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Psychology phd & employment

(17 Posts)
ItsBigDecisionTime Wed 30-Mar-16 11:24:16

Hi all
I'm coming towards completing my PhD in Psychology. My research is a qualitative project looking at lived experience and how health promotion strategies could draw on elements of this experience to improve wellbeing- trying not to out myself badly
I'm getting a bit twitchy about what job I could go into afterwards. The ones I've looked at so far are mostly teaching (some experience but I don't love it) and research (temporary contracts up to 3 years).
Just wondered if anyone had any other suggestions? Thanks in advance!

MedSchoolRat Wed 30-Mar-16 17:47:56

There are research opportunities in industry too, I imagine. Marketing, policy groups?

MatildaBeetham Wed 30-Mar-16 17:57:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MatildaBeetham Wed 30-Mar-16 17:59:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ItsBigDecisionTime Wed 30-Mar-16 18:28:29

Thank you for taking the time to respond!
I suppose I'm a bit worried if my skills are transferable to another sector e.g marketing.
I like the idea of working with a local authority, in a college/school perhaps or children's centre but find myself asking 'doing what exactly?!'
I'm not sure where these kind of jobs are advertised- maybe council website - or what search terms to use. I keep getting directed towards social work but after my PhD I don't really want to do any more studying if I can help it.

wizzywig Wed 30-Mar-16 18:29:24

Health psychology sounds perfect for you

ItsBigDecisionTime Wed 30-Mar-16 18:36:30

My main focus for the last 4 years has been health psychology. But do what with it? I'm not bps accredited which probably doesn't help but what kind of places employ health psychologists? Sorry for the downheartedness and many questions, just feeling a bit demoralised sad

lljkk Wed 30-Mar-16 18:39:09

er, have you actually tried typing "health psychology" into a jobs search engine?

I don't understand half of this, but I suspect you do.

ItsBigDecisionTime Wed 30-Mar-16 18:51:26

Yes but it brings me to clinical/applied psychologist jobs which I am not qualified for.
I've been looking on but will keep an eye out on the nhs website and council.

lljkk Wed 30-Mar-16 19:02:30

Is that item I linked to b4 an applied or clinical psychology job? ( I thought it was something to do with marketing, but said I didn't understand it)

This health psychology position is journalism.

ItsBigDecisionTime Wed 30-Mar-16 19:11:49

The journalism one sounds more promising but at the the risk of sounding bratty I'm a bit overqualified and my post grad studies aren't necessary.
The other one is a smidgen confusing but it's really interesting to see these totally different roles- definitely need to broaden my searches! Thanks for taking the time out to reply and find me jobs !

aniakg28 Thu 31-Mar-16 17:21:42

Sounds difficult and I fully appreciate that it can be overwhelming to come up with a good answer to the question of "what can I do with my PhD"? If I may add from my own experience of finishing a PhD (in sociology) six years ago and realising towards the end I didn't want an academic career, here's what I would tell my younger self:
1. let go of defining yourself and potential jobs in terms of your degree. I am now an IT project manager and I help people implement software. I do not have an IT background, my undergrad degree was in languages, my PhD focused on social movements. It was my transferable skills that helped me transition into a project management career
2. related to the above - get yourself to your careers office and work with them to help you identify what your skills are, what options are out there and how to sell what you have to offer to potential employers
3. in addition to that, have a look at resources which are available online - you are obviously familiar with, they have a really good blog which may be a start:
4. you may want to consider working with recruitment agencies, this is what I did and I actually got my job through HAYS, you could go and register yourself and follow that up by phonecalls to recruiters, you'd be surprised what doors that may open up for you
5. there is an online forum for people wanting to do clinical psychology called - you may find the discussion there useful. Another good resource is and

Good luck!

lljkk Thu 31-Mar-16 18:07:25

Friend with 2 degrees in biology (including genetic engineering) produces video games for a living. There are funny career paths out there.

Levithecat Thu 31-Mar-16 20:18:35

Without accreditation/chartered status you're a bit limited for health psych jobs, but you could look into getting chartered status now?

Have you thought about public health? The training is quite quant heavy though. Or public health research--in my dept there are lots of good research posts that would suit someone with a PhD like yours (behaviour change in schools for e.g). longer projects/scope to progress too.

ItsBigDecisionTime Fri 01-Apr-16 13:27:45

Thank you for some really helpful advice- questions answered that I didn't even realise I had!
I've looked briefly into accreditation and think I'd need to complete a conversion course, which I'd do if I had to but would rather avoid further study if I can.
I'll definitely look a bit more bit more broadly, I hadn't thought to go to a recruitment agency though have booked an appt with my uni careers advice service.

akkakk Fri 01-Apr-16 13:32:55

A lot depends on how open-minded you are...

if your attitude is: I have these skills / experience - I want a job that fits them, then your prospects are relatively limited

If your attitude is: I have these skills / experience, how can I use those to bring strength to a job / add value / contribute in way that others can't then there is probably a lot more scope...

In business generally the skills and experience you have - psychology / perception / research / academic rigour / etc. will all be very valuable - so perhaps look at industries you like and see how you could help trasform a business in one of those

ItsBigDecisionTime Fri 01-Apr-16 19:33:45

Sound advice akk I was definitely in the first camp before coming on here and picking your brains!
A sit down with a notepad is needed to work out my strengths I think!

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