why would we possibly need thousands of CPs who were able to pay for their own training but with no jobs at the end of it.

It sounds like it’s important for you to consider your motivations for a career in psychology, and to gain a more realistic perspective on the process of application, the training and the career at the end of it, and by holding so vehemently onto a point of view that dismisses all aspiring CPs as blindly chasing something they have no idea about is probably not the best way to go about this.

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Re: Overrated?

Post by J1mmy » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:07 pm

Well, thank you for the responses. Although I am a few years away from applying to the course (despite having been recommended to apply next year from a CP) I will be aware of my efforts along the way, and perhaps at some point I'll be qualified enough with experience to write a highly controversial and critical article in some journal that will enrage thousands and subsequently be banned from any furture publications. Because yes, I do feel that some areas of ClinPsy & DSM is complete crock, but perhaps that's my pessimistic nature kicking in I've been holding onto for all my life. Whether or not that makes me a better clinician, I don't know.

All the best,


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