Succeeding in Graduate School: The Career Guide for Psychology Students

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

27
Developing a Career in Psychology
Steven Walfish
When I originally conceptualized this chapter I thought the focus would be on the multitude of opportunities available to new psychologists. I quickly realized that this would be a challenging task for an entire book. So, my focus for this chapter is the personal and practical issues involved in developing a career in psychology. How can emerging professionals match their own interests and needs to a workable career in either academia or independent practice?
ISSUES FOR THE NEW GRADUATE ENTERING THE JOB MARKET
Plante (1998) noted that recent market changes have increased the level of worry among psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows embarking on careers. He described a section of a professional issues seminar that he teaches that focuses on the job search process, and offered advice on such basics as completing one's degree, preparing appropriate vitae, and the importance of networking and contacting possible employers. Three topics he presented are of paramount importance.
The need to be realistic. Finding the ideal job immediately on completion of training is not common. However, your first professional position is also unlikely to be your last. Benefits can be gleaned from all positions in terms of providing useful experience, further training opportunities, and future career opportunities.
The need to expand the window of opportunities beyond the traditional roles demonstrated during graduate training. New professionals often underestimate their job skills and how they can be applied in a wide variety of jobs in business and industry, schools, hospitals, the media, and other agencies. The chapter by Ware earlier in this book

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