1 Year Job Search...

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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1 Year Job Search...

Post by beceb13 »


So it has been 1 year since finishing an MSc in Health Psychology (I have also completed a BSc in Psychology). Since then I have been on the hunt for the next step - the job. Initially, I was naïve enough to believe I had a chance at getting an Assistant Psychologist position, but soon realised that these positions are so highly sought after, and my level of experience isn't nearly enough. I am a Listening Volunteer at the Samaritans, and have previously volunteered for a Cancer Support Charity. But I have no previous payed employment working directly in a mental health setting.

I think maybe I am being too picky when it comes to jobs that I apply for. Since February I have applied to 35 jobs of varying titles, all in the mental health field, and despite 5 interviews, have no received a job offer due to lack of experience. When it comes to working in support worker roles, I am always put off with the personal care side of things, and also going through agencies (from a family members experiences of using agencies).

I am aware this is silly of me, a year down the line. So, I was just wondering if I could get any advice on the next steps. Perhaps hearing some positive stories in support worker roles would make me feel more comfortable applying for these positions. Writing on here is my last resort, as I just feel so
worn out scrolling through the job sites again and again - I am sure most, if not all, of us have experienced this at some point in our careers.

Thank you to anyone who replies to this! Even just knowing you aren't the only one is a help!
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Re: 1 Year Job Search...

Post by miriam »

We've had loads of posts that cover all of this, so why not use the search feature? There is even a wiki about do I have to deal with poo or violence to get on the ladder? and one about what jobs are relevant, and one on a day in the life of a support worker, and lots of discussion in the forum about whether support work is valuable and how people have found it. I wrote several posts on the topic of applying for jobs in psychology, and a whole blog on how not to apply for jobs in psychology. So there is absolutely loads of information available to you that will help you address the issues you are facing.

But in brief - there is no reason not to be able to get a job in a year, you have lots of options, so do your research and look for non-NHS roles (but don't go via agencies, that's not necessary). Write tailored applications for each job. Prepare properly and practice your interview skills, as the lack of experience would block you being shortlisted, and once you are in the interview you should be able to demonstrate transferable skills for everything you apply to.

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com
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Re: 1 Year Job Search...

Post by Geishawife »

I would add, don't look solely at jobs in mental health. Work with people with a learning disability and physical health roles can give you equally good experience. Remember, not all psychologists work in mental health!
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Re: 1 Year Job Search...

Post by Tripletail52 »

I'm a support worker in an NHS mental health service where I'm not involved in patients' personal care as they take care of personal hygiene themselves (although I have to remind some patients about it from time to time). So I'm sure there are other support worker roles where you don't have to deliver personal care if you are not comfortable with it. But I think it is in the nature of the role that you might potentially have to deal with a situation involving bodily fluids or violence.
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Re: 1 Year Job Search...

Post by workingmama »

I worked as a youth worker, substance misuse project worker, telephone helpline staffer, charity manager of an NHS service, and counsellor. Never touched a bodily fluid except a urine sample (bottled). Try substance misuse services - I learned a lot that is applicable to all sorts of settings (LD, disabilities, attachment difficulties, socio economic and structural determinants of poor mental health, safeguarding)
Fail, fail again, fail better.
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