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Career advice for directionless psychology graduate

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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!

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Lesley’s Answer

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I am a School Counselor and I'm constantly learning new things. When I need something new to satisfy my curiosity I seek good professional development. I also volunteer in my community with my students and earn creative hours right along with them. If you are a 10-month employee you'll have time to have a summer side-hustle that can also satisfy the need to be creative and earn a little extra cash too. Don't' forget that many high school educators have the opportunity to travel abroad. And because the certification is K-12 you can work with all ages. I started at the elementary level, quickly move to middle school, and after nearly 20 years, I am now a School Counselor in a High School. I have also work with incarcerated youth which was very rewarding.
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,

Lesley Morter
School Counselor, IB Program
Hillsborough High School, Tampa, FL. HOME OF THE BIG RED!