5 answers

What is a good way to get my career jump started after graduate?

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I graduated from GSU in December and I am looking for a position in the field of psychology but it’s really hard. I have not been very successful. #psychology #career #career-counseling

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5 answers

Brittany’s Answer

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Hi Alexis, congratulations on graduation!

If you are firmly in the "What am I going to do with this degree?" place of your career development, that's OK! Reach out to Career Services at GSU and also poke around on O*NET's My Next Move wizard. Both of these resources may highlight interests or values that you didn't realize you had!

In psychology, most professionals will have graduate-level degrees in the specific field they enter. If you decide that you want to return to school for a graduate degree, take your time to research programs, mentors, and your career prospects in that field before committing. Also, note that many programs will PAY YOU to go to graduate school in the form of teaching/research "assistantships." Some schools offer full tuition waivers and/or health insurance in addition to (a little) pay.

In the meantime, try to work in a setting that aligned with your future goals. If you already know that you're interested in doing research, look for technician opportunities with professors at universities near you (reach out to your GSU professors with questions or requesting help to network if you're no longer in the area). Do you want to take your psychology degree to law school? Look for internship/aide positions with a law firm or non-profit organization. Do you want to go into counseling? Look for work/volunteer experience with crisis hotlines, inpatient treatment centers, or shelters. Are you interested in organizational-industrial psychology? Look for work with Human Resources departments.

Finally, if you are feeling any sense of disappointment about having a gap year(s), I want to share two things with you. First, it is SUPER COMMON to have several years where you figure out how you want to spend your life. It is not a small decision! Second, this is time you can use to your advantage to explore and build your strength as a candidate and a human being wherever it is that you go next. Stay curious, and work hard to find experiences that bring you a little closer every day to where you want to be in one, two, or three years.

Thank you so much ! Alexis T.
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Sheila M.’s Answer

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Congrats on your graduation! First you should find a mentor in your field, perhaps someone who is already in the field in your state. You should also look at all the fields of psychology you can be in and decide where you would like to be - https://www.verywellmind.com/a-list-of-psychology-careers-2794917,   Then you need to get experience in your field and build your network, I know a Psychologist and her first job was volunteer, she helped some veterans who needed someone to talk to about war situations and from that she was able to gain employment at a VA hospital thru connections. Learn as much as you can about your area of expertise and always be the best ...


Thank you so much ! Alexis T.
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Sheila’s Answer

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Hello Alexis:

CONGRATS on your graduation! Take a deep breath and exhale - good job. :)

Since you do not already have a job lined up you might want to consider volunteer opportunities at your local hospital, extended care facilities, VA, etc. Seek out a mentor and start researching by asking family, friends and even your primary care physician. Your primary care physician may have insights and know of volunteer and mentoring opportunities due to their exposure to seeing and meeting many patients over time.

While you're volunteering research as much as possible. Ask questions, take notes and learn as much as possible. Start building relationships by networking with people that you come in contact with. Keep in touch with your contacts by sending them periodic brief texts, email, phone call or even a "hand-written" card or note. Based on experience, I know that keeping in touch with networking contacts is great and this approach works extremely well.

I wish you well on jump starting your career. Best of luck to you!

~ Sheila

Sheila recommends the following next steps:

  • Update your resume and send out to job sites
  • Find a mentor
  • Seek out volunteer opportunities while you're seeking/waiting on a job
  • Keep learning by researching your field
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Kristy’s Answer

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Congrats to you on your milestone graduation. One key way to jump start your career is to network with people from various companies in which you have interest. That networking should include an opportunity to job shadow so that you can see first hand what their typical day looks like. This is important as you never really can tell a role just from the job description. Job shadowing will provide you experience and the ability to really dig in.

Kristy recommends the following next steps:

  • Locate 2-3 people that are in the role that you are seeking and introduce yourself.
  • After identifying key players - ask if job shadowing is an option and use that time to really understand their role.
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G. Mark’s Answer

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Get a job. I know it sounds flippant, but it's true. Just send out resumes, make contacts, talk to people, do stuff for others. And then do whatever it is well to make folks around you happy that you're there. That'll do it. Trust me.

Thank you ! Alexis T.
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