It is simple, but not easy. Being a psychologist is not an easy job. It needs patience, high self-esteem, and power to stick to your goals. It is hard to stand against the storm. With lesser employment opportunities and career success, you will only get satisfaction with life.
If this is what you want, you are most welcome. In different countries, the requirements for being a psychologist are different. However, in a psychological community like all other fields, graduation is the first requirement.
Then postgraduate diplomas are those training facilities which enhance the skills of graduates and turn them into professionals.
According to (DAPA) Division of American Psychological Association (2007), 52 branches have been recognized. These are those fields in which researchers have done PhDs.
So you have a broad choice of selecting among them. Various universities and degree awarding institutes are conducting separate programs mostly in clinical, educational, forensic, development, and I/O psychology.
However, there are still other ones who work on separate branches too. So it is your choice and interest which will guide you in the long run.
Exploring mind and its potential is your job. Are you ready for this journey? If yes, then seek it if no then chose another field, psychology is not for you.
The following are the steps to be followed in this journey to avoid distractions to become an eminent psychologist.
Graduation is just the start of your journey; it’s not an end. MPhil and Ph.D. should be your goal if you want to be a world-class psychologist or wish to contribute something to the field of psychology.
Although internships are educational requirements of most degrees, especially in BA/BSc/BS or MA/MSc/MS, however, some institutes give a choice to students to submit a thesis instead of an internship, which takes a precious opportunity of learning from students. It is recommended to do your course and if you are interested in a thesis to do it too.
It is necessary to get experience once you complete your coursework. It is up to you whether you want to work in health care or the corporate or educational world. You have countless options.
It takes a minimum of 2 to 6 months to consider experience. The more you are experienced, the more to learn and earn.
Keep your eyes open for training opportunities in your field. These pieces of training help you in your career later on. Missing opportunity leads you to frustration and talent drainage.
This is giving something back to the community. Your coursework, experience, and training need to be brought in the lenses of research.
It requires hard work, patience, and willingness to set aside your biases, subjectivity, and laziness. The research itself is life.
Apart from satisfaction, contribution, and a sense of accomplishment, one learns how to solve real-world problems through analysis and theory formulations.
If you want to be a real professional psychologist, you must think about research and doing it as soon as possible.
Clinical or Organizational involvement
Now when you have already completed academic requirements, you have to involve yourself in either clinical or organizational settings to apply your acquired knowledge.
It is necessary to have a professional attachment in your area or build one in your area to spread hope.
Work on yourself continuously, groom your personality. A psychologist must have a pleasant personality to succeed in this field.
The more you work on you, the more you can succeed in your profession.
You must follow your professional ethics. This is the base on which you can build your career. Search and seek help from other professionals in your field what those ethics you should follow to succeed are.
Code of Conduct
Every profession has its own Code of conduct. Surely psychologists have their own, which must be followed by you. Failing to do so, you risk not only your professional career but also the negative attention of people towards your field. APA’s Code of conduct is an example.
Every national and international psychological association has their codes of conduct. You must consult them even before starting your career.
All things come later; however, humanistic values like honesty, trust, and confidentiality, etc. must come first—no compromise over them for anyone or in any place. Psychologists stand for these values even if their careers or life will be in danger.
In the first paragraph, it has been written that it is not an easy job. It takes courage, and you will need this courage throughout your career to not misuse psychological knowledge for your or someone else’s.
Mental Health Awareness
The first responsibility of a psychologist in a society is to give awareness about mental health. This is a global responsibility too to use any platform available to aware of the general public and policymakers to remove the stigma associated with mental health for centuries. Due to this stigma, nations are suffering high losses.
Psychologists are responsible for socially and the real minds of society. They work on the root level from primary care to community outreaches.
They are more socially responsible than other professionals due to its multidimensional aspects. There are high expectations from psychologists due to their work on mind and behavioral modification individually and socially.
Willingness to serve Humanity
This social step is the necessary step and motivational factor for people interested in the field of psychology. Psychologists are willing to serve Humanity. This service is urgent, significant, meaningful, and essential for people who want to become a psychologist.
In light of the steps as mentioned earlier, one can realistically expect that she/he is on the journey of becoming an eminent psychologist.
What do you think and say? You can comment below.