Why Psychology Graduates Fail In Establishing a Career In Psychology Domain
Why most students/graduates in psychology are not sought after as a professional psychologist and are a highly dissatisfied lot?
Posted by :
Shaheen Fathima Cholayil, GIIS Abu Dhabi
To start with, psychologists, broadly are not accepted as professionals. It is only in the last few years that services of professional psychologists are getting acceptance, relatively, in the metropolitan cities. Even in cities, it is only those in the creamier section of the socio-economic ladder who hire their services – that too as a last resort!
Like in most other professions, it takes a person anywhere between 10 to 15 years to establish oneself as a professional psychologist. Because of the nature of their services, neither the psychologists nor their services are taken seriously unless they are above 35 years old. Until then, they are considered as “too young” and “too inexperienced in life” to counsel others.
Most companies don’t recruit full-time psychologists as they usually hire external consultants or freelancers.
The average salary for a fresh graduate in psychology is a modest INR 20,000/- per month. The average fee freelance/consultant psychologists charge for a 45 minutecounselling session ranges from INR. 500/- to INR 1,000/- only.
Professionals in psychology are generally (not always) underestimated, undervalued andunappreciated; as visiting them for a counselling session is still looked at as a “taboo”.
Sometimes, people take up psychology as a profession, as they “love to listen to others’ stories”. They think they should become a psychologist simply because they are capable of giving a patient listening to other people’s problems in life. What they either fail to understand or are unaware of, is that it takes much more than being a person who is a “good listener” or is “genuinely interested in solving others’ problems” to become a successful psychologist.
Many students in psychology join courses before fully understanding the attributes required to become one. Psychology is a highly people-oriented job that requires significant amount of interactions and deep conversations with different people with different mindsets from different backgrounds. It also requires one to be a team-player with good skills and can collaborate with other people.
One of the most overlooked aspect of being a professional psychologist is that dealing with clients can sometimes be highly stressful and drain lots of energy.
Last but never the least, as a solopreneur, freelancer or an entrepreneur; one has to carry out consistent branding and marketing exercises to put oneself out the world as a practicing psychologist. Since a vast majority of them do not brand and/or market themselves well (either by choice or by lack of awareness), they are not much sought after.