AP or RA? Need to decide today :s

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AP or RA? Need to decide today :s

Post by Viatic » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:50 pm

Hello, I have perused this forum for a long time but only opted to post now because I find myself with a tricky (albeit quite nice) decision. I would appreciate people's advice and/or opinions on this, although I need to make a decision by the end of the day so I understand that there may not be time.

So, I am currently an AP, I started in a new post 1 month ago. However I was just offered a position I interviewed for a while back (#1 candidate dropped out of recruitment at a late stage) as an RA within the IoPPN, which would be my #1 choice for DClin.

I am trying to make a decision on whether to accept the offer or not, have stalled for time and been given till the end of today.

In essence I am being rather selfish and am trying to figure out which position would assist me most in applications for DClin. I recognise that courses look for what you can reflect on and learn from posts, not the nature of the positions themselves however the range and quality of experience is still an advantage. I am wondering if it would be more beneficial for me to bolster my research experience as I have 2 years as an AP already. My psychology journey is detailed below:

2008-2012: 4 years psych undergrad - low 2:1
2013-2015: 2 years Research Assistant on 0 hours contract, probably equating to 15hours/week. This started after my undergrad year and continued past my masters. Primarily data preparation/analysis. Data inputting. Development of manual for intervention (no patient contact and no publication :evil: )
2013-2014: 1 year Health Psych MSc - Distinction. With clinically relevant research project.
2014-2015: 11 months AP in CAMHS service - some patient contact, primarily service development, data inputting etc
2015-2016: 10.5 months AP in Clinical Health Psych service - lots of patient contact, groups, 1:1 CBT/ACT. Some administrative work
2016-now: 1 month AP in Secondary care mental health service - primarily 'Quality Improvement', moderate patient contact.

I have been offered an 18month position as an RA at all stages of a project, including recruitment and qualitative interviewing of people with mental health difficulties, thus it involves direct patient contact.

There is a lot I can gain from both positions I feel, so it's a tricky one, although there are worse choices to have to make. So I'm trying to decide if I abandon my current job (which I do like) for this RA post, as I feel it may better improve my chances of attaining interviews.

Any thoughts before 3-4pm? Haha.

Thank you! Sorry for the ramble!

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Re: AP or RA? Need to decide today :s

Post by Charlie » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:08 pm

Congrats on being in this position! I think both will put you in a strong position for a DClin application. DClin application aside, which post are you most excited about?

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Re: AP or RA? Need to decide today :s

Post by BlueCat » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:18 pm

If you were offered both at the same time (i.e. before you had started this job), which would you have gone for? It sounds like it would have been the RA post?

You accepted your current post in good faith, not expecting to continue to apply for other posts in the short term, but this has come up out of the blue. Your current employers won't have any difficulty filling your role (it may even be close enough in time that they could offer it to their second choice candidate, saving them re-advertising). If they do have to readvertise, it'll cost them a bit of money, time and effort, but that's all. They may not be able to write much of a reference.

I would feel torn, and as if I was letting people down if I took the RA post, but that's not to say I wouldn't. I have learnt over time that loyalty, although a worthy quality, doesn't pay the bills. IF the tables were reversed, and they were forced to cut your post, they wouldn't hesitate to give you notice.

Do whichever will feel best for you.
There's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes. Billy Connolly.

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Re: AP or RA? Need to decide today :s

Post by Viatic » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:25 pm

Thank you for your replies. I think this is where I AM most stuck, in that I'm quite passionate about both, I feel I would enjoy both of them.

Really the only way I've come upon to make the decision is which is going to benefit me most going forward, and as to that I have no idea.

I guess I think that if my previous research experience is sufficient, I would stay as an AP. It's the known option, safer with less risk or potential consequences, and a permanent contract. Blue, would you feel my research work as of present would allow me through screening processes?

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Re: AP or RA? Need to decide today :s

Post by baa » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:40 pm

Can you do a good old fashioned pros and cons list of each of them? I do love a list to help me to clarify things.
At least I'm not as mad as that one!

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Re: AP or RA? Need to decide today :s

Post by Viatic » Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:25 pm

So for anybody wondering, I opted to take the RA position. Although I'm having a minor panic attack about that choice, we'll see how it goes :)

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Re: AP or RA? Need to decide today :s

Post by Esuma » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:44 pm

Congratulations and good luck with the RA post!

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