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What should my next steps be?

I graduated with my B.S. in Psychology and am now pursuing a Masters degree in Applied Psychology: I/O Psychology. I have been on the hunt for an internship or job that will give me experience within this discipline. It has been hard to find one that pays, that’s near me, and is within the field. What should my next steps be?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Jerome’s Answer

I am a huge believer in networking. A high percentage of jobs/internships are granted as a result of who you know! I’d find an association with in the discipline you mentioned and see if they offer student memberships. Connect with others, ask about their journeys, seek advice and share your goals. The right conversation can have a huge impact on your career.
Thank you comment icon I will start looking for associations and networking opportunities. Thank you! Katelyn
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Marlon’s Answer

There are a couple of suggestions you could consider when taking your next step:
- Try reaching out to people in the field of your interest to establish connections. Whether it be on a personal or professional level, networking can get you a step closer into the position you want to be in. Some of the benefits can include support with your application, providing connections, or informing you of openings to name a few. Former colleagues or professors could possibly be a good starting point. Your prior school might be able to provide assistance with resources dedicated to alumni seeking their next opportunity. Searching up networking events could be an alternative as well.
- A position that can be within close distance, specific to what you want to do, and offer great pay is a great ideal to have. With that mentioned, it may be worth contemplating what you might be willing to compromise on. It may also be worth broadening what it is you are searching for. Biding your time with a temporary position could offer a pause on the job search while building up your experience.
- Do not give up! It can admittedly be tough to come up short after putting in so much hard work. Just remember the process to getting a job is just as much of a learning experience as being in a job. If you find yourself being drained, take a break from the job searching grind. Do what you need to do to come back feeling ready to achieve your goal. Consider having a change in your mental approach when applying. A change in perspective could go some length in helping you get a step closer to your job.
Wishing you the best of hopes that you find a job soon!
Thank you comment icon I never thought of job searching being considered an experience in itself. That’s very true, thank you for your suggestions! Katelyn
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Elyse’s Answer

Hi Katelyn,

Great question! Industrial/Organizational Psychology is an excellent example of a field of study that prepares you (well!) for a number of career options, but it can be difficult at first to identify exactly what job titles to be searching for. Instead of searching for specific job titles, I would encourage you to search by skill keywords (communication, culture building, and creating team structures might be a few - but consider the skills you feel you have mastered through your studies). I would also encourage finding companies that have the culture + benefits you are looking for, and peruse their job openings to see if your skills and experience fit any of the roles.

Since pay and location are important factors in your search, it can also be worth taking a closer look at your career "big picture." Consider each important factor (role, salary, location, schedule, etc.) and determine what your non-negotiables are in each of those categories (for example: minimum salary, maximum commute time/willingness to relocate, primary focus of your job role). Once you narrow down your top priorities, you may see new avenues or create greater flexibility for yourself and your search!

Finally, I encourage you to talk with your professors to connect with others in the field. Since they will have seen a number of students who have been in your shoes, they can offer support with identifying next steps. Keep asking questions!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your input. I’ll definitely have to figure out what job role I’d prefer to work in and to figure out my nonnegotiables. Thank you for giving me something to chew on! Katelyn
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