T Nation

Can't Get my Career Off the Ground...

OK, so I wanted to be a psychologist, I’ve wanted this for some time. Basically I need my Ph.D. in psychology. In the meantime I need some clinical experience.

So I start college early (I only went to H.S. for 2 years). I go for 4 years to get my bachelor’s…except I don’t get it, I needed an extra year. (freshman year I figured out girls existed…and yeah you know the rest).

So anyhow, I take a year off after my 4th year, and do IT consulting. The money is decent, 16/hr roughly which for me is like gold because I can really pinch a penny. I go back to college, and get my Bachelor’s in psychology, in May of 07. I decide to go into a clinical MSW program in Boston. While there I’m at a clinical internship providing counseling for individuals, and groups.

After one year I decide the program isn’t clinical enough and I’d rather shoot for my Ph.D. in psychology, rather than wasting another year in the MSW program. I apply, and get this, I never hear back from the programs. I call them up, and they say no word. I don’t get in, I don’t get rejected, nothing. nada. Like I don’t exist.

So in the meantime I’m applying for jobs that require a BA in psychology, and I can’t get a fucking break. I’m not even talking glamorous jobs, I’m talking like 12/hr type shit and they want you to work with kids that WILL stab you, and they expect you to work the 4-midnight shift and then come in for 8 the next morning.

So I have a BA, a year’s worth of master’s level counseling education, and a year’s clinical experience. Should be a shoe-in, right? Wrong. I haven’t received a fucking offer yet, and I’ve been looking for months. This education system makes no sense. I was earning more with no bachelor’s, in the IT field, than I am in the psychology field with experience and a degree. Hell I can’t even GET a job in the psychology field with those qualifications.

It’s like you have to put yourself into massive debt to get this degree, and unless you’re a doctor or a lawyer you’re going to spend the rest of your life living off the crumbs of people in those fields, at or near poverty, all because you wanted your bachelor’s and to help people, or work in a field besides medicine or law. Fucking ridiculous.

Not for nothin, but stop bitching. Everyone takes their licks and starts off at the bottom- it’s the way of the world.

If you’re smart and you work hard, you’ll catch a break. But cryin about it on the internet isn’t going to get you anywhere.

What were your grades like? PhD clinical psych programs are harder to get into than medical school.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
Not for nothin, but stop bitching. Everyone takes their licks and starts off at the bottom- it’s the way of the world.

If you’re smart and you work hard, you’ll catch a break. But cryin about it on the internet isn’t going to get you anywhere.[/quote]

Yo Irish,

That’s his calling card. 95% of his posts are of the “woe is me” variety.

Waste of fucking time…

Call Dr. Phil.

Out of everyone on this forum, you fall squarely into the category of “should never be a psychologist.”

Take it as a sign and stick with IT.

So, you stopped the MSW program before you were finished and thought you would be welcomed into a harder program?

The educational world is no different from the rest of the world. If you burn bridges, word gets around. Actually, even more so in academia/healthcare. I bet your advisers and instructors work with/refer patients to people in the schools you applied to all of the time. If not, they trained under them, or see them at conferences.

As it stands, the MSW program thinks it wasted a slot on you. A PhD program is not going to commit 3-6 years (whatever it is for this field) to you if you can’t commit to 2.

I think the only chance you have is to beg to get back into the MSW program. And get some counseling yourself/listen to your advisers. What would you tell one of your poor clients who was thinking of quitting a job without a better one lined up?

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:
OK, so I wanted to be a psychologist, I’ve wanted this for some time. Basically I need my Ph.D. in psychology. In the meantime I need some clinical experience.

So I start college early (I only went to H.S. for 2 years). I go for 4 years to get my bachelor’s…except I don’t get it, I needed an extra year. (freshman year I figured out girls existed…and yeah you know the rest).

So anyhow, I take a year off after my 4th year, and do IT consulting. The money is decent, 16/hr roughly which for me is like gold because I can really pinch a penny. I go back to college, and get my Bachelor’s in psychology, in May of 07. I decide to go into a clinical MSW program in Boston. While there I’m at a clinical internship providing counseling for individuals, and groups.

After one year I decide the program isn’t clinical enough and I’d rather shoot for my Ph.D. in psychology, rather than wasting another year in the MSW program. I apply, and get this, I never hear back from the programs. I call them up, and they say no word. I don’t get in, I don’t get rejected, nothing. nada. Like I don’t exist.

So in the meantime I’m applying for jobs that require a BA in psychology, and I can’t get a fucking break. I’m not even talking glamorous jobs, I’m talking like 12/hr type shit and they want you to work with kids that WILL stab you, and they expect you to work the 4-midnight shift and then come in for 8 the next morning.

So I have a BA, a year’s worth of master’s level counseling education, and a year’s clinical experience. Should be a shoe-in, right? Wrong. I haven’t received a fucking offer yet, and I’ve been looking for months. This education system makes no sense. I was earning more with no bachelor’s, in the IT field, than I am in the psychology field with experience and a degree. Hell I can’t even GET a job in the psychology field with those qualifications.

It’s like you have to put yourself into massive debt to get this degree, and unless you’re a doctor or a lawyer you’re going to spend the rest of your life living off the crumbs of people in those fields, at or near poverty, all because you wanted your bachelor’s and to help people, or work in a field besides medicine or law. Fucking ridiculous.
[/quote]

Lol if you wanna join the army to help pay off some of that money pm me. Seriously.

Pretty sure it’s pretty common knowledge that a BA in psych doesn’t get you very far. Something you probably should have checked into before deciding on it as a career path. It’s also pretty common knowledge that the jobs you CAN get (especially in social work situations), pay shit. I really don’t see how anyone is supposed to have much sympathy for you. It’s not like you were assigned a random major and got a shitty one because you had bad luck or something. This really isn’t anyone’s fault but your own.

I’d consider getting a job as a research assistant. Even if you don’t want a research career, this is beneficial for a number of reasons. First, most Ph.D. programs place a high emphasis on research, so you’ll want to look strong in that area on your applications. Second, these jobs are often at academic institutions. The people you work with there will be able to give you good advice when it comes to the application process. For example, they’ll be able to look over your personal statements. They’ll be able to write you letters of recommendation, etc.

Also, may I ask how many schools you’ve applyied to and if you’re limiting yourself geographically?

I’m in the same field and at a Ph.D. program now, so if you want to talk more specifics, etc. feel free to PM.

[quote]Travacolypse wrote:
Out of everyone on this forum, you fall squarely into the category of “should never be a psychologist.”

Take it as a sign and stick with IT.[/quote]

I LOLed.

Because it was true.

some of us sweat,bleed and injure them selves daily for a hell of a lot less than 16 dollars an hour.

Quit bitching and be happy for what you have.
if you cant do something then adapt.

and who the hell needs to “pinch a penny” with 16 bux an hour.
try working for half that and having to pay real bills.

Im telling you, sometimes 16 hours in a day for 7 days a week is not enough to get stuff paid and everyone fed.

again Shut the fuck up and deal with it.

[quote]Travacolypse wrote:
Out of everyone on this forum, you fall squarely into the category of “should never be a psychologist.”

Take it as a sign and stick with IT.[/quote]

I have yet to see an Accipeter post that suggests his brain ever finished high school. Maybe two more years really would have helped, but I doubt it.

You just got laid the smackdown.

[quote]MaddyD wrote:
some of us sweat,bleed and injure them selves daily for a hell of a lot less than 16 dollars an hour.

Quit bitching and be happy for what you have.
if you cant do something then adapt.

and who the hell needs to “pinch a penny” with 16 bux an hour.
try working for half that and having to pay real bills.

Im telling you, sometimes 16 hours in a day for 7 days a week is not enough to get stuff paid and everyone fed.

again Shut the fuck up and deal with it.[/quote]

huh bra? thats what you get for wanting to help people. no good deed goes unpunished son, thats the truth. 16 an hour is fat bro. i get 11 and change(certainly not bragging) and i carry peoples bags to their hotel room. certainly not ‘glamorous’ work, as you put it. here’s the deal: teachers, substance abuse counselors, dont make money. the payoff isnt always about the zero’s on your paycheck.

sometimes people take a job that pays the bills and is fulfilling in other ways. i was a clinical technician at an all guy rehab cause i liked helping dudes get sober before they f their lives up doing cocaine and oxycontin, the paychecks were miserable. i got 8 an hour, but it wasnt about the money. i loved the job and had to quit because i couldnt pay my bills and spend 40 hours there. so chin up jabroni, 16 is awesome.

if you want to make money go get a sales job or one of the law school or med school jobs you mentioned if you wanna help people for half the money then do that. either way, you have a degree, which is more than most people i know. stop bitching and be grateful, do some soul searching, and decide what you really want. big money or a job that you love. most people don’t get both. you know what, fuck that, most people dont get either

[quote]howardversion1 wrote:
most people don’t get both. you know what, fuck that, most people dont get either[/quote]

That is the truth. Good planning, hard work, and being lucky enough to enjoy something that pays well can get you close though.

I’m lucky in the regard—I love what I do and I make decent money at it. Took me 5 years of damn hard college work, and 9 years working my way up since then, but I’m doing good now.

To the OP: Stop your fucking whining. Anybody with half a brain and an internet connection can figure out that the majority of people with psych degrees are either unemployed or working in shit. Maybe you should go back to school and get a philosophy degree to go with it, so you can still not find a job worth a damn.

If you were doing better in IT----go back to it!

Technical professions, business professions, and skilled trades typically make more money than the “soft-skill” professions. Its a fact.

I had 2 choices in front of me when I left high school. I was a very good writer, and I always felt I would love to be in journalism. My other option was that I am very mechanically inclined, I am decent in math, and I have always loved machines.

Since journalism jobs are few and far between and seldom pay worth a shit, I got a mechanical engineering degree.

Success starts with making good decisions.

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:
It’s like you have to put yourself into massive debt to get this degree, and unless you’re a doctor or a lawyer you’re going to spend the rest of your life living off the crumbs of people in those fields,
[/quote]

Funny, I just read an article in Forbes on student loans that basically said that because of the massive loans people have to take out to get these degrees (law or medical) that even with the good salaries people spend a decade or more paying those loans back. So it’s not even like a 6 figure salary will guarantee you anything when the principal on that debt is so high any way

[quote]KBCThird wrote:
AccipiterQ wrote:
It’s like you have to put yourself into massive debt to get this degree, and unless you’re a doctor or a lawyer you’re going to spend the rest of your life living off the crumbs of people in those fields,

Funny, I just read an article in Forbes on student loans that basically said that because of the massive loans people have to take out to get these degrees (law or medical) that even with the good salaries people spend a decade or more paying those loans back. So it’s not even like a 6 figure salary will guarantee you anything when the principal on that debt is so high any way[/quote]

I have colleagues who went to private schools and make partner before they pay off their loans.

I lucked out and had scholarships.

[quote]pushmepullme wrote:
KBCThird wrote:
AccipiterQ wrote:
It’s like you have to put yourself into massive debt to get this degree, and unless you’re a doctor or a lawyer you’re going to spend the rest of your life living off the crumbs of people in those fields,

Funny, I just read an article in Forbes on student loans that basically said that because of the massive loans people have to take out to get these degrees (law or medical) that even with the good salaries people spend a decade or more paying those loans back. So it’s not even like a 6 figure salary will guarantee you anything when the principal on that debt is so high any way

I have colleagues who went to private schools and make partner before they pay off their loans.

I lucked out and had scholarships.[/quote]

and just for context, making partner usually takes around how many years?

[quote]KBCThird wrote:
pushmepullme wrote:
KBCThird wrote:

I have colleagues who went to private schools and make partner before they pay off their loans.

I lucked out and had scholarships.

and just for context, making partner usually takes around how many years?[/quote]

7-10, depending on the firm. One guy who is close to 50 just finished his loans, he had about $150,000.

[quote]AccipiterQ wrote:

It’s like you have to put yourself into massive debt to get this degree, and unless you’re a doctor or a lawyer you’re going to spend the rest of your life living off the crumbs of people in those fields, at or near poverty, all because you wanted your bachelor’s and to help people, or work in a field besides medicine or law. Fucking ridiculous.
[/quote]

Were you not aware of the pay before you decided upon this career?

What do you define as “poverty”?

I trained in a field that pays well, but I didn’t enjoy it, so now I do something that pays less that I enjoy. My good friend just under twice my salary, yet he hates his job.

My point? Who the hell knows, but try and enjoy life, just give up complaining about how things aren’t fair, just accept it and move on.