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Nowhere to go with my Psychology career

I am at my wits end and close to giving up on psychology as I am getting nowhere.

I have a undergrad in psychology (bps accredited) from aberdeen uni. I also have a masters in forensic psychology done abroad and experience as an AP also in a forensic setting abroad. I currently work in NHS Scotland but not in my area. I’m struggling to get an AP job. I’ve applied for possibly over 100 positions in the past year and haven’t even gotten to interview stage.

Most recently I decided to apply for the UCL PWP course and got rejected. I’m in tears because I honestly don’t know where to go from here. I feel every Avenue I go down I get rejected. If anyone has any advice I would appreciate if as I’m 26 now and I’m not sure if I can stand being rejected like this going forward.
Do you have any feedback about what is going wrong for you? That is probably the most important constructive thing you can have in your position. Ideally that will be from a clinical supervisor who knows you well, but if you don't have that it may be worth seeking that externally (or even paying for it) from someone who regularly hires for AP posts, IAPT supervisor or involved with PWP selection.

Also, I would be sceptical about any generic advice from people who don't know you, or well meaning platititudes from nice people. That may be helpful in making you feel better in the very short term, but in terms of moving forward, growing and developing far less useful
Reply 2
Original post by Lord Asriel
Do you have any feedback about what is going wrong for you? That is probably the most important constructive thing you can have in your position. Ideally that will be from a clinical supervisor who knows you well, but if you don't have that it may be worth seeking that externally (or even paying for it) from someone who regularly hires for AP posts, IAPT supervisor or involved with PWP selection.

Also, I would be sceptical about any generic advice from people who don't know you, or well meaning platititudes from nice people. That may be helpful in making you feel better in the very short term, but in terms of moving forward, growing and developing far less useful

Thank you for your response! I have received feedback on occasion stating my experience and writing style were good it’s just someone else’s was better or they had more experience. I don’t know what other experience to get that would enable me to move forward. I feel very stuck at the moment
Original post by Mlopes96
Thank you for your response! I have received feedback on occasion stating my experience and writing style were good it’s just someone else’s was better or they had more experience. I don’t know what other experience to get that would enable me to move forward. I feel very stuck at the moment


Yes, it's a common piece of feedback, which means you have a good base to work from, but it's probably about how you present it and how you can reflect on what you have done.

That's why you really need to spend some time with someone who knows both your experiences and also has good knowledge of AP/ IAPT applications, and who can talk through how best to package yourself and how to address any gaps. Frequent topic of discussion in local Assistant Psychologist groups, but there aren't as many of those as they used to be.

Clinical supervision (or mentoring) is where someone can go through your applicantion forms and tell you what may be missing, or if there are any major reasons why you may be losing out. Someone in that capacity can also give you good plan Bs and alternatives based on your strengths. If you don't get that through your current job it may be worth paying for independently.
Reply 4
Original post by Mlopes96
I am at my wits end and close to giving up on psychology as I am getting nowhere.

I have a undergrad in psychology (bps accredited) from aberdeen uni. I also have a masters in forensic psychology done abroad and experience as an AP also in a forensic setting abroad. I currently work in NHS Scotland but not in my area. I’m struggling to get an AP job. I’ve applied for possibly over 100 positions in the past year and haven’t even gotten to interview stage.

Most recently I decided to apply for the UCL PWP course and got rejected. I’m in tears because I honestly don’t know where to go from here. I feel every Avenue I go down I get rejected. If anyone has any advice I would appreciate if as I’m 26 now and I’m not sure if I can stand being rejected like this going forward.

It's such a tough field to go into because of how competitive it is. I've been where you are and remember feeling so dejected.

I struggled for a long time to get an AP role, so I continued with different training and looking at other job roles to get more experience. I trained as a counsellor alongside roles in mental health support work and drug and alcohol recovery work. I then got an AP role in the drug and alcohol service I worked in. After qualifying as a counsellor, I managed to get a role as a trainee high intensity therapist.

It sounds like you have a lot of relevant experience, maybe adding counselling skills training could be helpful. I agree with the other comments as well that getting feedback from a supervisor on your applications would be helpful, as it seems like it could be the way you are writing about your skills/experience that is stopping you getting interviews (just based on the fact that you seem to have a lot of great experience!).
Original post by Mlopes96
I am at my wits end and close to giving up on psychology as I am getting nowhere.

I have a undergrad in psychology (bps accredited) from aberdeen uni. I also have a masters in forensic psychology done abroad and experience as an AP also in a forensic setting abroad. I currently work in NHS Scotland but not in my area. I’m struggling to get an AP job. I’ve applied for possibly over 100 positions in the past year and haven’t even gotten to interview stage.

Most recently I decided to apply for the UCL PWP course and got rejected. I’m in tears because I honestly don’t know where to go from here. I feel every Avenue I go down I get rejected. If anyone has any advice I would appreciate if as I’m 26 now and I’m not sure if I can stand being rejected like this going forward.

@Mlopes96
Have you thought about teaching Psychology? As you don't have QTLS you wouldn't be able to do it in a school but you could in further education.

With your NHS experience you could potentially teach something like Access to HE Nursing and Midwifery too.

A few jobs going on TES (there aren't usually many at this time due to the start of the academic year) but agencies could find you work
https://www.tes.com/jobs/browse/further-education-psychology-teaching-and-lecturing

Marc
Arden University Student Ambassador
Original post by Mlopes96
I am at my wits end and close to giving up on psychology as I am getting nowhere.

I have a undergrad in psychology (bps accredited) from aberdeen uni. I also have a masters in forensic psychology done abroad and experience as an AP also in a forensic setting abroad. I currently work in NHS Scotland but not in my area. I’m struggling to get an AP job. I’ve applied for possibly over 100 positions in the past year and haven’t even gotten to interview stage.

Most recently I decided to apply for the UCL PWP course and got rejected. I’m in tears because I honestly don’t know where to go from here. I feel every Avenue I go down I get rejected. If anyone has any advice I would appreciate if as I’m 26 now and I’m not sure if I can stand being rejected like this going forward.

Hey @Mlopes96 :redface: I was in a similar position after I graduated and can relate to feeling really deflated and lost trying to find a role to suit me. You're not the only one in this position, it's really tough and can feel so demoralising applying to jobs constantly and feeling stuck with it. After lots of rejection and losing confidence in myself I eventually started in an entry level position which was fine for a short time, but eventually led to me applying to work in a different field I'm much happier in. I can say from my experience that with some persistence and taking chances it was worth it, but I know right now it might not feel that way.

Have you considered reaching out to the Careers team at Aberdeen to see if they'd take an appointment to go over some options with you? They might be able to help with application and interview prep and give some other inspiration and advice on what's next.

I know it's tough but I'd echo some of the other advice here - reach out to people who can help you and keep going :hugs:

- Caitlin :h:
Official University of Strathclyde Rep
Original post by Mlopes96
I am at my wits end and close to giving up on psychology as I am getting nowhere.

I have a undergrad in psychology (bps accredited) from aberdeen uni. I also have a masters in forensic psychology done abroad and experience as an AP also in a forensic setting abroad. I currently work in NHS Scotland but not in my area. I’m struggling to get an AP job. I’ve applied for possibly over 100 positions in the past year and haven’t even gotten to interview stage.

Most recently I decided to apply for the UCL PWP course and got rejected. I’m in tears because I honestly don’t know where to go from here. I feel every Avenue I go down I get rejected. If anyone has any advice I would appreciate if as I’m 26 now and I’m not sure if I can stand being rejected like this going forward.

Hi, this is the University of Aberdeen rep account. Just want to start by saying that your situation sounds incredibly frustrating. Facing down many rejections really can grind you down, so it's perfectly understandable for you to be feeling like this currently. I will say though that it really sounds like you are doing everything you can and have relevant experience

What we can offer if you are an alumni of the University of Aberdeen would be booking an appointment with our Careers Service who would be best placed to discuss with you: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/careers/
They may be able to give you some pointers of directions you can look or review a personal statement, so would encourage you to email [email protected] if you think an appointment could be helpful.

I hope this helps even a little, and truly wish you all the best in finding something.

- Matthew, Enquiry Team
(edited 7 months ago)
Reply 8
Original post by Nerol
It's such a tough field to go into because of how competitive it is. I've been where you are and remember feeling so dejected.

I struggled for a long time to get an AP role, so I continued with different training and looking at other job roles to get more experience. I trained as a counsellor alongside roles in mental health support work and drug and alcohol recovery work. I then got an AP role in the drug and alcohol service I worked in. After qualifying as a counsellor, I managed to get a role as a trainee high intensity therapist.

It sounds like you have a lot of relevant experience, maybe adding counselling skills training could be helpful. I agree with the other comments as well that getting feedback from a supervisor on your applications would be helpful, as it seems like it could be the way you are writing about your skills/experience that is stopping you getting interviews (just based on the fact that you seem to have a lot of great experience!).


Hi, thank you for this valuable advice. Could you please tell me what is the route to qualify as a counsellor in the UK? I am on a tier 4 student visa currently and about to graduate in MSc psychology conversion. I tried doing a PG cert counselling psychology part time course but they did not allow any sort of work while on that degree so I had to withdraw. I keep hearing that PWP trainee programmes do not people on any graduate scheme visas so I feel quite dejected.
Reply 9
Original post by m.mandhyan
Hi, thank you for this valuable advice. Could you please tell me what is the route to qualify as a counsellor in the UK? I am on a tier 4 student visa currently and about to graduate in MSc psychology conversion. I tried doing a PG cert counselling psychology part time course but they did not allow any sort of work while on that degree so I had to withdraw. I keep hearing that PWP trainee programmes do not people on any graduate scheme visas so I feel quite dejected.

Hi,

I don't know much about getting onto these programs while on a student visa. All professional training in this field involves a practical/clinical work placement element, so you may struggle with that on a student visa. My assumption would be that you need to be eligible to work in the UK in order to get onto professional training as a counsellor/therapist or PWP. But, as I said, it's not something I know much about, so definitely look into it. It might be worth contacting some courses directly to ask.

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