Career advice for directionless psychology graduate
I recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology and I am looking for a career-path that will be fulfilling, suit my interests, and not require more than a master's degree. I'm an introvert, but I am interested in helping/understanding others. I enjoy puzzles, learning, appreciating art, and solving other people's problems. I do not want to be a therapist, though. I've been looking into healthcare fields such as nursing and genetic-counseling, marketing and HR, and school-counseling. I am hesitant about marketing/HR since I do not see myself in a corporate setting, but that will satisfy more of my creative side and I would get to work in a nice office. On the other hand, I could satisfy my curiosity and need to help others in healthcare...without the cushy office and more limited creativity. School counseling would satisfy my need to help others, but not my curiosity. I would love to try these all out, but most require further education. I need to decide what to go back to school for!
I too LOVE puzzles, appreciating art (I also play the piano), and I love helping today's youth think for themselves and help them solve their problems. I've helped countless students put really good tools in their emotional tool belt. The toughest part of the job is dealing with suicidal children. The best part of the job is knowing you saved a life and helped it grow. School Counselors are considered Mental Health Professionals, but by no means are we therapists. The line is pretty clear.
With every job, there are aspects that are so frustrating that you want to scream sometimes. That's why it's called a job and not a hobby. :-) But there are typically other counselors and educators that are there to help you sort it all out. As with any employer, leadership is everything. Work for a great Principal and you'll probably love 99.9% of what you do. Find them and follow them! People don't leave jobs, they leave poor leadership.
On a side note, You will need a Master's Degree in order to perform the job. Most School Counseling programs are 50 to 60 credit hours with at least one full-time semester internship.
Good luck with whatever you choose. I would suggest interviewing professional sin each of the fields that you are considering. Talk with a Career Specialist at the university that you are considering attending. They probably have good decision-making tools to help you. Check out what careers might be best with your Myers-Briggs type. And if you are on the cusp, look as those as well.
Yours in Education,
School Counselor, IB Program
Hillsborough High School, Tampa, FL. HOME OF THE BIG RED!
JENNIFER DZMURA-DENNEY M.A, CCC, CPRW
I can relate to what you are looking for (and am a fellow introvert as well!). If you do decide you're open to exploring corporate life, within the HR field, you might consider either the HR Business Partner (HRBP) or HR Operations route in addition to the Recruiting advice from earlier posts. Both would incorporate the problem-solving & learning aspect -
- HR Operations is more practical/tactical (speaks to that "puzzles" side for sure)...you would build and design processes that try to optimize both efficiency and employee experience. If you've got a keen eye for bringing organization from chaos, this could be for you :)
- HRBPs are a very influential role in the business, as they are paired with organizational leaders to help ensure the success of the team - from how the team is set up / structured to dealing with performance coaching, etc. You would get to be a consultant on a team's biggest people initiatives and challenges!