Succeeding in Graduate School: The Career Guide for Psychology Students

By Steven Walfish; Allen K. Hess | Go to book overview

The moral of this story is that life changes in many ways when one goes from being a student to being a full-time employee. Some of these changes are predictable; some may come as a surprise. It is good to try to minimize the surprises, I think.


Put Your Formal Education in Perspective

A degree from a good school, high grades, some successful work experience; solid recommendations from professors, employers, and others, and a favorable impression by interviewers—such things will help you get a job. But they will not help you to keep it or to advance. Once in the door and on the payroll, performance is what matters. No one will remember, or care, that you got a 4.0 average and graduated at the top of your class from a prestigious school when it comes time to decide whether you are to get a raise, or a promotion, or whether you are to be retained when it is necessary to reduce the size of the staff. What will be remembered is how effective you have been in helping to get projects done well and on time. Another way to make the point is to say that credentials and evidence of performance in school will help one get a job, but what counts in keeping a job and moving ahead in a company is the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and work ethic that one displays on the job, day in and day out. In acquiring the credentials, one should not fail to get the knowledge and work habits they are assumed to represent.


REFERENCES

Adams, J. L. (1974). Conceptual blockbusting: A guide to better ideas. San Francisco: Freeman.

Bransford, J. D., & Stein, B. S. (1984). The ideal problem solver A Guide for improving thinking, learning, and creativity. New York: Freeman.

Buehler, R., Griffin, D., & Ross, M. (1994). Exploring the “planning fallacy”: Why people underestimate their task completion times. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 366–381.

Dentzer, S. (1989, November). The Maypo culture. Business Month. pp. 26–34.

Hartley, J. (1998). Learning and studying: A research perspective. New York: Routledge.

Hayes, J. R. (1989). The complete problem solver (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Hayes-Roth, B., & Hayes-Roth, F. (1979). A cognitive model of planning. Cognitive Science, 3, 275–310.

Johnston, W. A. (1976). An individual performance and self-evaluation in a simulated team. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 2, 309–328.

Kidd, J. B. (1970). The utilization of subjective probabilities in production planning. Acta Psychologica, 34, 338–347.

Kornhauser, A. W. (1993). How to study: Suggestions for high-school and college students (3rd ed.; D. Mt Emerson, Rev.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Original work published 1924)

Nickerson, R. S. (1988). Technology in education in 2020: Thinking about the not-distant future. In R. S. Nickerson & P. P. Zodhiates (Eds.), Technology in education: Looking toward 2020 (pp. 1–9). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Nickerson, R. S. (1997). Designing for human use: Human-factors psychologists. In R. J. Stemberg (Ed.), Career paths in psychology (pp. 213–243). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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