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Psychology Careers – getting your first post Making the pitch, avoiding the pitfalls Brighton 2009 David Carew Chief Psychologist/ Head of Profession Department.

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Presentation on theme: "Psychology Careers – getting your first post Making the pitch, avoiding the pitfalls Brighton 2009 David Carew Chief Psychologist/ Head of Profession Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 Psychology Careers – getting your first post Making the pitch, avoiding the pitfalls Brighton 2009 David Carew Chief Psychologist/ Head of Profession Department for Work & Pensions

2 Aims  Factors for success in the labour market  Opportunity seeking and creation  Presentation – making the pitch  Career self-appraisal - exploration  Practical solutions – your questions answered  How to maximise your impact on employers

3 Objectives for the session  By the end of the session you should have a clearer understanding of how you can develop yourself and manage your career prospects

4 Current Employment Trends   Concept of self managed career   Portfolio careers   Specialist Vs Generalist roles   Managing your employability   Importance of CPD   Critical career mangement behaviours   Career health checks   5 year planning

5 Occupational Destinations  University professor/lecturing (48%)  Research in private sector (15%)  Work independently as consultant (13%)  Research in not for profit or government (12%)  Research in a university (10%)  Manage in private sector (6%)  Start own business (6%)  Manager in not for profit or government (5%)  Non-college teaching (5%)  College administrator (3%)

6 What determines career choice  What you know – who you know  How good is your network?  Making links to opportunity  Individual preferences + personality  Prospects for progression  Pay and reward  Perceptions of ‘available’ opportunities  Need for security  Appraisal of one’s own talents and skills

7 Critical Employability Skills  Motivation and Enthusiasm  Team working  Communication  Flexibility and adaptability  Initiative and pro-activity  Ongoing development

8 First degree Masters PhD Lack structured work history of work experience – dilemma

9 Marketable workplace skills  Self-motivation  Information management  Evidence based reporting  Critical evaluation and analytic skills  Report writing  Project management  Organization ability  Think carefully how you present these skills to a potential employer

10  Graduates with a disability  Mature Graduates

11 The Box of Thoughts! How to identify the job that best suits you

12 Top Tips  Existing skill sets and achievements – document in a portfolio  Get some outside opinions  Choose a career path that suits your personality  Formulate career and skills development objectives  Research the companies and organizations in your chosen sector

13 Top Tips [2]  Always on the lookout  Ask probing questions at interview  Never make a career choice based on money  Always try to achieve a sensible work life balance  Escape from your comfort zone

14 Know your worth  Significant value to individual employers  Important to UK economy and labour market But…  A survey published by UK Grad suggests 73% of PhDs have no idea or only a vague idea of their career aspirations when they begin their research degree

15 A recent experience….  Think outside your subject area  Gain transferable skills – attend seminars  Talk to people outside academia  Take time out after PhD to gain work experience  Don’t be afraid to do something different  Don’t let setbacks get you down  Ask yourself if a post doc is for you?

16 Informed decisions Insight not hindsight!

17  And although 54% of respondents used their careers service as an undergraduate, only a quarter have visited during their PhD. A third have never been to a careers service at all and almost half have never been to an employer presentation.  A quarter of postgraduates do not know which type of organisation they expect to join when they finish. Yet 43% expect to be paid more because of their PhD, while a third have no idea how their PhD will affect their salary.

18 Recruitment Advertising  Indicates sort of people sought  Include standard qualifications required  Proven achievers and vibrant individuals

19 Preparing for employment  Not just what you have done in last 3 years  Wider self appraisal of talents  Dedicated time to career planning

20 Selling your skills to employers  What makes you unique?  Employer concerns of too narrow a focus  Employers prize detailed knowledge and analytical thinking  PhDs relatively small cohort in the labour market  Competitive (edge)  Self awareness of skills acquired

21 Making the pitch  Be clear why you want to work for company  Show willingness to learn  Identify where your skills are most relevant  Propose thinking for a solution to a business problem  Know the language of the business  Create right impression in recruiters mind

22 Getting your first post 1. What sort of job do you want? 2. What is important to you in this job? 3. What do you not want? 4. What can you offer? 5. Where will you get it? 6. How will you find it?

23 BIG 5  CV – leave the talking until the interview  Foresight – ideas – its what your about  Network – speculate but don’t over sell  Up-skill – keep fresh and informed  MOT – every 6 months

24 Some pointers  Keep CVs short and focused  Highlight core achievements  Be clear about your specific contribution(s)  Be careful about over selling  Be prepared! - think on your feet  Research thoroughly – be clear not vague  Work on your interpersonal skills  Involve others in giving you feedback  Find out what interests employers  Read popular press as much as journals

25 Be different!  Cultivate unusual hobbies!  If all else fails at least you will have something to talk about at the interview!

26 Psychologist Appointments - British Psychological Society – The Guardian Newspaper – The Independent Newspaper – Graduate resources Job & Information Sources

27 Any questions?


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