Career Decisions for the Transition

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Bananacarrot's picture
Bananacarrot
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Career Decisions for the Transition

 I am new to this and don't typically post to forums so I don't know if this is really an appropriate place for this kind of topic or not.  My question is of a fairly personal nature.  I am currently a doctoral student in psychology, and after learning from Chris Martenson and various other sources about the situation looming ahead - I have been experiencing a lot of stress and indecision regarding where to go from here.

The way I figure it, being a PhD level therapist is not exactly the most stable recession-proof kind of career.  Seems like it may be one of the earlier fields to begin to falter when the economy begins to crash etc. However, it is also incredibly difficult to justify dropping out and drastically changing my career plans at this juncture.  Continuing on feels incredibly pointless; dropping out and trying to develop a more useful skillset for the future feels incredibly daunting and perhaps extreme. (For instance - I know my family and friends would most likely think me crazy for doing so, not that that is a good reason for making the decision either way). 

Additionally, being a graduate student for several years, I have not accumulated much wealth to utilize.  My partner and I have some liquid funds between us, but not enough to feel like it would be practical to just go out and buy property to farm on. I want to start preparing, but I feel very stuck. Graduate school takes up so much time & energy that it feels like an either/or situation.  Finishing school, or focusing on the Transition. Maybe I can find a way to combine the two.

Bottomline - I know no one can tell me what decision is the "right" one for me, but I do wonder if other people have been faced with similarly difficult decisions and how you have gone about making your choices? Maybe you will have some helpful insights for me.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts, comments, and suggestions!

BSV's picture
BSV
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Career decisions for the transition

Do not despair, Molrae07. While nobody can predict the future with any great confidence, it seems a reasonable bet that doctoral level psychologists will be in demand. I have a little insight into this topic since my daughter is a licensed clinical psychologist who is employed in a forensics role by the federal government. One key point, it seems to me, is whether you have saddled yourself with a lot of student loan debt. If not, I think you can probably relax a bit and not worry excessively about the future. Society is not likely to collapse, though cracks in the facade are emerging. The unemployment figures for the highly educated are not all that worrisome so far. At the same time, it is wise to prepare and on this site you will find many useful suggestions along those lines. It is important not to become overwhelmed at the outset. Just take it a step at a time and remember the old saying that Rome was not built in a day.

You might consider looking into seeking employment with the Veteran's Administration or with the Army. For many years to come, military vets will need psychological counseling. That's just one among many possibilities. These days clinical psychologists have taken over much if not most of the counseling role that psychiatrists once handled. Psychiatrists generally prescribe the medications while psychologists do the counseling.

Dropping out now is probably not a good idea. What can you do with a batchelor's degree in psychology? It is about as useful, career-wise, as a degree in English or Anthropology. I'm not knocking those fields at all, but the grim reality is that demand for those graduates is rather modest these days. It takes a doctorate in psychology plus passing the fairly rigorous licensing exam to be qualified for the good jobs in the field.

So I encourage you to stay the course and finish your doctorate. Keep your sense of humor while you are at it. We live in a screwed up world and people need help dealing with it. That's your chosen field.

Welcome, by the way. This is a relatively civilized place in the sense that constructive comments are welcomed and flaming is strongly discouraged. I'm one who rarely ever posts, partly from lack of time and also because I tend to scan the site daily, focus on what interests me and then move on. Your post caught my interest. Hang in there and keep your sense of humor. I think you'll be okay and I wish you well.

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dingalls
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I can relate

I can relate to your feelings, although for very different reasons.  I am a mother of two small children.  I simply do not have the time to spend on preparing for the transition that I would like to have, so I have had to prioritize my time and my energy.  While reviewing what I have done, keep in mind that I do feel pretty clear in my commitment to living a "lifestyle of transition" as I like to call it.  It really has to do with a change in outlook, from "all things will continue to be and look the way that I see now" to "things will most likely look and be very different from what I see now".  That was the most dramatic time for me, when I was really becomming clear about that.  I remember walking around or even worse, driving around, feeling such a strange sense that things were going to shift and not really being clear about how.  I felt a profound sense of disorientation at that time, and it was overwhelming to think of all the things I wish I could do before the changes really started.  

Well, some time has passed and I do not feel that same way any longer, or maybe I have just gotten used to it.  I think making a mental transition is a factor in not being caught off guard when things do start to come unraveled.  That is what I tell myself, anyhow, when I am feeling like I am not doing enough.

So back to what I have focused on:

lifestyle changes, trying to be live as close to the earth as possilbe 

some inflation protection, not a lot, but some

some cash in my hands, as above

some food and water provisions, including short term (easier) and long term stores

networking with our local Transition organization and befriending immediate neighbors

staying informed about recent events, what to make of them, etc (thanks to cm.com mostly and some others)

taking care of health matters, including dental work that needs to be done

Of course I have not really addressed your question about your graduate work/career path.  I think that the fact that you are a student is extremely fortunate, regardless of what you are studying.  I would suggest that you keep your life outwardly as simple as possible so you can be quietly and privately preparing for transition.

Good luck!

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ao
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BSV wrote: Do not despair,
BSV wrote:

Do not despair, Molrae07. While nobody can predict the future with any great confidence, it seems a reasonable bet that doctoral level psychologists will be in demand. I have a little insight into this topic since my daughter is a licensed clinical psychologist who is employed in a forensics role by the federal government. One key point, it seems to me, is whether you have saddled yourself with a lot of student loan debt. If not, I think you can probably relax a bit and not worry excessively about the future. Society is not likely to collapse, though cracks in the facade are emerging. The unemployment figures for the highly educated are not all that worrisome so far. At the same time, it is wise to prepare and on this site you will find many useful suggestions along those lines. It is important not to become overwhelmed at the outset. Just take it a step at a time and remember the old saying that Rome was not built in a day.

You might consider looking into seeking employment with the Veteran's Administration or with the Army. For many years to come, military vets will need psychological counseling. That's just one among many possibilities. These days clinical psychologists have taken over much if not most of the counseling role that psychiatrists once handled. Psychiatrists generally prescribe the medications while psychologists do the counseling.

Dropping out now is probably not a good idea. What can you do with a batchelor's degree in psychology? It is about as useful, career-wise, as a degree in English or Anthropology. I'm not knocking those fields at all, but the grim reality is that demand for those graduates is rather modest these days. It takes a doctorate in psychology plus passing the fairly rigorous licensing exam to be qualified for the good jobs in the field.

So I encourage you to stay the course and finish your doctorate. Keep your sense of humor while you are at it. We live in a screwed up world and people need help dealing with it. That's your chosen field.

Welcome, by the way. This is a relatively civilized place in the sense that constructive comments are welcomed and flaming is strongly discouraged. I'm one who rarely ever posts, partly from lack of time and also because I tend to scan the site daily, focus on what interests me and then move on. Your post caught my interest. Hang in there and keep your sense of humor. I think you'll be okay and I wish you well.

Excellent advice.  I wanted to answer this post yesterday but didn't have the time and then got sidetracked.  This answer is very much akin what I would have written.  Finish up the PhD, don't worry about society immediately collapsing (because that probability is very small), and seek employment in the military/military related fields since there will be a need there and you can be of great help.

Oh yeah ... also develop some side skills as a plumber.  It never hurts to hedge your bets.;-)

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Wendy S. Delmater
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welcome molrae07

There is more good news: you're young, and a younger person's wages tend to keep up better with inlation. Meanwhile the inflation will whittle away at the real value of your college debt.

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Bananacarrot
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Thank you for the replies

Thank you for the replies thus far.  I really appreciate hearing all of your thoughts about this!

One thing that I thought I should clarify is that I already have my master's degree.  So while I agree that a career in this field with a bachelors is not feasible, becoming a licensed professional counselor with a master's degree is a feasible alternative to going all the way to my PhD. 

What concerns me is that if I spend the next two years grinding through my doctoral program, that is precious time that I could have been spending making more money and becoming more established and prepared.  In addition, I'm also concerned that ultimately down the road earning the doctorate won't end up being time well spent due to the instability of our economy (really my only motivations for a doctorate above a master's is higher income and I'm just not convinced that this will be a continued benefit of the higher degree for much longer).  I agree that the miltary jobs may last, but I have very little desire to work in that type of setting (and it will become quickly saturated if psychologists in other settings cannot find work). My plan has been to join or start a private practice. This is possible with either degree...

Really, it's a gamble either way. Staying in the program I am worried that I'm wasting valuable time and am therefore having trouble continuing to feel motivated.  If I quit I'd be afraid that I passed up a potential opportunity for a more lucrative career. I guess I just need to decide which source of stress I feel more comfortable accepting...

Thanks again for the comments so far!

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Check out

Check out http://www.garynorth.com/public/10.cfm

Some material is free. Some material requires payment of a monthly subscription to join a forum.  Lots of topics.  My reason for mentioning it is that Gary North includes many articles related to self-improvement, writing, careers & practical tips for entrepreneurs & ways to produce income streams.  Gary understands where the economy is headed (downward) & genuinely wants to help the younger generation through this difficult period coming up.  Mostly a conservative point of view (which I agree with). Dedicated to the Austian School of Economics.  Gary does not think too highly of today's system of "higher" education.   Anyway worth checking out regardless of your politics.

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Bananacarrot
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Thanks - I'll definitely

Thanks - I'll definitely look into that!

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RNcarl
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If you have started - finish

My advice is simple,

My story is not.

In 1973 all I wanted to do was fly jets. The oil embargo put doubt into continued supply of oil. Some were even predicting the "end" of air travel. By 1977 (my high school graduation year - yes I am old) I had all but given up my dream of becoming a pilot because of the turmoil in the economy concerning fuel and it's related costs.

If I would have "stayed the course" I would most likely now be retired and would have enjoyed a fulfilling life long dream career.

Now, having taken a different path - I have no regrets because my journey has given me a loving family and children.

But, my experience has shown me to believe in the old adage, "Do what you love to do and the money will follow and you will never 'work' a day in your life."

Coaching, mentoring, leading, persuading, team building - those will be the most important traits to have during the transition. Helping others to cope with the profound change will also be needed.

Lastly, have you started your program and how far along are you? I have a different take on education (true learning) than others. They can take your money, your house and you car, but they can never take from you that which you have learned.

Good Luck!!!

 

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thatchmo
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"I have never let my

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education"    Mark Twain.   Smart guy.  And funny, too.  Aloha,Steve

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Bananacarrot wrote:I want to

[quote=Bananacarrot]I want to start preparing, but I feel very stuck. Graduate school takes up so much time & energy that it feels like an either/or situation.  Finishing school, or focusing on the Transition. Maybe I can find a way to combine the two.[/quote]


You have the right idea about combining the two.



John Michael Greer's recently blogged about alternative medicine and healing that will eventually replace a good part of our costly medical healthcare system.  A psychologist can use or develop skills with relaxation training, hypnotherapy and therapeutic touch to treat many health aliments such as pain alleviation. I mention pain alleviation because I did an internship in a pain center as a graduate student and today I have noticed many ads for pain centers. Most psych graduate programs offer courses in hypnosis and I know that such schools as NYU, The New School and City University of NY offer courses in "laying-on-of-hands" and "therapeutic touch" so it is something that is in the mainstream even today.


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ao
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frobn wrote: John Michael
frobn wrote:

John Michael Greer's recently blogged about alternative medicine and healing that will eventually replace a good part of our costly medical healthcare system.  A psychologist can use or develop skills with relaxation training, hypnotherapy and therapeutic touch to treat many health aliments such as pain alleviation. I mention pain alleviation because I did an internship in a pain center as a graduate student and today I have noticed many ads for pain centers. Most psych graduate programs offer courses in hypnosis and I know that such schools as NYU, The New School and City University of NY offer courses in "laying-on-of-hands" and "therapeutic touch" so it is something that is in the mainstream even today.

With all due respect, I think I'd pass on the "therapeutic touch" and "laying-on-of-hands" courses.  This stuff has been around a long time and, truthfully, I don't know anyone who is making a living offf of it nor making great changes on an enduring basis.  It is pleasant and soothing (as is lying out on a hammock in the sunshine with a pleasant breeze and the birds chirping) but effectively and lastingly treating pain requires both a specificity and a comprehensiveness that is sorely lacking in these approaches.  Also, psychological health professionals are usually not licensed to touch so you start entering some dicey "gray" medicolegal areas unless one has credentialing that legitimizes touching a patient therapeuticially.  There are a lot of individuals who claim to treat pain nowadays and many of them, quite frankly, just aren't up to their claims, to be polite.  I'm thinking of someone I just discharged who was pain free after 4 visits after having seen someone else for over 7 months of regular treatment with no relief.  Hypnosis, on the other hand, offers a great deal of potential and is generally under utilized.  A talented Ericksonian hypnotist could be of enormous benefit to a great many people.

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frobn
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ao wrote:With all due
ao wrote:

With all due respect, I think I'd pass on the "therapeutic touch" and "laying-on-of-hands" courses.  This stuff has been around a long time and, truthfully, I don't know anyone who is making a living offf of it nor making great changes on an enduring basis.  It is pleasant and soothing (as is lying out on a hammock in the sunshine with a pleasant breeze and the birds chirping) but effectively and lastingly treating pain requires both a specificity and a comprehensiveness that is sorely lacking in these approaches.  Also, psychological health professionals are usually not licensed to touch so you start entering some dicey "gray" medicolegal areas unless one has credentialing that legitimizes touching a patient therapeuticially.  There are a lot of individuals who claim to treat pain nowadays and many of them, quite frankly, just aren't up to their claims, to be polite.  I'm thinking of someone I just discharged who was pain free after 4 visits after having seen someone else for over 7 months of regular treatment with no relief.  Hypnosis, on the other hand, offers a great deal of potential and is generally under utilized.  A talented Ericksonian hypnotist could be of enormous benefit to a great many people.

I agree with a lot of what you are saying. The point though is that things are changing rapidly and what we consider productive work today will not be available in the future. My post was a meager attempt to look at how we might translate skills we already have to future work. And yes, there are many quakes in the medical field some of which are highly credentialed practitioners. Many of the numerous ads for pain alleviation are simply pain pill mills --a talented Ericksonian hypnotist would be a great improvement. BTW I attended several of Dr. Erickson's seminars before he passed away and highly recommend his techniques. Jay Haley's writings and NPL by Bandler and Grinder come to mind.

ao's picture
ao
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frobn wrote:  Jay Haley's
frobn wrote:

 Jay Haley's writings and NPL by Bandler and Grinder come to mind.

Just for those who may want to research more, it's NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) rather than NPL.

Retha's picture
Retha
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Stay the course!
RNcarl wrote:

My advice is simple,

My story is not.

In 1973 all I wanted to do was fly jets. The oil embargo put doubt into continued supply of oil. Some were even predicting the "end" of air travel. By 1977 (my high school graduation year - yes I am old) I had all but given up my dream of becoming a pilot because of the turmoil in the economy concerning fuel and it's related costs.

If I would have "stayed the course" I would most likely now be retired and would have enjoyed a fulfilling life long dream career.

Now, having taken a different path - I have no regrets because my journey has given me a loving family and children.

But, my experience has shown me to believe in the old adage, "Do what you love to do and the money will follow and you will never 'work' a day in your life."

Coaching, mentoring, leading, persuading, team building - those will be the most important traits to have during the transition. Helping others to cope with the profound change will also be needed.

Lastly, have you started your program and how far along are you? I have a different take on education (true learning) than others. They can take your money, your house and you car, but they can never take from you that which you have learned.

Good Luck!!!

 

 This is the BEST advise anyone can give you!  

And I will add...continue & finish your formal education!  You are so close!  If you stop now and tell yourself you will go back later...you won't.  That is my experience.  Something will always come up to convince you to put it off until later.  Time goes by faster than you can imagine.  Even with events unfolding as they appear to be in our world today, not only will your earning power over the course of your life be greater, you will be able to bring a specialized knowledge to your community.  That will be a skill greatly needed if and when things really go bad. 

Start small to prepare...every time you go to the grocery store, buy 1 or 2 extras of canned goods.  Have a pantry or shelf designated for your 'stash'.  For a couple of dollars a week, before you know it, you will have a nice little food stash.  Just make sure you keep it separate from your weekly groceries...variety is good too...you don't want to eat pinto beans every day!     

Find a hobby that could be a money maker or barter opportunity if things get really bad.  I have a friend that knits hats, another makes candles & another builds sheds.  I have a small garden.  

Participating & developing relationships in your community with like minded people is of most importance.  Even though you feel stuck, there are many things you can do to prepare.  It's not necessary to change everything, pack it up and head for the hills...if it ever gets to that point, you will know.  Stay the course...

~Good luck!

frobn's picture
frobn
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ao wrote: frobn wrote:  Jay
ao wrote:
frobn wrote:

 Jay Haley's writings and NPL by Bandler and Grinder come to mind.

Just for those who may want to research more, it's NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) rather than NPL.

Thanks for the correction.

Bananacarrot's picture
Bananacarrot
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Posts: 13
 Thanks everyone for your

 Thanks everyone for your posts.  The suggestion regarding hypnosis is an interesting one I had not considered before - that'll definitely go into my box of ideas for future niches!   After much deliberation over the last month I think I have decided to stick things out with my program.  Hopefully it will be worthwhile in the end (finger's crossed)!  In the meantime - I'm looking into learning how to can my own fruits and vegetables :) 

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