SGPsychStud: Career Planning for a Psychological Career (Part 3)

Before you read this post, make sure you have already read Career Planning for a Psychological Career (Part 1) and (Part 2)!!

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After obtaining the knowledge about yourself (Step 1) and your choice of career (Step 2) (from Part 2), the next step is to start working towards getting that job or being in that career.

Step 3: Getting Focused

From Step 2, it allows you to have some form of a goal.  Step 3 is for you to get focused and set you up towards that goal.  There are several things that you can do for Step 3, and here it is in this sequence.
  1. Decision making:  You just have to ask yourself this question. Are you passionate enough (or have enough interest in this career) such that you will not give up in times of difficulties??  Sometimes reality and life difficulties may hold us back in our paths and journeys towards our goals.
  2. Goals or milestones:  Having a goal will help in "starting the engine" towards your goals.  Your goals may be "to become a psychologist', "to do a Masters postgraduate degree" or even "to finish your Bachelors undergraduate degree".   Having milestones allow you to have toa ssess whether you are on-track towards reaching that final goal;  they may also act as smaller and easier goals that you can work on towards that larger final goal.
  3. Action planning towards the goals:  Once you are confirmed on the goals and determined that you are willing to work at it till the very end, the next thing is to decide how you are going to reach that goal.  What are the things you are willing to do such that you know that you are working towards your goals or milestones?  Step 4 provides you with these things that you can do.

Step 4: Taking Action

I have stated previously some things that you can do or may be already be doing to help your career (See 5 Things Students can do during the Holidays).  They include volunteering, doing internships, attending talks, as well as network with professionals working in the psychological field.

There are actually several other things you can do (or learn to do) to create your personal career brand:
  • Job search and interviewing strategies:  These include learning how to do tasks like:-
    • Writing a good resume and CV (where your talents and strengths are reflected)
      •   Your resume that employers may be researching about you can be a hardcopy print version or an online version.  As such are your LinkedIn profile, your personal online portfolio, or even your Facebook account.  It is very obvious that some employers research on the job applicants online, so make sure you manage your online profile and resume well!
    • Being ready for interviews
      • Make sure you are well-prepared for upcoming interviews, by keeping yourself informed on several things, such as knowing details about the company (company culture and history), the actual job (what it entails and what skills and abilities are required for it), and common types of questions that employers may ask.  Here are some common interview questions and tips to tackle the questions from Forbes and The Daily Muse!!
    • Be ready to ask some questions
      • Do not only ask questions about the salary.  Also do not say that you do not have any questions;  this may imply to the employers that you do not know anything or are not interested about the company.
      • Always ask questions for the purposes of (a) making sure that the employer is interested to employ you, (b) demonstrating your interest in the job, and (c) checking whether you will be a good fit into the company.  Hence your questions may be about more indepth knowledge about the skills and abilities required for the job, the career progression in the company, and the existing company culture.  Here are some questions recommended to ask.
  • Gaining work experiences through volunteering or internships: As we know that having prior experience is a huge advantage in securing a job position, but with any actual real working experience in the field, your next best chances are to get the work experiences through volunteering or internships.  Here are some websites or companies that you can go through to try to apply to volunteer or get internship.
  • Networking (including both social and online):  Networking is very useful for many reasons.  Below are the purposes and reasons of networking (from Power of Networking)
    • Employment / business opportunities - You never know; you might just find your next boss / customer just by talking to them. 
    • Opportunities to knowing new associates from similar or different fields - Support for your clients often tend to be holistic, rather just from the psychologist (yourself); hence often, you may need the help or support from others from a similar or different line of work, such as psychiatrists, doctors, lawyers, etc.
    • Research opportunities - Through knowing others in the similar field or area of research, this may open up your chances of working with others in research projects in your area of research.
    • Social networking - Just purely for the reasons for making friends and acquaintances in psychology and your psychological speciality/area of research. 

Here's a quote to end off this series of Career Planning posts!!  Hope you have liked this whole work of career-related posts on SG Psych Stuff Facebook page!!!
"Not everyone can find a perfect fit in the job market – Some people have to create their own."


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