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The Rat – Psychology Jobs In and Out of the Lab

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Oct 24, 2011 in Career Path

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When they’re not raiding alleyways for garbage, rats are best known for being the subjects of countless scientific studies and tests, especially in the field of psychology. But did you know that rats are one of the world’s smartest animals? They are incredibly curious, learn quickly and have amazing senses of smell and hearing. They even dream in a similar way to humans.

Careers in the field of psychology are for those curious about the human mind. Many jobs involve research with rats or human subjects, but there are also jobs in psychology that allow you to work directly with people through counseling. Like a rat, you’ll need to be smart, as most positions require a master’s or doctoral degree. Here are some psychology jobs that will allow you to explore the wonders of the human—and perhaps rodent—mind.

1. Career or Vocational Counselor

Career counselors may help college students looking for a first job, or experienced individuals searching for a new job in their field or a new career path. They look at a client’s interests, job history, education, skills and personality characteristics in order to determine what careers may be right. They may also use tools such as assessments and evaluations. In addition, career counselors help clients develop job skills, practice interviewing, improve their resumes and find job openings.

2. School Psychologist

School psychologists help children deal with emotional, academic and social problems, usually in a school or other educational setting. School psychology has rapidly become one of the top job trends due to increased attention to children’s mental health. As it is a relatively new field, demand for qualified school psychologists is high.

3. Counselor

Counselors help a people with a wide variety of problems, but often specialize in a certain issue, such as marriage, family, emotional, educational and substance abuse issues. Most states require at least a master’s degree in order to become a licensed counselor. Typical work settings include schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, mental health clinics and private practices.

4. Genetics Counselor

Genetics counselors help provide individuals, couples, and families with information about genetic disorders. They usually work with other medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and geneticists to offer support and guidance to families who have a family member with a genetic disorder or who have a risk of passing down an inherited disorder to their future offspring. They usually have graduate training in genetics and counseling, and most have doctorate degrees.

5. Forensic Psychologist

Forensic psychologists apply psychology to the field of law. This career may not be as flashy as it is depicted on shows like CSI, but forensic psychology is still an exciting choice with potential for growth. They often work with other investigative experts to form criminal profiles, examine insurance claims, evaluate child custody reports and investigate suspected child abuse.

6. Engineering Psychologist

Engineering psychologists study how people interact with machines and other technology in order to design and improve the quality of the workplace and its products. For example, they could redesign a product to make it more efficient and easier to use in a work situation. Most work for private corporations performing research or consulting, but some may also be professors.

7. Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists assess, diagnose and treat clients suffering from psychological disorders. These professionals typically work in hospital settings, mental health clinics or private practices. Clinical psychology is the single largest employment area within psychology, but there are still plenty of jobs available for qualified professionals. In order to become a clinical psychologist, you must have a doctoral-level degree in clinical psychology and most states require a minimum of a one-year internship. Most graduate school programs in clinical psychology are fairly competitive.

8. Sports Psychologist

Sports psychologists focus on the psychological aspects of sports and athletics. They research topics such as motivation, performance and injury in order to improve athletic performance. They may also look for ways to use sports as a way to improve mental and physical health. Sports psychologists work in a variety of settings including universities, hospitals, athletic centers, private practices and research facilities.

9. Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists focus on workplace behavior and look for ways to increase worker productivity and select the best employees for certain jobs. Some I-O psychologists perform research through employee and workplace assessments, while others work directly with people by evaluating job candidates and training new employees. There are many opportunities at the master’s-degree level, but those with a doctoral-level degree in the field are in greater demand and will earn higher salaries.

10. Special Education Teacher

The field of special education is a wonderful opportunity for those who love helping children. Special education teachers work with students who have a variety of learning disabilities. You may work with several children for shorter periods or work one-on-one with just a few each day. A special education teacher must have a relevant bachelor’s degree and along with a teacher training certificate in special education. Enrollment is increasing in special education programs, and so job demand is high.

This guest post is contributed by Patricia. Patricia has a Masters in Psychology degree and maintains the site Psychology Degree. She writes about various subjects within the psychology field.

If you have a great idea for a jungle-themed post, let us know! Guest writers or requests are always welcome!

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The Underbrush – Breaking Through

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Nov 2, 2010 in Career Path, Job Search, Thinking Positive

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The Wall Street Journal reports some good news for 2011 accounting grads- make sure you use your college’s career center if you’re interested in Big 4 accounting jobs. You can also send resumes and cover letters directly to the Director of on campus recruiting at the Big 4 of your choice asking for an interview. Grades and activities will play a big part in their selection, as will internships, but these are some promising numbers:

PwC [PricewaterhouseCoopers] says it plans to recruit about 5,500 undergraduates and graduate students from U.S. campuses for the year ending June 30, 2011, for internships and full-time jobs. That’s up from 4,600 the prior year, and 4,800 the year before that…

Competitor Ernst & Young says it plans to hire 6,450 U.S. college students for full-time jobs and internships in the year ending June 30, 2011, while Deloitte LLP says it will hire 5,000 in the year ending May 31, 2011. KPMG plans to hire 3,400 in 2010, and 3,900 next year.”

Quote taken from the original article PwC Pays for Priority by Joe Walker

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The Adaptation – Interviewing Skills

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Jul 9, 2010 in Building Confidence, Career Path, Executive Coaching, Interviewing Skills, Job Search

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Last month, I had occasion to work with Walter Bond on a project where we were working with unemployed people from all walks of life. With over 20 years of experience in executive search and coaching, I was amazed by Walter’s ability to read people. As a former NBA player and entrepreneur, Walter meets a lot of people in his world and he can spot a poser from a mile away.

Many Americans are unemployed. Our goal that day was to work with a few people who were really struggling to hone their resumes, interview skills, personal appearance, and approach to their job search. Let’s face it; the world doesn’t owe us a living. Some of the people had advanced degrees; some were taking on line coursework towards a degree. As I worked one on one with each person, listening to their stories of getting laid off or fired, it was those people that were open to change that struck me as the ones that will really succeed after being given assistance.

I was amazed at how many people had such poor interviewing skills. One lovely woman had a strong background in bookkeeping and told us she loved it, but when asked what kind of job she was looking for answered, one that works with children. Another woman, with an advanced degree who really wanted to work in program management, had chosen to pursue work as an executive assistant in the hopes that she would land a job with an executive that would see her talents and ultimately chaperone her move her into a similar role.

Those that are willing to adapt and change will find new jobs. Finding new ways to attack a chronic problem is the only way out of a rut. If you’re one of these people, consider how you are answering interview questions. Over the next few weeks we will dissect basic interview questions a few at a time so the next time you are faced with the tough challenge, you will have the basic training to give the appropriate answers and succeed in getting the offer!

Carolyn Thompson

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The Old Dog – New Tips (Tricks)

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Old dogs CAN learn new tricks! Every day, we are challenged with new issues which are opportunities to learn something about ourselves. 

As a seasoned recruiter who has trained thousands of people, I had a meeting today about time management purely because I felt like things were slipping through the cracks and I needed to grab hold before everything collapsed around me. (It’s not just me, right?)

Whether you are a job seeker planning your personal marketing strategy, a business person trying to gain market share, or an executive recruiter looking to capitalize on the resurgence in the hiring market, remember these tips when planning your day:

1. You need to plan!  Fail to plan, plan to fail! As a member of the Pinnacle Society (www.pinnaclesociety.org”) we discuss our business strategies for success openly and the number one indicator of success is your ability to plan!

     o   Where will you call and why?

     o   What do you have that is of interest or need for someone?

     o   Who should you contact or ask for and why?

          §  Find names on linkedIn

     o   What’s in it for them?

     o   Don’t forget to ask for referrals!

2. Block out your activities in one or two hour chunks.

     o   Your calls will sound fresher if you are remain interested and are not bored with your subject matter.

     o   Work all the angles you need to work each day, not one per day.  For example, if you are a recruiter that works job orders and makes marketing calls, do some of each every day.  You’ll find you’ll cover a lot more ground with renewed enthusiasm if you get to the end of the first page of calls and can check that off your list and move onto your next one.

     o   Only plan 75% of your time. 

          §  You need to be flexible to deal with interruptions and the results of your hard work!

3. Think outside the box!

     o   In my office we look for CPA’s every day.  Sometimes, looking for the names of CPA firms turns up candidates we didn’t find doing a search for “CPA”. 

     o   If you are looking for a job, don’t just search for job titles; create a list of target companies and research them for related positions they may be advertising.  If they have ads for positions in and around your field, they would likely have a job for you somewhere, sometime…you just need to find out who reviews the resumes for that department and mail them a copy of yours via priority mail.  They will get it!

4. As a business person looking to expand your client base as the economy begins to recover, start with your clients from the past three years before trying to earn someone’s trust you’ve never worked with before. 

     o   A check in call is a powerful thing.  Find out how they are doing and how your services may be of assistance in their economic recovery.

Even if you aren’t an old dog, it is never too early to pick up on what the slightly wizened canines have to offer! Visit my website www.carolynthompson.net for webinars on these topics!

Carolyn Thompson

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Quicksand – Don’t Panic!

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Apr 1, 2009 in Executive Coaching, Job Search, Thinking Positive

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Last week, I attended a Hay Group presentation in Tysons Corner, VA where I was able to speak one-on-one with a variety of DC area Human Resources professionals.  While we all came to the event from different companies and backgrounds, we had one major commonality last week:  companies are struggling with decision making in the quicksand of our current economy. 

Hiring authorities in many fields feel they are dangling by a vine in the quicksand.  Many are scared to make too quick a decision, which may cause the sand to collapse around them, eventually smothering their career and/or the company.  Others have jobs that they just can’t locate qualified people for (like nursing and engineering) and are grasping at any and all available vines hoping candidates they find hanging there will ultimately pull them out of their understaffed situation.

The general consensus was that this analysis paralysis is the direct result of executives now being forced to bear an unlikely double burden.  Leading an organization in an uncertain economy forces them to make the best choices they can with the information they have available.  But that information is changing at the speed of light.  One day the stock market is up, one day it’s down.  One day their best client is signing a new contract, the next day the best client is being bought out. 

These leaders are struggling just like everyone else is with loss of retirement savings coupled with concerns about job security. Yet, for the good of the company, they are forced to put up a good front for the employees that report to them, making them feel safe, secure and ensuring productivity increases with fewer resources.  It’s a tough position to be in; hanging on a vine, hoping the quicksand will fill in beneath their feet, eventually buoying them above the danger back into business as usual.

According to a study published in the current issue of the journal Nature, it is impossible for a person immersed in quicksand to be drawn completely under. The fact is, quicksand is heavier than water so humans float in it. At rest, quicksand thickens with time, but it remains very sensitive to small variations in stress. At higher stresses, quicksand liquefies very quickly. The higher the stress the more fluid it becomes. This causes a trapped body to sink when it starts to move.

The problem is that we panic. We’re fearful of drowning and we do anything we can to prevent it, when, if we trusted general physics (and mother nature), we’d ultimately rise above the danger.

At the Hay Group event, I discovered most companies are still hiring, but they are inundated with applications, thus making them feel they have plenty of choices so they don’t need to be in a rush to hire someone.  Digging a little further, though, I found that the truth is that companies really are still seeing very few exceptionally qualified people in those piles of resumes.  Essentially, the inbox is full, but not with a high quality workforce, so they are unwilling to move forward until the perfect candidate surfaces.

As a job seeker, how can you rise above the quicksand to meet the executives on the vines?  For one, make sure you are only applying to positions you are qualified for.  My recent book TEN STEPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT JOB discusses creative, unique strategies for navigating the new economy and conducting a well planned job search.  You can locate those executives, just above the quicksand, that need your help.  Get your resume right in front of them before they get sucked under by the pressure around them and convince them YOU are the person they should hire.
 
Watch a webinar on Job searching at: http://www.carolynthompson.net/jobsearchwebinar.htm

Carolyn Thompson

Author of TEN EASY STEPS TO A PERFECT RESUME…available on Amazon.com!
and TEN STEPS TO FINDING THE PERFECT JOB…available on Amazon.com!  

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