Should I Be a Psychologist?
Psychology is a lucrative field that offers many benefits and advantages for those who have a heart for helping.
As a psychologist, you can earn (depending, of course, on your location, your qualifications, your patient load, etc.) as much as $80,000 a year. You likely will receive an impressive benefits package, and enjoy flexible hours and a good deal of esteem and respect from those in the community.
You also will have the opportunity to help people at what could be the most challenging time of their lives. You will be there to counsel them through their darkest hour, offering both practical advice and a nurturing hand to help them cope with circumstances that—prior to their contact with you—may have seemed insurmountable.
It is for this very reason, however, that you may not wish to undertake a career in psychology. Indeed, this profession ranks among the most emotionally demanding jobs in the medical field, and perhaps in the workforce as a whole. You will be required to comfort and assist people as they face just about every crisis imaginable; everything from divorces to deaths in the family to cases of horrific abuse.
One patient may be going through a temporary but severe problem, like the loss of a job. Another may be suffering from a life-changing catastrophe, such as the loss of a child. In any case, your patients will look to you for both words of infinite wisdom, as well as what could be an inordinate amount of care giving and solace. They may even develop strong emotional attachments to you, calling upon you day and evening for the help only you can give.
It is important to ask yourself, then, if a career in psychology is right for you. And to answer this question, you must conduct your first in-depth psychological analysis. And the subject will be you.
Do you feel that you are truly sensitive to the feelings and needs of others? Are you the person that people in your social group turn to when they need help, advice, or maybe just a listening ear?
Academically speaking, do you enjoy studying the human mind and all its workings? This would be recommended, as you will have to obtain a doctoral degree and pass state licensing exams to become a psychologist. You will face hours of intense book study, as well as intensive internships.
On a more personal level, can you yourself keep an open mind about people and their various problems, being careful not to pass judgment on them? As a psychologist you will encounter your fair share of troubling, even outrageous circumstances and situations. For the sake of your patients, you must be prepared to face them.
If you answered yes to all or most of these questions, then you may be qualified to become a psychologist. If you are ready to stake your claim in this captivating, quickly growing profession, check out a career in psychology today.