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Will working jobs outside of the field Im majoring in be beneficial to my career in the long run?

I want to become a psychologist but the work available to me has nothing to do with psychology. Can working at target or safeway while im in college help further my career? #college #psychology #art #higher-education #politics #project-management

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Subject: Career question for you

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Kari’s Answer

Yes! Any chance to expand your knowledge will help you in the long run. Think of it as the same you would when getting your degree, you don't only takes classes in that specific field. You have some basics like English, Math, History, etc. By adding those subjects into your education you become more well-rounded. If you are unable to work in your field, it's okay, take the opportunity to learn something new and you never know, you might just be able to apply your learning's to your field and make yourself more attractive to potential employers.

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David’s Answer

I was primarily a sales guy for the majority of my professional career. It was time for a change so I started networking with corporate professionals that worked in areas that held my interest. Yes! It definitely helps to have a diverse work history to build skills and also add to your resume.
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Roland’s Answer

Yes depending on your passions and future goals. Any way you can expand your skill set is a great way to make yourself more marketable and needed in todays work force. Im reminded of a comment made to me as a child; Jack of all trades and a master of none! Learn all that your can and always be a student of life. The day you stop learning is the day you stop trying.

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Heather’s Answer

Echoing what others have said, working with people in any setting will feed into your psychology career goals, and your psychology career will feed back into any role where you are working with people. It's a bit circular, but aren't the best things in life that way? I would also recommend using any spare time you have to do volunteer work in the area of psychology that you're most passionate about, which will also bolster how your resume comes across to future employers.
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Brendon’s Answer

I personally think that the biggest benefits that you would receive would be the increased income and less debt after graduating. But only if you're able to work WITOUT negatively affecting what you get from college. Since becoming a psychologist requires a Master's or Doctorate degree you'll need to have a strong GPA and, even more importantly, a strong understanding of your undergraduate coursework.


If you're already working retail, keep doing it, but I would recommend taking the time to get to know whatever faculty you can: go to their offices, join clubs and professional organizations, study on campus in the psychology building, be on time and in the front row for your classes. Generally, make sure that your face is recognizable. Then, you can see if there is work as a TA, tutor, grader, etc for the classes that you've passed. Then, once you find a job related to your major (it might not be until your an upperclassman) you can give your two-weeks notice at Target.

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Marie-France’s Answer

I would argue that definitely working jobs outside your field could positively and effectively contribute to your career development. In other words, you have opportunities to pick up additional skills that you would otherwise not get from your field of study. Let those working jobs help broaden the door to greater opportunities. For example, I majored in biomedical engineering, completed a BS in Computer Science. I then worked as a Retail Sales Manager for 8 years, then switch to Telcom customer service to finally obtaining my dream job as an IT Project Manager for Verizon. I later completed a dual Masters in Information Systems Management & MBA, and just recently a BA in Communications. So I say, don't focus on one thing, explore to grow.

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Arianne’s Answer

Hi Elliott,

As previous responders have stated, the answer is emphatically "yes"! At it's core, a psychologist seeks to help people, which is a goal which is common to many disciplines. And the varied experiences of serving varied types of customers -- the happy, the completely unsatisfied, the angry, etc. -- at a retail level will no doubt be part of great foundational knowledge base that you'll be able to refer back to in your further studies and for life in general.
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Wilfred’s Answer

Absolutely! The great thing in the USA is that often people are given chances to work outside of their field of expertise or education and I believe this is the reason why the USA is on the forefront of innovation. This starts with the example you highlight, to pick up any experience in life and learn from it. You'd be surprised how this will benefit you in the long run and will shape your life and your choices. But you have to be open to any input you receive from people from any walk of life.

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