Psychology is a field that can be fulfilling for the right individual. You get to help people overcome obstacles while understanding how human behavior works.
However, there are a few things you should know when starting a lifelong journey in psychology.
1. You’ll need to choose your career path.
With most areas of study, you can enter a graduate program without having a concrete idea of the specific career you want to follow. With psychology, when you reach grad school, you’ll have to have a clear understanding of what you want to do. You will have to choose between behavioral, cognitive, mathematical, or other types of psychology. The choice of following clinical psychology or a more theoretical path will still be open.
However, going into your graduate years with a solid understanding of your expected outcome will save you grief later on. If you don’t choose the particular course of study that leads to your intended destination, you may end up wasting at least a year of your studies.
Keep in mind that you’ll have the flexibility to narrow your career path down in the future.
2. Leaving your work at the office.
Being a psychologist at any level requires you to delve into your patients’ lives. You will end up learning a lot about others and spend hours interacting with them. This can blur the line between your work and home life.
Leaving your work at the office when you return home is an important part of keeping a clear head. It must be said though that this is easier said than done. You should also be aware that you won’t always be able to achieve the necessary separation from your work.
Developing a coping mechanism and structuring your life accordingly will help you have a personal life while being a good professional. Being aware of your own psychology is something you should practice while still in school.
Your academic years provide the ideal environment for achieving this separation between your work and life.
3. Licensing in different states.
Being licensed in one state does not mean you can practice in another. While this shouldn’t discourage you in any way, you should do your research beforehand to avoid the hassle. Find out what you need to become licensed in the state you intend to work.
Moving to a different state, later on, might require you to go through a different licensing process. This is mostly a matter of paperwork and paying the appropriate fee.
4. It will get easier after your undergrad years.
Earning your bachelor’s degree can be challenging. If you find yourself ready to give up despite loving the field of psychology, be a little patient.
The experience becomes more interesting and productive during your graduate years.
The dozens of students that choose psychology on a whim are weeded out, and your relationships with your professors become more engaging.
You’ll still have to work hard, but the experience becomes more constructive and meaningful.
5. Gold at the end of the rainbow.
Although psychology can be a very mentally rewarding field, making a good living is an essential part of your well-being. Depending on the specific career path you take, psychology can also be financially rewarding. Salaries well over $100,000 await those that enter the clinical field or choose to take a more entrepreneurial approach.
Starting your journey in psychology.
Getting your BA psychology is the first step in your journey in the field. Start with an online program from CareersInPsychology.org today.