If you’ve been following my blog or just casually browsing you’ll have noticed the lack of posts in 2015. In the spirit of “keeping it real” and joining the dots between where I was headed back then and where I am headed now, this was my 2015… (This revisits “I’m still here” a little bit).
In January, I left the country to take an ill family member overseas to support another family member. It was a tough experience and one in which I wore many hats. The one hat that I didn’t wear though was that of PhD student. Being disconnected from my identity as a student was unsettling, I found myself wondering who I was without it. Mid-way through the trip I decided I would leave the academic career path behind. On balance, as much as I adored research, I realised that trying to be competitive in academia took more from me than I was willing to give.
When I arrived home, the realisation that clinical work would then be my full-time rather than part-time job really hit. I wasn’t sure what my supervisor would think about my change of plans and whether I had done enough to be competitive when searching for clinical work.
Telling my supervisor that I was switching gears turned out to be a non-event. Whatever my future plans, I was still 100% committed to finishing my PhD and recently achieved a major milestone: finishing data collection. I was still worried about how competitive I would be entering the psychology workforce though. Expressing my concerns to the clinical team at my university I managed to secure an extra placement to give me a greater breadth and depth to my practice. This extra placement turned out to be the most valuable opportunity of my degree, helping me to identify how I want to operate as a psychologist, to find my strengths and weaknesses and to grow in confidence as a clinician.
I have four and half months left until I submit now. To be honest, I can’t wait. I’m ready to get out there, apply what I’ve learned and see where psychology takes me.