Topic 2: Jobs in Counseling – The Search and Application Process {by 6/4}

Based on the readings and assignment due this week consider the following discussion points:  *(1) Discuss your thoughts and feelings about your recent job search experience.  For example, did you learn anything?  Do you feel more (or less) optimistic about obtaining a job upon graduation?  (2) What are some potential anxieties and/or concerns you have about interviewing for a job in the mental health field upon graduation?  (3) Although your potential employer may want to know certain qualities about you, what organizational qualities are important to you?

 

Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 6/4.  Post your two replies no later than 6/6.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

 

*Yes, the first discussion point is very similar to your second reflection question for your assignment.  Thus, you can use the answer for your assignment (or a part of it) for the blog. The rationale is that this will give a chance for your peers to read a few responses and potentially provide some helpful insight with their replies. This will also help with “priming” for in class participation.

39 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Julia Irving
    May 31, 2020 @ 15:00:47

    Before I started this job search I had an idea of what placement and population that I wanted because of my work and internship experience. I currently work at a Community Crisis Stabilization/Respite for adults 18+. I am a mental health counselor with a wide range of tasks including intakes, bringing clients to appointments, going grocery shopping for the house, 1:1 check ins with clients, assisting clients with laundry, cooking dinner, clinical groups, whatever the clients need help with that day and so on. I have realized from this experience that it would be too hard to do this job at the clinician level because sometimes clients have to be discharged with a shelter list and I have watched other clinicians burn out. My job search was geared toward an outpatient therapist position; this is what I did for my internship. I learned that a lot of outpatient placements do fee for service when it comes to therapy; I would have to be mindful of that when looking for jobs. Fee for service makes me slightly anxious because I know from my experience at internship that cancellations will happen. I do feel optimistic right now about obtaining a job because there were a lot of job listings for clinicians with a master’s degree; that being said I’m sure the anxiety will spike when I actually begin the official job search.

    I always feel anxious when thinking about job interviews. I am someone who has the potential to have my mind go blank during an interview. A lot of times my anxiety overcomes me and I start talking faster and my face becomes redder. Being aware of this, I can begin working on these things now. I know that by this time I have had a good amount of experience to start a clinician job post graduation. My current job at the CCS/Respite and my previous practicum/internship placement has taught me a lot and helped me grow. I have to remember my positive qualities and skills before entering the interview room and not doubt myself. I also have to make sure to do my research on the company so that I can be prepared for questions they might ask to ease some of my anxiety.

    Organizational qualities that are important to me is a positive work environment. I have been in negative work environments and the air just feels thicker there. I feel like I am more concerned with stepping on someone’s toes instead of focusing on my own work and what needs to get done. When people are positive and kind, it is easier to accomplish my tasks. It also makes me happier to be at work. Having coworkers who are down to earth and that I can get along with are also important. I have some of the best co-workers at my job and without them I believe I would struggle more; we work well as a team to get the job tasks done. Another quality is a strong supervisor. I have been blessed with great supervisors at both my work and internship, they have both helped me grow clinically; that is something that I would look for when applying for a job.

    Reply

    • James Antonellis
      Jun 01, 2020 @ 16:43:53

      Julia, one of the first things that jumped out to me in your post was the phrase “positive work environment”. I know some people can down play this idea, and I’ve heard people say its just nonsense, but this has to be one of, if not, THE MOST IMPORTANT factor in a working environment. I’ve been in the situation where I had a co-worker who created such a negative environment, I couldn’t stand going in for the two days our ends of the week overlapped. It was also amazing, well horrifying, to see how this coworkers negative attitude impacted the clients too. I absolutely do not want to work in an environment with negative people, it just makes the job harder.

      Reply

  2. Lilianne Elicier
    Jun 01, 2020 @ 07:36:29

    Julia,

    My job search was also geared towards outpatient. Currently working inpatient I know this is not where I want to stay. During my time at internship I was seeing client in outpatient and quickly realized this was what I wanted to be doing. A concern for me as well is the fee for service that comes with outpatient as most of the time it is not salary based. This is something I also need to be mindfull of as when clients cancel or no show there is not a cancelation fee( this is different in private practice). I feel the same about interviews. This has always been an anxiety provoking situation for me no matter if I am well prepared. I think this is something that I might never get used too but I can still hope! and as you said prepare better. I as well feel optimistic about obtaining a job after graduation with the experience I have accumulated and my background.

    Reply

  3. Patricia Hennessy
    Jun 01, 2020 @ 08:54:27

    Following the completion of the job search assignment, I find myself with diminished optimism concerning the job availability post-graduation. Entering the job search pool I knew, as an unlicensed clinician, I am at the bottom of the totem pole. Therefore, I should expect jobs in the CBHI field, in-home, or in a high crisis environment, such as inpatient. That said, I reflect upon my previous job experiences realizing a high crisis environment is not a job where I can experience optimal success. After extensive time spent on search engine websites, I experienced more anxiety. Comparing opportunities in Worcester for pre-licensed clinicians compared to the area of CT I will be living in, was discouraging, to say the least. I hope to learn better ways to navigate the job search process and discover how to enhance network opportunities as I have not worked in CT for the last couple of years.

    Naturally, I can be a nervous wreck in the job interview process. I worry about how I will communicate my abilities and strengths while signifying the importance of the job. I will be sure to incorporate a strong active voice in the job interviewing process, and through my resume and CV, to demonstrate the confidence I have in myself. As I went read through the do and do not of interviewing, I was rest assured as I already go through this checklist. I will look back to the clinical personal qualities table in my future job interviewing experience. While I do experience this reassurance, still having months before potential job interviewing, I am sure the anxiety will return as I get closer to graduation. I feel confident that the experience I gained from Assumption and internship prepared me for the postgraduate entry job position.

    In the future, I will be eager to accept a job that is offered but will take time to reflect on what the job can offer for my career development. I will investigate company policy for assisting and helping high needs clients, and how the company works to maintain a well-organized establishment. As we all have seen effective work teams and some not so effective teams, I have learned a team that works well together is a top priority. In that vein, Dr. V’s discussion regarding the importance of agency culture resonated with me significantly. I have also learned the value of properly administered constructive criticism. As I am fresh out of the gate and have vast amounts to learn as a clinician, I am eager to hear how I can better myself for my clients. That said, we have all had the supervisors that provide criticisms that leave you motivated to be better and learn, and those supervisors who leave you with little self-efficacy in your abilities. When interviewing with a potential employer I hope to challenge them and communicate the importance of a strong supervisor as they will be guiding my experience potentially until licensure. I have witnessed individuals who did not receive adequate supervision and were left to fend for themselves. While I think that you learn the best by doing, I will stress the importance of individual supervision, as I am not yet able to make all clinical decisions based on one-year of internship. Finally, I will look into the culture and context of the environment, similar to Super’s Theory, in that having a positive work environment greatly influences the job experience.

    Reply

    • Sam
      Jun 02, 2020 @ 16:09:53

      Hi Tricia,

      I’m sorry to hear about the discouraging news surrounding job searches in CT. Although you may not have found a ton of stuff on websites, I think it is extremely beneficial that you mentioned and have in mind that enhancing network opportunities would be helpful. I definitely agree with this, and I know Dr. V discusses the importance/ benefits of it in his chapter as well. I believe you already have a strong set of networks here in MA through Assumption,Internship, and the job placements you were in during internship, that will definitely come in handy when it comes to applying for jobs in CT. It may seem discouraging, but I’m sure that Assumption receives several students from CT for each academic year, that ultimately may work to your benefit! Maybe there is some way that you can reach out to past assumption students from CT and gather some information from them and talk about work placements in CT with them? In all, despite the lack of physical evidence of job availability in CT on job search websites, I think you are maintaining an optimistic outlook, which is crucial. Additionally, you have a lot of support here and will also make new connections in the upcoming months that will prove helpful! I know I myself don’t know much about CT, but I have a few friends that live there that I can reach out too for sure if that would be helpful! Good luck!!!

      Reply

    • Kaitlyn Doucette
      Jun 04, 2020 @ 01:18:07

      Hi Tricia,

      My experience while completing the job search assignment was very similar to yours. I also plan on moving back to CT after completing my degree and was surprised by the lack of available jobs for pre-licensed clinicians. Of the available jobs I found, few positions sounded like something I actually wanted to do. Similar to you, I work in an environment where crisis response is important and frequent, and I found that this was not the right fit for me. If anything, I think the burnout I experienced from this job was one of the biggest motivating factors for me to go back to school for my Master’s degree. It was definitely disappointing when I realized that there is a real chance of me ending up back in a similar environment. I suppose that the one “bright side” to this is that, even if we do end up in a position like this, we know that we will not be stuck there forever and that there are many more options available once we are licensed. Still, it’s disappointing, to say the least, that we may not get the experience we wanted while completing our post-graduation hours. I hope that you can stay somewhat optimistic during this time; there is still some hope that you will find a position that you’re excited for! You certainly deserve it after all of the hard work you have put in to get here.

      Reply

    • Lynette Rojas
      Jun 05, 2020 @ 20:19:54

      Hi Tricia,

      I was also searching for jobs in CT and it is true there are many more jobs offered in Mass than in CT. A lot of the jobs in CT also require a license. However, I think that if you are very interested in a particular job even if they require a license, apply anyways. The worst they can do is say no, so it is worth a try. Also, I was actually surprised to have found as many jobs as I did in CT, I thought I would find less. Using different job search engines and switching up the search words I used helped a lot. I realized that I was able to find more jobs with certain words than with others. For example, I used “therapist”, “counselor”, “clinician” and also searched based on my population interests. As graduation is approaching, I know I will also get more anxious about applying to jobs. Since I will also be looking for a job in CT, I will be glad to work with you in the searching process. Just let me know and I’ll send anything I find your way. I also get very anxious with interviewing, but the more we practice, the better. Also, I think that your point of having a supervisor who can give constructive feedback and motivates you to do better is very important. I completely agree with this and know from experience that having supportive supervisors is very helpful when you’re trying to grow in your career.

      Reply

  4. Lilianne Elicier
    Jun 01, 2020 @ 10:42:09

    Trisha,

    I think we all feel a little nervous with the interview process. I am on the same boat with you but I know you have many qualities and strengths to help you through this process! Don’t be discouraged and afraid to advocate for yourself and don’t settle. I think you have so far up to this point built up valuable experience with internship and your previous job as well. I agree that definitely having a strong supervisor with the adequate title (LMCH) is crucial not only for the accumulation of post grad hours but for your own professional growth.

    Reply

  5. Lilianne Elicier
    Jun 01, 2020 @ 12:31:49

    Before I started my job experience search I had an idea of what I was looking for. I knew I wanted to look for jobs in the outpatient setting as well as giving the substance abuse population a try. I knew that I wanted to work with the young adult/adult population. Currently working in an inpatient psychiatric hospital I knew I wanted to venture away from this setting as well as because there is no LMHC here to supervise me for my post grad hours. My feelings going into this job search were mixed with excitement and some fear. I was worried about the pay rate for which a graduate student unlicensed would be. I learned that many outpatient settings prefer bi lingual therapists which is a plus for me as I speak Spanish. I learned that by speaking not only Spanish but other/multiple languages if you are certified as a translator that is more money as well. I feel optimistic about obtaining a job after graduation as I have already gotten two job offers and one with the substance abuse population which I am thinking of taking. Doing this job search has helped me to compare starting salaries and to formulate a good argument for myself for the pay I think I should be worth due to certain qualifications I possess.

    Some concerns I have about interviewing for a job upon graduation is being able to advocate the pay I am worth for myself. I am not great at” selling” myself for jobs as many co workers have told me to do when going to interviews. Another concern I have for myself is going blank when having to answer a questions, this has happened to me before and is my constant fear. It is not because I can’t produce the answer but I am more/feel frozen and It takes my brain a little to scramble to answer. My hope is to try and better prepare for this phenomenon that happens to me although answering these on the spot questions is hard to predict.

    Organizational qualities that are important to me like mentioned before is having a licensed supervisor (LMHC) who can provide valuable feedback and help me grow professionally. Where I currently work now there are no longer any LMHC’s who can provide supervision post graduation. This is something that is extremely important to me and is one of the reason’s why I will have to leave my current job apart from many other reasons. Another organization quality that is important to me is team-work and delegation. I currently work in an environment where these two qualities are not present and it makes everything here chaotic. Delegating work is important because you don’t want one person alone to get overwhelmed and therefore bring a different attitude than others to the work environment. Team-work is important for me as working together on a task when needed is helpful and not to mention time efficient. Having valuable co workers who are also able to work with others as a team well helps provide feedback for the other person as well. Having these organizational qualities in the work place will produce a conducive environment for all and will bring about positive effects.

    Reply

    • James Antonellis
      Jun 01, 2020 @ 16:56:10

      Lilly, pay is a concern of mine too. We all know none of us went into this field to get rich, but after looking through the job search, and looking at some of the salaries; if some of those offers were legitimately made, I would probably laugh and walk away. One of the biggest concerns I saw, and I honest to god hope this is a dying trend, was Fee For Service positions. I’ve held a FFS position before, and there were times I thought I’d have to get a second job because clients kept canceling or didn’t show up, and I couldn’t bill for any of those hours because of agency policy. I would hate to wake up and find salaried positions starting to disappear. Hourly pay is less of concern, but I saw some outlandish hourly offers, that made me nervous. I did see one agency out-toward Boston that had salary of $123,850 for clinicians. I got kinda excited until I got toward the end of the job posting and saw that they were looking for LICSWs/LMHCs/Ph.Ds/Psy.Ds and written in smaller text was the phrase up to. So I’m thinking that salary was meant for doctoral level psychologist working all hours of the day (Ha!).

      Reply

    • Julia Irving
      Jun 02, 2020 @ 09:39:08

      Lily,
      I also geared my job search toward an outpatient setting. I am working at a CCS/Respite which is a step down from inpatient so I am familiar with that setting and also want to venture away from it. When it comes to interviews, I also fear that my mind will go blank. I have had this experience during an interview and it definitely causes panic. If we both do our research into the company and be aware of questions that they might ask then we could be better prepared and hopefully not freeze up. Having a licensed supervisor is a very important aspect to look for when applying for jobs. Teamwork is also something that is a must for me when applying and accepting a job; it creates a more positive work environment.

      Reply

    • Kaitlyn Doucette
      Jun 04, 2020 @ 00:53:44

      Hi Lily,

      Congratulations on your job offers! It sounds like you are already well on your way to finding a position after graduation.

      I related to your concerns so much about the interviewing process. I, too, am worried about being able to negotiate a salary. I am typically a pretty passive person, and this could definitely interfere with my ability to negotiate pay if I allow it to. It might be helpful to practice beforehand, and prepare some points that you want to make. You make a great point about being bilingual. Definitely use that when speaking to the potential employer about salary! I hope that you feel empowered to advocate for yourself and your worth when the time comes; you are definitely worth it!

      I also related to your concern about freezing up during the interview SO much. This happens to me so often when I am anxious. It has also happened to me during an interview and I was mortified. I could not think of an answer to almost anything they were asking me. I still worry about this happening to me again even though it was years ago. I have found that taking time before the interview to write out answers to generic questions and practicing them helps. That way, even if you freeze a little, they are still fresh in your head. Also, during the interview, it’s okay to take some time to think about your responses. I know that it feels most natural to begin responding immediately, but interviewers expect that you will need a moment to collect your thoughts. Interviewing is a learned skill, and I’m sure with some practice and experience, you will be great.

      Reply

    • Danielle Nobitz
      Jun 04, 2020 @ 13:03:55

      Hi Lily,

      Congratulations on your job offers! You are definitely inspiring me to start to apply for jobs already. I am really happy for you that you have multiple options when it comes to choosing a job you want to pursue after we graduate. I am also slightly worried about pay, however after looking at the jobs offered in Boston I feel slightly better about it. I do think we definitely deserve a higher pay for the work that we do!

      As for the interview, I agree with you on the fact that it is hard to advocate for yourself in order to receive a better salary. I think that comes with confidence, and it’s hard to develop that sense of confidence when we are just now starting our careers. However you do have a strong case because you have a extensive history of working in the field as well as the ability to speak Spanish. As you said, being bilingual is really important and definitely helps your case on why you are a good candidate for a better salary! I also have the same fear as you when it comes to freezing up while answering questions during an interview. Sometimes the anxiety overwhelms you and you can’t even figure out how to say a sentence, never mind answer a question effectively. I think that with practice, you and I will be able to develop a better sense of confidence and comfortability with interviewing and hopefully this will ease the anxiety that comes along with interviewing.

      I wrote about team-work in my blog post too. I think it’s really important to have a sense of communication and overall ability to work as a team in this profession otherwise it does tend to get chaotic. I had a terrible experience during my practicum due to inabilities of supervisors to communicate and work as a team. This made the work environment very unpleasant and made me realize how important team-work and communication is, in order to help the organization grow and prosper.

      Reply

  6. James Antonellis
    Jun 01, 2020 @ 16:33:54

    Before starting the job search I had a good idea of the population and setting I want to work in. During the summer prior to my senior year and during my senior year, I worked as an associate behavioral therapist for an ABA agency. That job taught me two things: 1.) I do not like doing in home therapy, not one bit. and 2.) I do not like working with anyone under the age of 13. For the now two years, I have worked at the IRTP, I have seen my role expand beyond just being a DCC. Our then residential manager, Nick, and Clinical Director, Michelle, felt that after a few months of me being their, that it would be time to assign me a primary client, and work in conjunction with Michelle to develop residential treatment objectives, and assist the other member of the team in helping the client reach her goals. It is too long of a story to into detail here, but the 10 months I spent working with this client and the team, really helped me to understand that this was both population and age group I wanted to work in. Also, during this time, I fell in love with the ARC (Attachment, Regulation, & Competency), framework. Nick, had assigned myself and another co-worker to an agency workgroup focused on ensuring that the ARC Building Blocks were being carried out within various aspects of individual programs. After spending far too long reading and studying the ARC framework and in conjunction with my experiences with having a primary client, and day-to-day activities I fell in love with trauma informed care. I found it to be something that I is something I am passionate about, something that helps get me out of bed in the morning. For me, it became clear that I found something I am passionate about.

    As far as my optimism goes after completing the job search, I wouldn’t say I feel any more or less optimistic about available jobs. I’ve always been looking to see what was out there for jobs, so I knew what to expect going in. I found a few openings for jobs I know I would like, but most of what I found was outpatient. To be honest, outpatient is not my cup of tea. Seeing someone once or twice a week for an hour, for maybe at most 8 weeks and dealing with insurance companies, no thank you. I work in a DMH funded program; sure DMH funded programs don’t have the best salaries, but DMH is pretty reasonable when it comes to extending someones length of treatment, and being in a setting where if I think I need to see someone an additional time that week is great. We have an opening for a clinician in the program I work at right now. My hope is that around late October/early November our agency supervisor will agree to an interview and potentially offer me a job on the condition I graduate.

    As far as interviewing goes, I’m not really nervous. I’ve always thought of an interview as just another conversation.

    When it comes to organizational qualities, I like to know that the people I’m working with, are time and detail oriented. It is one of my biggest pet peeves when I have to move around my schedule and reorganize my time because someone has waited to the last minute do something or half-heartedly. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t leave because the clock says its time go or because everything that needed to get done today is done. I leave when everything I needed to get done for tomorrow is done, and if that is before the end of the day, welp that means there’s extra time to get ahead on the work for tomorrow. I also look for a positive work environment, it sucks when you have to work with someone who is always negative or doesn’t like their job. It is absolutely amazing how having just one negative person around can make the day drag on and impact your feelings toward the job. Especially in this field, it is beyond important to have a positive environment.

    Reply

    • Julia Irving
      Jun 02, 2020 @ 09:48:19

      James,
      I agree with you that working with insurance companies can be difficult. I see how it runs my current job at CCS/Respite. Clients are usually given 3-5 days from their insurance companies. Most of the time, the client needs a few more days to stabilize, but the insurance company does not allows grant that time. I see the clinicians at work calling insurances and presenting great reasons as to why the client needs more time and still get denied. DMH is definitely more flexible when it comes to extension. The Respite program at my job is run by DMH and those clients tend to get as much time as they need until DMH finds them a more permanent placement. As oppose to the 3-5 days, DMH clients tend to be with us for months. It is better to have that flexibility with your clients. I agree that a positive work environment is so important, especially being in the field we are in. When feeling worn out, you want an environment that will lift your spirits.

      Reply

    • Chris
      Jun 06, 2020 @ 19:59:09

      Hey James,

      Glad to hear one of your first jobs in counseling was able to teach you so much about which populations you’d rather not work with. It’s also interesting to see how you moved up in responsibilities. Were you actively seeking more work during those 10 months, or do you feel as though you were doing enough? It’s also really cool to see you expanding your repertoire of counseling practices, especially with ones you seem to really love. I’m assuming I’ll be seeing you in the Doerfler’s trauma course in the fall! I liked reading your perspective on the job search too, it seems as though you’ve got your options locked down. It’s awesome that you’re already working towards a job upon graduation in a setting you know you enjoy and work well in! It also sounds like we share some organizational qualities, at least regarding the work environment. I also hate it when my schedule is changed abruptly, and one negative person can really make a big difference. I could probably learn some things about completing my work for the next day in advance though not gonna lie.

      Reply

  7. Sam
    Jun 01, 2020 @ 22:19:35

    In completing this job search assignment, I found myself feeling hopeful with regard to obtaining a job after graduation. Although I have gathered some personal preferences in which populations I envision working with, this has not yet become concrete and I absolutely require more experience in both treating a variety of disorders and populations in order to really discover what I have a particular interest in/ “knack” for. With this, it was reassuring to find that there were several job opportunities available not only in MA in general, but more specifically the Worcester area. Additionally, it was comforting to see that half of the options I listed, allowed for application immediately after obtaining a master’s degree. A couple of months prior to completing this job search, I found myself anxious with regards to obtaining a job due to some of the reports I got from others in the field, indicating that most of the job opportunities post masters would consist of IHT. However, my job search did not necessary align with that information. Yes, there were plenty of opportunities for IHT, but also just as much for both residential and outpatient—which I found to be a relief. I had difficulty in finding jobs related to research and administration, and quite honestly, I was unsure of how to even search for research related jobs for post masters or licensed LMHC’s. However, I did not find this to be discouraging as that is not an area of interest for me currently. In all, this job search has resulted in a greater sense of optimism in applying for jobs as there are several job opportunities available, they come in several different orientations (i.e., residential, outpatient, IHT, etc), and they offer a variety of populations that one can work with. After all, we can’t be too picky considering we are not yet licensed, and ultimately, I myself would label any working experience after graduation and before licensure as one that is a “learning” experience that essentially works to help us (me) more clearly identify our (my) preferences (if they have not yet been established).

    As most of my peers, I too will experience a good level of stress, anxiety, and nervousness when it comes to the interview process. Although I’ve completed many interviews for several jobs in the past (where I’ve incorporated all of the concepts discussed in Dr.V’s chapter (e.g., arriving to the location at an appropriate time, physical appearance, body language, voice/tone, eye contact, smiling, fidgeting, etc.), after reading them over in reference to one of the most important interviews in my life, I definitely began to feel nervous that I will be more conscious of too many different things during the interview and not be mindful of the questions/discussions being had during that time (i.e., I will be thinking about whether or not I’m blinking enough instead of answering the question of why I would be a great fit for that agency). In all seriousness though, I will definitely be nervous, but I believe that some anxiety/ stress can be healthy when it comes to big interviews like this. Additionally, despite my nerves, I will strive to remind myself of my qualifications, skills and abilities. I will learn from the experiences of past interviews, practice prior to my interview, and work to present myself as confident and optimistic (but not extremely confident or optimistic… just the right amount of confident and optimistic).

    In addition to an agencies benefits, during my research of certain organizations and interview processes, I will be sure to look for and ask about organizational qualities related to teamwork (communication and respect), employee morale, training opportunities and constructive criticism (i.e., independent supervision as well as constructive criticism from others who “know the ropes” better than I). Although there are several other organizational factors I value, these are some of the crucial qualities I look for in places of work. With regard to the mental health field (a field that can often lead to significant burnout) I find that employee morale is of significant importance. You often hear about, and I myself witnessed as residential counselor (which I know is different from mental health counseling, but still in the same general field) the high turnover rates companies have. With this, I would find myself probably being picky in searching for organizations that foster high employee morale where employees really value their positions, and ones that incorporate events that are enjoyable and “bring the team together”.

    Reply

    • Patricia Hennessy
      Jun 02, 2020 @ 16:43:07

      Sam,
      I appreciate your openness to work with more populations. When I first went into the internship process, I had my heart set on wanting to work with children. Luckily, my supervisor pushed me out of my comfort zone encouraging me to work with adults and I found to love it. I do still hope to work with children, but working in an outpatient setting working with all age ranges, would be where I find the most satisfaction.
      I agree with you that the nerves in the interview process can be adaptive. I think that the individual you interview with can sense that you are eager for the prospect of that job, they can see your motivation, and acknowledge you understand the importance of the job. In the interview process, I believe that the individual you interview with looks for the right answers but for your level of investment in the job itself.
      When you mentioned being a resident counselor, I thought about how you will add to the employee morale in your future job because you will have an appreciation for the staff and the diversity of their job responsibilities. When I joined a team that had an appreciation for each of their staff and encouraged outings that brought the team together it made an incredible difference!

      Reply

    • Patrick
      Jun 05, 2020 @ 13:29:29

      Sam,

      Sounds like the interview process is definitely a concern everyone shares. As I had said in class, I think it’s the unknown that makes the interview pretty stressful. Yes, we have the list of example questions, but I think you hit the nail on the head. The small things in most interview settings are less important than in our field. At the same time, after class, I’m a little more comfortable with the idea. It definitely seems like some of the factors that may not look great in an interview are fairly avoidable. More than that I hope that even if the interview is going okay, but not stellar we can still get a leg up; asking questions, taking notes, maybe a folder with some notes or direct questions to ask written out, those sorts of things may help show how prepared for the position you are, and how important that interview is to you. Regardless, I think that you’re in good company with that anxious feeling!

      Reply

  8. Patrick
    Jun 03, 2020 @ 18:08:45

    There were a few things that I noticed early on during the research for the positions. First, numerous positions had a fairly wide or inconsistent salary gap. For example, the Outpatient Therapist for Northeast Family Services had $53k-58k as their expected salary on Glassdoor, and $47k-49k on Indeed. While this trend seemed to continue many times during the search, and it is possible that it is common in the field, my immediate reaction was fairly hesitant. It feels as though if you don’t find the “right” listing, your salary might get knocked down a couple of thousand dollars. Again, it’s possible this is fairly common, but I don’t particularly love how that feels. On the topic of salary, I noticed that a majority of positions didn’t list any salary possibilities at all or framed it as dollars per hour. While the former was more concerning than the latter, I’d like to know if this is common in higher-education jobs, or if that is a large warning sign off the bat.

    I was motivated by the number of positions that were license eligible. Prior to the assignment, I was fairly concerned about the rock-and-the-hard-place position we could have been put in: you need “x” many hours for licensure, but you can’t find a job that will hire you pre-license. Or, you need to be able to afford housing, food, bills, emergency costs, etc., but we couldn’t get a position that could have us afford these things without a license. Instead, there were quite a few positions, that seemed pretty good, that was available for individuals who were eligible for licensure. More than that, there were a few positions whose entire job description was focused on individuals who were going/would be going for licensure.
    Overall, I think my level of optimism hasn’t changed too much. Salary certainly isn’t everything, and it definitely isn’t why I got into the field, so that information doesn’t bother me that much. The inconsistencies are odd, but they may be commonplace in the field as a whole. I was pleasantly surprised that a decent amount of positions was accepting license eligible candidates. In truth, I expected most positions to look for licensed clinicians as a screening criterion, but that didn’t seem to be the case. So, while the salary gap was somewhat unnerving, and the tendency for most jobs to be in Worcester was (somehow) unexpected, overall, I am just as optimistic as I was prior to the research.

    My biggest concern about interviewing is positions that state doctoral students are “preferred,” but a master’s student can be hired. I imagine that, off the bat, us masters students are already on the back foot. Beyond that, I simply don’t know what they could ask us. Naturally, there are basic questions that always come up, regardless of the level of work you’re entering, but I wonder what the questions regarding us as clinicians will be. Although I’m not sure, I would bet money that the questions we worry they may ask are something that won’t come up.

    The only other concern I had was how COVID-19 will impact potential employers’ views of our clinical skills/learned practice via an internship. For the most part, I think if we get an interview, we can essentially say, “I finished prior to COVID-19 shelter-in-place order.” The other side of that coin is that, if we don’t get to explain it in an interview, I worry that a potential employer may believe our hands-on clinical experience will be lacking because individuals graduating from our year may not have had enough “hands-on” experience, or that utilizing telehealth services won’t have trained us well enough. I think the argument can be made that having to switch up our entire style of conducting therapy, while in an internship setting, while we were training, can be a positive thing instead: we are malleable and flexible to extraordinary circumstances. Still, the worry is certainly there.

    So far as organizational qualities, my most important quality for a job site would be communication. I found that, while my internship site was very good, many of the clinicians only spoke to each other, at best, twice a day: when they came into work and when they left. There were team meetings, but that happened once a month, sometimes months apart. I can’t help but feel like being able to consistently discuss cases with clinicians can help us not only understand the mindset of someone who has been in the field longer (as long as they are competent) and also help guide us towards possibilities we never considered. Of course, supervision helps with that, and clinicians are very busy. Usually, at least at my site, I wouldn’t see clinicians that often because everyone had clients in every hour block, which also messes with the ability for clinicians to communicate with one another. Also, I don’t know if this idea is even remotely normal/abnormal within the field. From a possibly naïve standpoint, however, I think communication would be my single biggest factor.

    Reply

    • Sam
      Jun 06, 2020 @ 16:02:12

      Hi Patrick!

      I liked that you discussed the impact of COVID-19 with regard to our internship experience and how interviewers may see that as a lack of experience. However, I agree with you more on the second statement that interviewers will probably see that as a strength with regard to our abilities to adapt in difficult situations and still maintain great work ethic. Like you said, it was pretty much toward the end of our internship anyway, so the only process that may have really been hindered with regard to our face-to-face clinical experience is that of the termination process. But, you (we) were still able to experience that process through Telehealth! In all, I love that you brought that up considering it certainly makes an impact, but with regard to interviewing, I feel that the quick transition we had to endure can be viewed and portrayed as a strength!

      Reply

  9. Cynthia LaFalaise
    Jun 03, 2020 @ 21:33:06

    The job search was slightly frustrating. I found that most of the jobs required a license and multiple years of experience to even be eligible to apply. Although I was able to find some entry-level positions, my options became limited because of the population I want to work with. I strictly want to work with adults, and a majority of the searches were looking for clinicians to work with child and adolescent populations. I was also frustrated with how many of the job listings preferred social workers more than LMHC’s. This job search opened my eyes to the fact that I may have to be more open-minded with working with younger populations. If child therapists are in higher demand, then I may have to adjust to find a job. I also realized that many of the jobs did not mention assistance for meeting license requirements. Only a few postings out write listed that they offer supervision onsite, which is a deal-breaker for me because I don’t want to pay for external consultations. Another issue that I have was that only two job postings offered a 401K and employer matching program. This is also an issue for me as I want to work for a company that will help me become financially secure for the future. Nonetheless, I am slightly less optimistic about getting a job after graduation with the population I want to work with. I think that I would have more options if I was willing to work with kids and get CANS certified, but it is not my preference.
    Interviews always make me nervous. When under pressure I tend to stutter and avoid eye contact, which makes me seem awkward and lacking interpersonal skills. I want to be more confident when I walk into an interview so I can make a first good impression. I am good at coming up with answers to possible questions I may be asked as I usually research the company and practice responses beforehand. However, communicating them clearly without using fillers like “um” is something I struggle with. I also struggle with coming up with questions to ask the interviewer. Sometimes my mind will blank out and I will just say I don’t have questions to end the awkwardness. I will utilize the list of questions to ask from Table 6.4 in future interviews.

    The organizational qualities that are important to me include the culture if the environment as well as benefits. Culture wise, the job I apply for needs to have a welcoming and supportive staff that makes be feel comfortable to work there. I think it’s important to be able to effectively communicate with colleagues and feel respected and comfortable enough to ask for guidance or even just make small talk. Another quality that’s important to me is providing supervision on site in order to meet the requirements for licensure. Lastly, benefits are extremely important. This includes salary, training opportunities, offering 401K, and health/life insurance packages, and tuition reimbursement. I want to work for an agency that cares for their employrees enough to consider their future needs/security. Working in the mental health field, I know that we don’t get the highest pay, and as an entry level graduate I don’t expect to make 6 figures. However, during the job search I saw some very disrespectful wages for a job requiring a master’s degree. I’ve had jobs without a bachelor’s degree that paid more. So I will be considering salary at a high priorty of things to consider when job hunting. At the end of the day we all have student loans and some of us have families that we need to provide for so we should be getting a fair salary.

    Reply

    • Abigail Bell
      Jun 06, 2020 @ 11:25:56

      Hi Cynthia,

      I can relate to the struggles of only wanting to work with adults and then finding that most job listings included working with children and families, if not exclusively children and families. Because of this I have been looking in settings like colleges or correctional facilities where everyone is typically over the age of 18. I know that I saw some job listings for counselors at some colleges in the Boston area if that is an area that interests you. I also think it is great that you are willing to be flexible if needed, which I am sure will help you in getting a job! I also relate a lot to the anxiety you have around interviews. I think it is awesome that you are able to identify your strengths and aspects that you need to work on and that you have thought about ways to improve your interview skills. Let me know if you ever need someone to practice interviewing with!

      Reply

    • Maria
      Jun 06, 2020 @ 23:57:14

      Hello Cynthia,
      I’m sorry you found it frustrating. I also found multiple jobs that required a license and the other required like 3-5 years of experience that they said was ‘preferred, but not required’. Although they may say its not required, we all know that if we were up against another clinician whom had more experience, we would get passed over. Also, as I continue to work with my clients I’ve considered working with just adults, but it does seem most placements want us to do multiple populations. I think it’s intersting that you mainly saw LSW positions. I saw a few of those around me, but I think in my area there might be a higher demand for LMHCs. I think you make a great point that we should be open minded when it comes to applying for jobs. We all have ideas of what we want to do when we graduate, but we also have to be realistic about what options we do or do not have. I initially only wanted to work with kiddos, but with time I realized I do not mind solely working with adults, but it seems most places will require us to meet with different people. You also made me think about the concern about having supervision off site and help with licensing. I have been looking at places to help with tuition reimbursement, but I should also be looking at places that could help with the license requirements.
      After reading some previous posts, it seems as though there are a few of us who do not do well with interviews due to anxiety! Like you, my hope is to go into an interview with confidence and look knowledgeable. I have been on multiple job interviews, but never an ‘official’ one in our field, which scares me! I also tend to struggle with ‘um’ and I stutter soooo much, so practice would be extremely beneficial. Good idea using the table for reference! I think we are all going to feel more comfortable once we start discussing our passion, but up to that point we will probably be anxious.
      I like that you stated the over all culture of the company is important to you. When I initially read the question I started to think of specific qualities (i.e. reliable, honest, etc.) but in all reality, like you said, the overall culture will make a huge difference. These clinics or agencies we will probaby be working for a while until we get our footing, so feeling welcome and supported is very important. Also, like you and many others, I think communication is vital because we need to feel comfortable asking for help and it is nice to be able to speak to our co-workers like ‘normal’ people. I also agree benefits are extremely important! I didn’t want to come off as overly concerned about money, but having good benefits and job security is a concern, especially now. If we are not making the money we need, I’m hoping our benefits will make things slightly easier. Also like you, my student loans will be another reason why I am up late at night.

      Reply

  10. Kaitlyn Doucette
    Jun 04, 2020 @ 00:31:13

    (1) I did learn a lot through this job search experience. I now have a better sense of the types of jobs that will be available to me upon graduation. I did not realize how many jobs were short-term care such as crisis response or assessment. I found this realization to be somewhat disheartening because I do not think that many of my skills, such as training in CBT, would be adequately utilized in a short-term care setting. Though I’m sure that they would be useful, I do believe that I would be more effective in a longer-term setting. Additionally, I do not think that I would receive as much experience working as a crisis response or assessment clinician that would be beneficial to my professional development compared to a job where I provide CBT treatment for the standard 10-20 sessions (or more depending on the client). Especially as a new clinician, I would like to gain experience developing rapport and treating clients for more than one day.
    I also learned how limiting not having a license can be. More than half of the jobs I found during my job search required a license. Overall, a lot of the jobs that required a license seemed more appealing to me than the more entry-level jobs available. As previously described, there were few jobs that allowed pre-licensed clinicians to work as an outpatient therapist. On the other hand, there were many outpatient clinician positions available for licensed clinicians. Though it is not ideal, it is good to know that I will have more options once I have obtained my license. It also helped me to develop more realistic expectations of what jobs will be available to me once I graduate.
    I have mixed feelings after completing this assignment in regard to finding a job after graduation. I feel more optimistic to know that there are a good amount of available positions to apply to. On the other hand, I feel a little less optimistic that I will find a job that would be my “ideal” position. As I discussed in question one, I would ideally like to work with the eating disorder population. However, the available jobs at ED treatment centers were very limited (I only found three available jobs in all of CT.) This is not to say that I won’t have the opportunity to work with clients with EDs in another setting, such as a community-based center, however even the options/available jobs that allow you to do outpatient therapy are limited. Though crisis response and assessment positions are not my first choice, I will likely end up applying to these jobs out of necessity.

    (2) There are few things in the world that make me more anxious than job interviews. I have panic disorder, which rarely interferes with my daily life anymore thanks to exposure therapy. However, performance anxiety (and caffeine) still sends me into panic (which many of my peers already know because of class presentations). So, on top of the typical worry/anxiety most people experience preceding a job interview, I worry about the very real possibility of having a panic attack. I assume we already know the answer to this problem- more exposure.
    Aside from my anxiety about anxiety, I worry the most about how I will present myself during a job interview. The reading for this class emphasized the importance of nonverbal communication, which commonly becomes “off” when someone is anxious. For me personally, I know that when I am nervous, I tend to make less eye contact and fidget. I will need to find strategies that help to reduce these behaviors, as they can be off-putting to a potential employer. I think that practicing interview questions could be helpful with this, however I am open to other suggestions! I also worry about not talking enough during job interviews. When I am nervous, I tend to talk significantly less. I found the “20-second to 2-minute rule” helpful for this problem and simple enough to keep in mind during an anxiety-inducing conversation. Again, I think that practicing will be the most helpful for this problem.

    (3) Organizational qualities that are most important to me are a positive workplace culture and good communication. Chapter 6 listed ways to be able to assess the workplace culture during/after an interview, and I found this to be helpful because it can be hard to know the culture of a workplace before accepting a job offer. I especially resonated with the point about asking yourself if the agency felt “positive/hopeful/energetic or depressing/cynical/agitated.” I believe that the question posed can make or break your experience working at an agency. I have experienced working in both types of environments and learned firsthand how coworkers’ negativity and cynicism can be draining and lead to burnout. I have also experienced how energizing it can be to work in an environment that is positive and hopeful. The attitudes of the people around you are influential to your mood, and therefore your work.
    Another organizational quality that is important to me is good communication among all team members. Effective and respectful communication is essential in the workplace and influences the relationships between all employees, supervisors, and clients. Effective communication can take many forms; it can be supervisors having clear directions and goals communicated to their supervisees, having clear communication between staff about their clients, or colleagues treating each other with respect when airing out grievances or disagreements. It would be important to me to assess communication skills of an organization before accepting a job with them.

    Reply

    • Danielle Nobitz
      Jun 04, 2020 @ 12:51:56

      Hi Kaitlyn,

      I’m sorry you had a hard time trying to find pre-licensure jobs in CT that you are interested in! I wanted to share with you that at first I had the same issue, but then I started typing in “master’s level clinician” and got so many more results that way for pre-licensure jobs. Hopefully that helps you out, but maybe it’s because I was looking in Boston!

      As you know, I struggle with panic disorder too so I definitely understand where you’re coming from. I actually put this in my post too, but it will be really important for us to continuously role play interviews and expose ourselves to this uncomfortable situation. Practice will be the way to help us become more confident in our abilities to interview! If you ever want to role play interviewing with me, I’d be more than happy to use the help as well as help you with it too!

      As for your organizational qualities, I totally agree with you that communication is a huge piece to what makes a company or organization functioning. I mentioned this in my post too, but in my practicum placement I had a very unpleasant experience due to lack of communication and unprofessionalism. Not being able to adequately communicate with your coworkers (especially as clinicians) and gossiping around the office just ruins the work environment and really ruined the experience for me. Even though this experience was unpleasant, it definitely showed me what’s important for a future work environment.

      Reply

    • Cynthia LaFalaise
      Jun 04, 2020 @ 16:14:24

      Hi Kaitlyn,

      While doing the job search I also found that a lot of the jobs required crisis/case management that requires you to be on call. This seems more tailored for social workers more than LMHC. I personally do not want to do crisis management, although that may weave into our line of work, that is not what i want the focus of my clinical experience to be. I was also concerned about how COVID-19 would affect the hiring process. I saw that some agency’s specifically noted that they were hiring during the pandemic and that they are offering telehealth services for the time being that will switch to in person sessions when things blow over. So that helped me quell anxiety that I had regarding finding a job amidst this pandemic

      Reply

  11. Danielle Nobitz
    Jun 04, 2020 @ 12:38:58

    1. I feel like overall this job search has made me more optimistic to see all of the opportunities out there. I am a little worried about salary and pay as I was before this job search, however I know that with licensure, that pay will increase (slightly). I feel like I am really shocked with the pay rates that I found during my job search, because I have always been told that pay will be on the low side (about 40,000), however I found a lot of options that were much more than that. I feel like that might be because of the location that I am looking in (Boston), however it made me feel less afraid that I wouldn’t be able to find a job that could satisfy my living expenses. There were a lot of options regarding outpatient levels of care which is something I’m extremely interested in. I can only hope that after I get my license, I can find a job that pays as well as some of the jobs that I found during my search. Finding a private practice to work for will most likely be my goal for after licensure, which I know might prove to be difficult to find, however I did find some during my search. I am overall excited to graduate and get back into clinical practice. I am ready to continue to conduct therapy, and cannot wait to start working in the real world. I really hope that I can find a salary that will help with the expensive costs of living in Boston!

    2. I am extremely anxious about interviewing for jobs, which will prove to be difficult for me when I start interviewing after graduation. As we all know, exposure is extremely important when it comes to panic disorder and any sort of performance or social anxiety, which is why it will be important for me to continuously practice with individuals that I am not as comfortable with in order to expose myself to the situations I might be in. I also feel like I will need to work on my confidence, because I often freeze up and lose my train of thought/start to panic when I feel caught or stuck. Continuously practicing for these interviews and exposing myself to uncomfortable situations is what will help me succeed during these stressful situations (I just have to keep reminding myself that).

    3. Organizational qualities that are important to me are teamwork and ability to get along/communicate with other members of the organization/company. During my practicum, I was at a placement in which the members of the organization did not communicate effectively, which posed for various different types of issues. I was switched around to multiple different sites, and even showed up to the wrong place for an observation because two supervisors did not communicate that there was a change in location, therefore not letting me know. There was also a lot of drama and petty fights that would even get reported to ME (a new intern), when all I wanted to do was learn about the organization and about the field in general. Communication is so important to me because it proved to make the environment very hostile and an unpleasant work space.
    That being said, professionalism is important as well. It is important to know boundaries and to be able to distinguish who to discuss specific information with. As an intern, I did not want to hear about drama between two of the supervisors in the company (this was within the first 3 weeks I was there, too). I did not want to get on anyone’s bad side for involuntarily listening to this information. It’s really important to communicate feelings with the APPROPRIATE individual, and keep the environment professional. Needless to say, I got a new placement for my internship and had a much better experience!

    Reply

    • Patricia Hennessy
      Jun 04, 2020 @ 16:19:44

      Danielle,
      In the job search experience, I too found myself worried that I only saw a handful of jobs that provided any indication of salary. While in my head I told myself I have to first find a job that I am eligible for before I can even start to think about salary, I need to be able to provide for myself. I am assuming most company’s want to protect themselves in a way and ask their future employees what they see fit and negotiate from there in the event an individual may say a number below their average salary. (Good for them not great for us). I am happy that you are finding outpatient jobs available in the Boston area feel free to send a few down to CT 🙂

      I completely understand the nerves that come with interviewing and you make a strong point that exposure will help relax some of the anxiety. That said, having the experience to work with you I am confident in your abilities to be an effective and successful clinician, your future employer will notice that too!

      While I know your initial experience and internship were difficult, I am happy you moved to a placement that had better communication! You can have a fine team of individuals who work well independently but given our field, if they are unable to communicate, they come ineffective. Hopefully, you find this effective communication and teamwork in your future endeavors as well!

      Reply

    • Patrick
      Jun 05, 2020 @ 13:21:34

      Danelle,

      I think it’s interesting that both of us felt that communication was an important organizational factor. More than that, I like how you described why it was important to you. I’m sorry you had all that nonsense happen to you during internship placements, and I imagine that has definitely shaped the importance of both professionalism and communication.

      The salary was also a concern for me too. I wonder how practical it would be to live in a place a little far away from Boston, but still travel via train or some sort of public transport. Maybe that would be helpful from an income perspective.

      Reply

    • Lynette Rojas
      Jun 05, 2020 @ 21:17:08

      Hi Danielle,

      I was also worried about salary when looking for a job as we have discussed before. But like you, I was surprised to find that the pay is not as bad as people say. I actually found some positions which paid pretty well. I was glad and am feeling more optimistic about the future. When it comes to interviewing and pretty much any public speaking, I become very anxious. I know that with practice along with exposure this will get better. Also, I agree with you that team work, being able to get along with co-workers, and communication are very important organizational qualities. During my internship experience, all of these qualities were present which made my experience more enjoyable and made me more comfortable with asking questions and asking for help. I am glad that you were able to have a better experience with your second internship!

      Reply

    • Abigail Bell
      Jun 06, 2020 @ 11:50:54

      Hi Danielle,

      I’m glad to hear that you are feeling a bit more optimistic about the job search process! It is awesome that you were able to find a lot of job listings that you were interested in that are in your area. I had the same experience while looking for jobs and I also feel a little bit more relieved as well. I also relate to your anxieties about interviewing for jobs. Please let me know if you ever need help practicing for interviews, because I could really use the exposure myself! I definitely agree with your discussion of the importance of teamwork and a professional work environment. I am sorry that you had such an unpleasant experience at your first internship! I had a similar experience at my internship where there was a lot of tension and a lack of cohesion which was extremely uncomfortable and impacted everyones work. I hope you are able to find a work setting that shares your same values.

      Reply

    • Chris
      Jun 06, 2020 @ 20:19:22

      Hey Danielle,

      I’ve also been feeling more confident about the job search since we had to complete this assignment. I was also expecting the salaries to be on the low side but was also amazed to find some that actually paid what health care services should be worth! I’m just hoping that there are some of those jobs that do offer some benefits, or aren’t in extremely expensive areas. Gonna be honest, I share similar feelings about interviewing. There have been a couple past interviews where I froze up too, and those weren’t even for counseling positions. Maybe we could all help each other practice when it comes time to really interview. I’m also so sorry to hear you had to go through that experience at your practicum! That sounds extremely unprofessional and I am glad to hear you got a better internship placement in the end. I hope you can find a future work environment with much much better teamwork with positive communication than that at your practicum in the future.

      Reply

    • Maria
      Jun 06, 2020 @ 23:09:35

      Danielle,
      I totally agree that I felt slightly more optimistic after we completed the job search for class. I also agree thought that the pay is slightly concerning and the fact that it changes slightly when we have our license is also very concerning. I know all of us joke that we didn’t come into this field to make money, but being able to support ourselves is an important thing to think about! I wish I was up towards Boston cause I agree the pay definitely changes, but so doesn’t the cost of living. Towards where I live, the pay is alright, but I will definitely looking for a private practice as well! That’s also a goal of mine, one that may take sometime, but there appears to be plenty of jobs that I could take on in the mean time. I hope Boston works out for you!

      I think you bring up a good point about practicing! Anxiety during a job interview is definitely unpleasant because we can feel anxious and think that others can see us panic too. I tend to freeze as well when I get nervous! I also tend to shake a lot and well that just causes a distraction for me and the person conducting the interview. I think that our classes and internship sites have done a good job preparing us for presenting cases and information to people, but I still totally get nervous!

      I remember you speaking about your old placement and I couldn’t agree more that communication and teamwork is extremely important. I know we both ran into this issue during practicum and we both thankfully got out of it, but we saw how important it is to have these qualities. Wherever we go, we will still be working with people and although we see clients one-on-one that does not mean we do not see or speak with our co-workers. I was super thankful to have a great experience at my practicum site where everyone was professional, communicated well, and were willing to help. I think that although that experiences was not great, it taught us a lot!

      Reply

  12. Abigail Bell
    Jun 04, 2020 @ 14:13:04

    I have learned a lot from this job search experience. Prior to this assignment I had a vague idea in my head about what jobs I would want to apply to after I graduated, but this was the first time that I was actually able to see what is available and experience what the process is going to be like. In the beginning it was extremely confusing, because there were a lot of “mental health counselor” jobs, that even in the job description said that they would be providing “treatment” to individuals but then went on to say their minimum requirement was a bachelor’s degree. I did not end up including those jobs in my list, but it was very misleading. I also noticed that a lot of job postings were looking for an LMHC, but in the description there were also asking for non-licensed individuals to apply. This made me unsure of if I should apply for these jobs and whether or not it would be a waste of time.
    After doing this activity I am a little optimistic about being able to find a job after I graduate, because I ended up being able to find a decent amount of jobs, but I am not optimistic about how much money I will be able to make. Many of the job listings did not list information about salary or benefits and most jobs that did list the salary information gave confusing ranges, some that were as low as $29,000 a year. This makes me nervous, because I am worried that I will have to settle for a job that does not pay a reasonable wage.
    In addition to the job search, I have a lot of anxieties about interviewing for a job in the mental health field. One thing that makes me anxious is the actual interview itself. I’m sure that I am not alone in saying that I am not the biggest fan of interviews and I am nervous about the idea of having to do multiple interviews. I don’t feel like I am the best in interviews because I tend to be quite shy, and I always worry that I will perform badly because of that. I am also anxious about the possibility of doing all of the work of applying and interviewing for a job and then having them offer a low salary and a bad benefits package. Is it appropriate to talk about salary and benefits before being offered the position? I am always nervous that I will ask a question to the interviewers about the working environment or salary that may be inappropriate to ask prior to getting offered the job.
    Prior to this assignment I consider the qualities that I am looking for in a job. I realized that I am looking for in an organization that values diversity, is cohesive as a team, and that cares about their employees wellbeing. Diversity, both in my workplace and in the clients that I will be seeing, is extremely important for me. Coming from a diverse background I appreciate when a workplace also values this and I quite frankly feel a lot more comfortable in these types of settings. I am also looking for an organization that functions as a team. I have worked in environments where people talk behind other peoples backs and criticize their performance and I do not want to be in that type of environment as a professional. I want to be in a place where I know that I can look to my colleagues for support. Finally, I am also looking for an organization that cares about its employees. I have seen my friends work in clinics that basically shame them for taking a day off even when sick or that overwork them. I expect that I am going to have to work very hard as a new clinician, especially if I get a job in a community clinic, but I want to work in a place that at the very least considers my wellbeing.

    Reply

  13. Cynthia LaFalaise
    Jun 04, 2020 @ 15:17:09

    Abby,

    I had a similar experience while looking for jobs. I found that alot of the jobs said they preferred an LMHC which to me says if I were to apply and another candidate who was licensed also applied, that they would choose the licensed candidate. I also don’t want to waste my time applying for jobs that will choose a licensed therapist over me. I was also concerned about the salary offers. Most did not directly list the pay, citing “competitive salary” or large gaps in salary range. Some of the salaries were lower than wages I’ve gotten at jobs that didn’t require a degree. So I was also un-optimistic about getting a fair wage myself.

    Reply

  14. Lynette Rojas
    Jun 04, 2020 @ 16:33:57

    While I was doing my job search, I was surprised of how many jobs I was able to find. I did not think that I would find 30 jobs in the counseling field in CT. Usually when I see jobs on indeed related to the field, they are in Massachusetts. I was relieved and am now feeling more optimistic about finding a job in CT. It probably also helped that I used different job search engines. However, there were a lot of jobs that required licensure. If I am really interested in a job, I will apply anyways and see if they will consider even if I am not licensed. There were also some jobs that did not have any information about pay. I did see that for most of the jobs I found the average pay was around 50k-60k/year which to me isn’t bad. After hearing everyone talk about how this field does not pay enough, I was glad to find positions that paid more than the average. I am pretty optimistic about the future and finding a job position. I would like to apply to several positions before making a decision, but am worried I will not know how to negotiate pay or advocate for myself. I struggle with being assertive and asking for what I know I deserve and I will need to work on this before I am going for interviews. I also get very anxious during interviews and will need to practice beforehand to be more comfortable and to ensure I ask and say what I need to say. I have also become very anxious in interviews that I have frozen up in the past and the interview obviously did not go well. I am worried this will happen to me again in the future, but I know that if I am well prepared, I can do it. After having two successful interviews for my internship, I am optimistic in that I can be prepared for the interviews and be successful.

    Organizational qualities that are important to me are being in a supportive and positive work environment, team work, strong communication, and diversity. I would also like to have a supervisor that is helpful, available, and gives constructive feedback. I really enjoyed being an intern at my placement. The team I was a part of had all of these qualities and it really helped me feel comfortable to ask anyone for help when my supervisors were busy. My supervisors were very helpful, supportive, and always gave me feedback to help me grow. I felt very appreciated there and like my work was valued. I would like to work for an organization with these qualities because I know these qualities have helped me grow during my experience at my internship placement and I enjoyed being there. When these qualities are not present, I think it would make the experience less enjoyable and I would really like to be excited and happy to go to work every morning.

    Reply

  15. Chris
    Jun 04, 2020 @ 17:04:11

    The job search experience was definitely more daunting before I started it. It seemed as though it would be very difficult to find a job that would hire me. For the first few rows of my search, I was definitely anxious when looking at the jobs. It made graduation seem all that more real. For the first few as well, I definitely looked more into the specifics of the company rather than just qualification. As the search went on, I was able to look more at if I was able to apply at all, or with licensure. After completing the job search, I definitely feel more confident in looking for jobs in my field. I believe I’ll be able to find and apply for a job I enjoy.

    I also definitely have anxiety around interviewing itself. One concern of mine is that I won’t have enough experience in the field to be a potential candidate. My primary anxiety though is that I won’t know what the organization is like and how they truly treat their clients until I get there. This may seem obvious, but I want to work for someone who actually cares about the clients and their progress, and not just care about how much money they make for you or how annoying you think they are. I believe working in a non-profit would be a good fit for me.

    The most important organizational quality to me is having a consistent schedule. It’s much easier for me to keep track of things I have to do and when if I have a habitual schedule. In addition to this, making a clear list of roles and responsibilities for each case is important so that I still don’t forget anything. Finally, it is helpful for me to also work in an environment that is organized. While this may seem obvious, it is difficult to find files that are under the wrong name.

    Reply

  16. Maria
    Jun 04, 2020 @ 18:07:34

    My initial thoughts and feelings for this job search experience is slightly mixed. At first, I was intimidated and nervous about what jobs I would (and mostly likely wouldn’t) find. I have heard multiple people tell me that simply having a BA in psychology and even a master’s in it does not ensure we have a job. I also have been told there are multiple graduates fighting for jobs left and right and that it’s hard to ‘stand out’. I honestly thought that our internship and practicum time would make a difference, but there are probably so many other graduate students doing the same thing. However, while completing the job search over the past week, I was surprised to see just how many jobs I am technically eligible to apply for either today or in December when we graduate. I also learned that some of the jobs I thought (should) require a masters degree did not and I could have gotten those jobs now. I think that I became a bit more optimistic until I read some of the job requirements, benefit packages, and hours (fee for service etc.) may look like. Some jobs I was surprised I would be receiving a decent pay for work I am currently doing now in my internship site, but others I did not think they paid enough! I learned that not all of these positions offered benefits or even guaranteed hours! Now, I’m not asking for a lot, but I would want (and need) some insurance to help because I could not afford all of it without it. I think that there are multiple factors and lessons I need to consider when obtaining a job upon graduation. First, I know I will not be making a lot of money, but I need to be realistic about what I will need to live. Second, I will be looking for jobs that involve individual, family and group therapy in order to broaden my horizons and to gain more experience. I also want to make sure I work with multiple ages, but I tend to prefer working with adult clients. I also think it is important to broaden my experience with the different types of populations I can work with. I was super excited and happy to find that I was able to apply for a forensic clinician once I graduate. I’ve worked with different diagnoses, but I need to work with different populations as well. Lastly, I want to look for a job that includes tuition reimbursement or continuous education help. I say this because it looked like there were a few companies who would consider helping with student loans, continuing education etc. This was something I had heard, but just found out could be a real option for myself. Overall, I feel more optimistic about the availability of jobs I can apply for. I feel a little less optimistic about the possibility or probability that I would get these jobs. I say that because although I met the education requirements, I tended to lack in the experience area of the jobs. Most of these sites required knowledge in the specific population, treatment, and general clinical experience. I think that if I were to apply for some of these jobs, if there was someone with more experience (even by like a year), these companies would not take a chance on me. I think that I will definitely find a job when I graduate, but I think my dream job is still a few years away!
    As for the potential anxieties and/or concerns I have for the interview… well that list could go on. I haven’t been on a job interview in about a year and well, I haven’t ever had an ‘official’ interview for a clinician job (well except for internship and practicum interviews). For me, the interview process for that included discussing why I chose psychology, where I was in school, what I was learning, and what I hoped to gain from working at these sites. I have a feeling the questions for a job interview might be slightly different. I tend to get nervous with any job interview and therefore I have the normal anxieties and concerns. Specifically when it comes to interviews for these jobs, I think I’m nervous I may not give the answers or have the experiences they want me to have. If a interviewer asked me about a specific theory or treatment, I could probably answer that question fairly well. However, if I was being asked how to work with a specific population I haunt really worked with yet, I’m not totally sure how I would answer! I also just tend to make myself anxious for no reason so I think I’l probably be shaking for my first real interview.
    I find the final question to be extremely important and one that I had never really thought about. These placements are where we could work for a year or more at and the company is important to know. One of the placements that I talked about in my reflection for this assignment I chose because of the company’s mission, the population they tend to work with and experiences they offer. It may sound cheesy or like a cliche, but I want to be apart of an organization that does not solely focus on money or the number of clients. I want to be a part of an organization that is focused on helping people, with different diagnoses, and in different ways. I want the organization to be like a family or at least show strong characteristics of respect, equality, passion and unity. I think these are important qualities because of the work we do. I think its important to not only be passionate about the people we work for, but with as well. I have had many times during internship and practicum where I needed to speak about an event or a client and thankfully, (for the most part) I was around people who could answer my questions and be supportive when I needed it. I think that these qualities are often found once we have started working for the company, but they are vital in helping us decide whether we continue our careers at that site or leave to another.

    Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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