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What does an industry/organizational psychologist do in a typical day?

I am interested in IO psychology, but here's what's holding me back: I don't know if I'll have a steady job at a place like Google or Microsoft, or if I'll have to keep going from place to place every month or so for new gigs. #psychology #business #clinical-psychology #psychology #clinical-psychology #industrypsychology
#organizationalpsychology #IO

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Gerta’s Answer

It all depends. If you're an external consultant, your day to day may include coaching leaders, holding development workshops, working with senior leaders to understand business drivers and building strategy, change management, and your day to day may include travel. Being external can also mean you're working with different organizations and will need to get up to speed quickly. If you're internal, you may be working in HR - learning and development (building learning programs and opportunities), employee engagement initiatives, performance and succession planning, recruiting, compensation, etc.
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Sydney’s Answer

Hello! Typically those in I/O psychology go on to work in Human Resources. Human Resources deal with staff training, office relations, administrative paper work, and hiring practices. There are lots of jobs in HR and I do not believe you will be at a lack of work. Mental health and wellness of employees in relation to their performance is a growing area. Therefore, companies are beginning to rely more on I/O psychologists for workplace improvement.
Thank you comment icon Hi Sydney. I appreciate your insight. HR wasn't really what I thought IO psychologists do; my understanding was that IO psychologists make ~100K a year by coming in to make workplaces a better environment for employees. Is that true? Do you personally have experience working in IO? Thank you, Vera. Vera
Thank you comment icon No problem. I/O Psychologist do improve work place operations, and their work is done in the division of Human Resources. I/O psychologists can make a high salary like you mentioned. My undergraduate degree is in psychology, and I took I/O courses. I also learned from my friend working in HR for a large company with her I/O psychology degree. Hope this helps! I/O is definitely a good area to join. Sydney Finkelstein
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Karin’s Answer

Hi, some large companies do hire I/O Psychologists as full time permanent hires, which means you would not need to move around to work. I/O Psychologists sometimes occupy other roles at companies, such as Training Departments, Employee Development, etc. You may also be able to find full time work as a consultant, and may work on consulting with several companies. I would recommend talking to someone in your career center to see if they have any leads on internships that might help you decide if this is a good career path for you.

Karin recommends the following next steps:

Discuss options with a career center
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Karl’s Answer

Hi Vera,
I work in Human Resources in Learning & Development and have worked for Organizational Psychologists before. To get an overview of what they do, you can Google "Organizational Psychology Job Description: What You’ll Do" and find some good resources. In the companies that I've worked for, they have worked on projects to re-organize the company's departments, help large numbers of employees adapt to change in their work place (doing work differently, using technology more effectively, etc.). Each day brings new challenges either in designing solutions to help people or working with members of a team of HR employees on a big projects taking months (sometimes a year or more). The rest of the company often looks to these experts to help them solve complex people problems.
And about having a steady job...it's up to you. You can work as an employee in a large corporation to the work or you can work for a consulting firm full-time that provides IO expertise or after you gain some experience you work as an individual consultant that gets hired for projects a few months at a time. Don't hold back! If you love the field of IO and apply yourself, there are many options to work. Go to LinkedIn and search for jobs as if you already have a degree, you can see what companies are looking for in their open IO job positions.
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