If your dream career involves supporting and helping others with their mental health, working as a psychologist could be perfect for you. But before you get there, you’ll need to go through a lot of education. To work as a psychologist, you are typically required to have at least a master’s degree in psychology. However, work experience is often just as important, as many employers in this field are looking for people who have worked in similar situations and have a track record of supporting others, even before getting qualified.
Here are some roles to consider doing as you study to help you achieve your dream career of working in psychology.
Working as a peer support specialist is a great way to prepare yourself for becoming a psychologist. A peer support job allows you to communicate with service users who are in need of support and offer a listening ear and advice when needed. Hushley is a peer support app that is ideal for psychology students to use since you can decide on the days and times that are best for you to work. Hushley is set to launch in December 2020 and will offer peer support work opportunities to certified individuals. Earning the NCPS certification to become a peer support specialist can also help support your future career as a psychologist, and you’ll earn valuable feedback too.
Many people use mental health support helplines when they are at the lowest point in their life or going through a serious mental health crisis. If you want to work as a psychologist, a helpline position is an ideal choice for getting experience working with people from all walks of life with various different problems. You might consider helping people by working for a suicide prevention helpline or volunteering your time to help individuals who need assistance with escaping an abusive situation. Not only can this role provide an excellent experience for your future career, but it can also be extremely rewarding to know that you may have saved somebody’s life.
Mental Health Support Worker
Mental health support workers are tasked with supporting mental health professionals and service users, often in a psychiatric ward or rehabilitation center. A role as a support worker is quite hands-on and variable since you never know what each day is going to bring. Working face-to-face with mental health service users and alongside qualified psychologists and mental health professionals can be some of the best experiences you’ll get for your future career.
Mentor or Coach
Often, working as a psychologist is all about providing mentorship to people who want to better manage their mental health and overcome problems. Working as a mentor or coach in any setting as you study can provide you with a range of valuable transferable skills that will help you excel in a mental health support career. Mentoring people can help you develop better listening, verbal communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills to name a few, all of which are essential for a successful career as a psychologist.
While education is important for those looking to pursue a career in psychology, getting valuable and relevant work experience is often also necessary.