Topic 3: Jobs in Counseling – The Search and Application Process {by 2/4}

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 2/4.  Post your two replies no later than 2/6.  *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.

45 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Melissa Pope
    Jan 29, 2021 @ 10:47:52

    Upon doing the job search, I realized the lack of jobs actually available, taking into consideration where I am currently with my education, experience, and what I am ultimately looking for. I think that I am between levels of positions available, and although I do not want to sell myself short, I found that I was often during the search looking at jobs below my experience and education. All jobs that were appealing to me, for the most part required the LMHC status. I am in a very special predicament when it comes to obtaining a job though, which makes it easy for me to stay optimistic and, not sell myself short, and be patient- till I find a job that I am excited to “jump into”. I have learned that I may have to broaden my search a bit, and be more vigilant with looking and applying for jobs.

    I do not have many anxieties interviewing for a job as of right now in the mental health field. Although this will be a first for me (interviewing in this field), I have good experience with interviewing, and find that the mind-set of “Go in and be yourself-“ really helps me. If I get an offer GREAT…if I do not then OK, just another interview under my belt that I can learn and grow from. I am also usually very well prepared for all my interviews, which helps. I research the organization, and the person doing the interview if I can. I also come up with questions for the interviewer not just about my position but about the organization or work setting as a whole.

    Important organizational qualities that are important to me are; sharing of goals, team work, availability to resources and trainings, workplace structure including policies and procedures (employee manual), altruistic community involvement, and open to suggestions, and opportunities to change/grow.

    Reply

    • Jess Costello
      Jan 30, 2021 @ 13:36:58

      Hi Melissa! I love your attitude towards interviewing and finding a job, despite your unique predicament and qualifications. I think as complicated as it might seem to balance your needs and wants in a particular job setting, you present with a unique combination of skills that would be a great asset to the organization where you end up. I also value some of the values you mentioned, like sharing goals, opportunities like trainings, commitment towards improving communities, and being open to change and growth, since we are always learning and changing.

      Keep being optimistic out there!

      Reply

    • Adam Rene
      Jan 30, 2021 @ 16:00:29

      Melissa,

      I really like what you said about an organization having community involvement. While to some degree the nature of what we do *IS* community involvement, there is always more that can be done to give back to the community. I think about all the classes we’ve taken in when you don’t feel sure about a certain culture or aspect of culture the best answer is to get involved with that culture and learn – and I think your statement here is a good repersentation of that!

      Reply

    • Zacharie Duvarney
      Jan 31, 2021 @ 11:06:07

      Melissa,

      First and foremost, I am glad to hear you are in a secure position when it comes to job hunting. I know that finding a job in education can be difficult, but I am sure you will find something eventually.

      Regarding your statement on organizational values, I also think it is important for the company to provide access to training. In our field, the landscape of professional practice shifts frequently, thus requiring us to stay up-to-date as professionals (Especially considering CCEs).

      Reply

    • Taylor O'Rourke
      Feb 04, 2021 @ 09:39:59

      Hi Melissa,

      I can relate to your job search experience in finding many positions that we are actually overqualified for, yet many we are also underqualified for as well. We are kind of in this weird middle ground where we will soon have our M.A., but we are not yet licensed so it can be hard to find those license eligible jobs! Many of the jobs I found only required a bachelor’s degree, which I found very interesting when reading the job descriptions. It is surprising to me that many individuals who are not as educated are likely able to do the same things we are trained to do with extensive training in graduate school.

      Reply

  2. Jess Costello
    Jan 29, 2021 @ 11:54:00

    1. Throughout this job search experience, I became slightly more optimistic about the job market for recent graduates who require supervision, even though some job postings did not provide what type or amount of supervision would be available. I was pleased to see many of the positions requiring an independent license also accepted candidates who were license-eligible.

    Many of the job openings I came across were either temporarily, fully remote or contained some flexibility to work from home in response to the pandemic and social distancing regulations; it will be interesting to see how long this flexibility remains in place after there is (hopefully) widespread distribution of the vaccine and most workplaces return to “normal”, and how it will impact clients who may have inconsistent transportation or other barriers to receiving in-person services.

    2. Though a little bit of anxiety can be motivating going into significant decisions, I feel relatively comfortable about the application and interview process. I think the CCP program has provided me with sufficient skills to “sell myself” in the application and interview process, and as Dr. V said in the chapter, the only way to be certain you’ll never get an interview is to not apply. Even apparent failures can be pathways to success.

    3. Organizational qualities that are important to me include the general culture, level of collaboration, and consideration of clinicians’ own mental health as we know that our industry is prone to burnout. Trainings and CEU reimbursements are also important to be as this education has already been a significant investment. I look at any job opportunity as a chance to learn and grow.

    Reply

    • Taylor O'Rourke
      Feb 04, 2021 @ 09:43:32

      Hi Jess,

      I am glad to see that you became a bit more optimistic about job searching while completing this assignment! I can definitely relate, it is nice to see what we are actually qualified for out there and where it can take us down the road once we are licensed clinicians as well. I also agree with you that it can be frustrating when job searching to not know what type and how much supervision we will receive. I suppose that would be a great question to ask during an interview, though!

      Reply

    • Melissa Pope
      Feb 05, 2021 @ 10:29:37

      Jess, I am so pleased to hear of your optimism moving forward with the available job opportunities. I do agree that applying for as much as you can is a great learning curve. I did not think of the mental health of fellow co-workers as part of an important piece in working for an organization. However it is a vital component, if you have an organization that does not foster and promote mental health others, then all the burnout will definitely impact our clients and the overall efficacy of the corporation.

      Reply

  3. Adam Rene
    Jan 30, 2021 @ 15:58:02

    1. This job search had me feeling a lot of different things. I mostly felt a lot of annoyance and frustration. First, I was frustrated with the fact that only two out of the 25 jobs I found listed any actual dollar amounts for salary and that most didn’t mention salary at all. Second, the term ‘mental health counselor’ being used very lightly in many positions and undermines the amount of work and study it takes to become a mental health counselor in the state of MA – there was a position for an MHC that only required a high school diploma. But there were some bright moments in my search for jobs. I was encouraged to see so many positions opening in hospitals across the state, even though they still don’t seem to understand what the job entails or the qualifications needed (some only required bachelor’s degrees). I was encouraged that I found so many job openings in only a couple simple searches. I also was interested in the offerings for ‘TalkSpace’ and ‘BetterHelp’ out there, even though I don’t know how I feel about those services. In the end, I am fortunate that I already have a job lined up as an In-Home Therapist through Community Healthlink.
    2. I honestly don’t have many anxieties, which I find to be fortunate and helpful for my own mental health. I do have some experience in the field on top of my practicum/internship experience, which brings me a lot of confidence. I think the most anxiety-provoking aspect of interviewing for a job in this field is managing the feeling that “I’m so new, why wouldn’t they want someone more experienced?” Since we have learned that this job has a good amount to do with academic knowledge but even more about direct experiential knowledge.
    3. Some organizational qualities that are important to me are an emphasis on provider self-care, openness to change & learning new techniques or strategies, always offering new opportunities to learn and grow, and multi-disciplinary and openness to other’s knowledge and experience.

    Reply

    • Zacharie Duvarney
      Jan 31, 2021 @ 11:31:07

      Adam,

      You and I share the same sentiment regarding the posting of salaries. It is criminal how few places are willing to post their salary. In my opinion, any company that is unwilling to post their salary has nefarious intent.

      I also share the same optimism you have regarding the integration of mental health and physical health. Many clinicians are being hired as hospital staff, and I think that this trend will continue and become more prevalent. Hopefully, with mental health becoming more of a political topic, we will start to see our field strengthen as a result of political legislation.

      Reply

    • Jess Costello
      Jan 31, 2021 @ 12:05:08

      Hi Adam,

      I was also frustrated by the rarity of real salary data on the job postings I found. Knowing how much one could make in a particular role is obviously a crucial part of evaluating potential jobs and offers, and it seems odd that employers would withhold that information until significant time and energy has been invested in the application process. I was also intrigued by the openings I saw at teletherapy organizations like TalkSpace and BetterHealth, although I believe they can’t offer supervision and only take fully licensed clinicians. I also hope that given how relevant mental health has become in the popular imagination, more organizations will both create relevant positions and understand the importance of hiring well-educated and trained providers.

      I can also relate to your thoughts around companies wanting someone with more experience. As cliche as it sounds, everyone starts somewhere and I think we will all find organizations willing to take us on. Congratulations on already having a job lined up!

      Reply

    • Bianca Thomas
      Feb 01, 2021 @ 12:35:52

      Adam, I felt discouraged about those same exact things! Most of these companies don’t list the pay, probably because they know that nobody would want to work there, and it’s so challenging! It also frustrated me beyond belief that the value and significance of our field is not seen, and that people believe a bachelor’s degree would suffice!

      I am having similar anxieties about feeling “new,” but I also try to remind myself that what we already know is so far beyond what other individuals are taught at other schools, and we all have so much more room for growth and improvement.

      Reply

  4. Olivia Corfey
    Jan 31, 2021 @ 09:23:32

    1. The most recent job search experience has actually increased my optimism about obtaining a job upon graduation. In previous attempts to search for jobs, I believe I was being too specific, so there appeared to be a lack of jobs I would qualify for upon graduation. However, in this most recent job search, I expanded my search to be more broad. It was similar to trying to find an article on PsychInfo, it’s really all about the key words.

    2. It is more than likely my internship will hire me on after I graduate. Therefore, this relieves a lot of my anxiety about interviewing for a job in the mental health field. However, some anxieties I would imagine would come about is if the workplace would want someone with so little experience and a lot left to learn. However, as we all know, it’s all about perspective. This perceived weakness could easily be turned into a strength, as we are ready and eager to learn.

    3. Important organizational qualities that are important to me are prioritizing collaboration, shared goals, openness to change and growth and employer self care. It is important to work with an organization that also uses and values evidenced based treatment.

    Reply

    • Bianca Thomas
      Feb 01, 2021 @ 12:32:08

      Olivia, it’s really great that your current internship site will most likely hire you full-time! It’s also great that you recognize those fears as a perception you have and that they very well could be proven wrong!

      I really like the values that you mentioned for the organization, as those are qualities I truly value too. If you can’t grow and be challenged in the place you work, and feel as though you have the support to do so, then what’s the point of working?

      Reply

    • Katrina Piangerelli
      Feb 01, 2021 @ 12:53:37

      Hi Olivia,

      I really like your comparison between searching for a job and searching for articles on psychinfo. This is something that I have run into as well and it is hard to know what key words to use at times. I think something else I found helpful was looking at different websites for the agency I was looking at applying to and seeing what positions they had listed on their website rather than indeed or websites similar to indeed.
      That is great that your internship is potentially going to hire you after graduation! That makes the job search a lot easier and you also know what you are signing up for in advance.
      I forgot to include the use of evidenced based treatment in my description of what qualities I would like the agency to have that I work for. I think that this is a very important quality for any employer to have in the mental health field.

      Reply

    • Anthony Mastrocola
      Feb 03, 2021 @ 10:04:46

      Hi Olivia,

      I like your comparison between job searches and article searches on PsychInfo. I agree, it is all about the key words! It’s amazing how wording can make all the difference.

      Reply

    • Melissa Pope
      Feb 05, 2021 @ 10:35:12

      Olivia,

      I am happy that your job search this time around provided more job opportunities that you believe you qualify for, even though you may not need to even apply, due to your internship potential hire post graduation. I too find that my searches are very narrow and then end up not providing a lot, I may need to broaden my search as well, using different key words. I am apprehensive in doing this though, because I am very rigid in where I want to be after graduation, which I know is potentially something that I will need to work on.
      I really enjoyed that you value employer self care, it is an important quality and one that I had not thought of.

      Reply

  5. Zacharie Duvarney
    Jan 31, 2021 @ 11:58:53

    1.Discuss your thoughts and feelings about your job search experience.

    My job search experience brought about many mixed feelings (like others have stated). Starting with the positive, it appears that there is a considerable amount of job opportunity in the field, particularly within larger organizations. While finding a job within a school or hospital can be difficult, there appears to be many organizations looking for full-time LMHCs. Furthermore, the full-time positions that are available seem to pay a guaranteed salary (which they should). While there are a lot of per-diem jobs available, these positions can be useful for those who are looking to make extra income here and there.
    Another positive I gleaned was that there was a considerable number of positions that were willing to support licensure efforts. Of the companies that were willing to hire an unlicensed clinician, all of them seemed to offer the necessary supervision for obtaining licensure.
    Moving on to the negatives, many companies were only willing to hire licensed clinicians, meaning job prospects for unlicensed graduates represent a much smaller portion of the available job market. Thus, it may take more time to find a position post-graduation.
    Another negative I experienced was that many jobs were unwilling to post a salary. Many offered “competitive” salaries that offer room for negotiation, though their reluctance to post anything is concerning.

    2.What are some potential anxieties you have about completing job interviews post-grad?

    I don’t really have any anxieties regarding the interview process. I am generally well spoken and I am not afraid to negotiate. It also seems that many positions are “desperate” for employees, which gives us leverage in negotiations. The only real concern I have is how many positions I would have to decline before I found something worthwhile. That being said, I would rather work another job while I look for something adequate than settle for something less than ideal.
    3.What organizational qualities are important to you?

    I find that transparency, opportunity for training, and opportunity for upward mobility are the most important qualities in an organization. I need an organization to be transparent in their ethics and business practices, not only for preserving my own wellbeing, but also to ensure I am serving an organization that genuinely cares about providing best practice to its clientele. Opportunities for training are important in this same vein, so that I can stay up to date on best practice. Finally, upward mobility is important for if I decide to stay with an organization. I eventually would enjoy serving in a clinical supervisor or program director capacity.

    Reply

    • Katrina Piangerelli
      Feb 01, 2021 @ 12:49:24

      Hi Zach,

      I agree there were a good amount of job opportunities for us post-grad (clinician positions at least) that support us in getting our license which is very encouraging. I did run into some positions that were only for people who were licensed, but they seemed to be from smaller agencies.
      I was also frustrated by the lack of salary quotes in these job offers. Not even half of the jobs I found had salaries posted for them and the ones that did were not very encouraging.
      I also agree with the qualities you are looking for from an agency and I think we overlapped a bit in this section.

      Reply

  6. Bianca Thomas
    Feb 01, 2021 @ 12:28:59

    (1) I honestly was left feeling a little frustrated during my job search due to the fact that I had a hard time finding many locations that were hiring Post-Grad students, as well as offering the necessary supervision, and that didn’t pay absolute garbage. It’s pretty discouraging seeing how low valued therapists are considering the magnitude of our work

    (2)I honestly don’t have any concerns with regard to my own capabilities to conduct an interview. My only initial worry is finding a supervisor that I believe can truly provide me the guidance that I need, and a location that will has the growth, work community, challenge and opportunities to allow me to become the best therapist I can be.

    (3) Although your potential employer may want to know certain qualities about you, what organizational qualities are important to you?

    As I briefly mentioned above, I want to work in an organization that appreciates and inspires growth, where there is a strong sense of community between the people who work there and that there are opportunities for me to grow and be challenged. I don’t want to work in a place where the individuals are complacent and just punching a time stamp, because I do not value that or accept that within myself.

    Reply

    • Adam Rene
      Feb 01, 2021 @ 13:14:16

      Bianca,

      I’m glad I wasn’t alone in my frustration with job searches – it seems to be the norm amongst all of us who’ve completed this assignment so far. My supervisor pointed out that right now we’re in a ‘crisis boom’ for the medical community as they directly address the pandemic. But the ‘crisis boom’ for the mental health community is looming like a dark storm cloud – the consequences of the pandemic on the collective mental health of this country is coming and we’re even seeing it now as we approach the 1 year mark of everything shutting down.

      I echo your sentiment about growth mentality in a team and a supervisor – I’m glad that you’re maintaining your high standards, as sometimes those things can get lost when companies focus on the bottom line.

      Reply

    • Kelsey Finnegan
      Feb 01, 2021 @ 20:26:55

      Hi Bianca,

      I share the same frustrations with you about the job search. It seems therapists are grossly undervalued for the work they do based on the few salaries that were actually listed. On the bright side, it looks like compensation is more reasonable once licensed, but it’s discouraging to see how few jobs are available for pre-licensed masters-level clinicians that provide supervision.

      Reply

    • Olivia L Corfey
      Feb 02, 2021 @ 10:42:48

      Hi Bianca,

      I definitely feel your frustration about how the pay is “absolute garbage”, well put! It’s frustrating to see how little therapists are paid and the amount of work and education that therapists are required to do. However, I know you’ve talked about private practice and this just makes private practice that much more appealing! I also admire your high standards for yourself and the organization you’re searching for. Complacency is something I am also trying to avoid. I believe complacency in this field is linked to burnout and high employee turnover (said with a lack of empirical support, just a hypothesis).

      Reply

    • Anthony Mastrocola
      Feb 03, 2021 @ 10:02:22

      Hi Bianca,

      I couldn’t agree more with how growth and a sense of community are amongst the most important qualities for a great job. I agree that i want my employer to offer opportunities to expand my knowledge and ability. Also, I’d like to work with individuals who are also passionate about this work.

      Reply

    • Ashley Foster
      Feb 04, 2021 @ 11:19:15

      Hi Bianca,
      I absolutely agree with your answer for question 1 in valuing what clinicians do and go through to get these positions. It is super discouraging and disheartening. I know for myself, most of my job searches, I make more in my position meant for a bachelor’s degree level than positions meant for our degree. My hope echo’s Adam’s post that with the most recent events surrounding the pandemic that will maybe shed light on how important and essential we actually are. Push comes to shove, we could also just ban together and open a private practice once we’re licensed to get around this issue 🙂

      Reply

  7. Katrina Piangerelli
    Feb 01, 2021 @ 12:43:27

    1. I feel pretty optimistic after completing the job search. There are quite a few jobs I could see myself in and many more I would be interested in learning more about. For me a big part of the job search is finding the right place to work with a supportive supervisor. I am trying to find a position that I could see myself in for at least a few years and I am not entirely sure that would be something that is residential due to the on-call responsibilities. Residential has always been something that I enjoy, but with the clinician usually having on-call responsibilities I would be hesitant to accept a position like this. I have had on-call responsibilities before and it can sometimes be a nightmare. I think that there are a lot of great options for clinicians in this area that do not have on-call responsibilities and are exactly what I would want. I am excited to continue my search and look at all of the options available as graduation becomes closer. I also love my current position at YOU Inc. and my supervisor and coworkers are great. I think this will make my choice harder because I will want to make sure that I am leaving this job to get a job that also has supportive people and a good work environment.
    2. I do not have any anxieties or concerns about interviewing for a job in the mental health field. I have not only interviewed for various positions in the mental health field in the past, but I have also been the interviewer for positions in the mental health field. I think that being the interviewer helped me get over a lot of the anxiety associated with interviewing for different positions because I have been on the other side of this. It may be a little bit different due to the positions I will be interviewing for being more clinical in nature, but I don’t think it will be something unmanageable especially after my time at Assumption.
    3. Organizational qualities are important to me which is one of the reasons I have been looking at jobs in agencies I know more about and trying to learn more about agencies I don’t know a lot about. I think some qualities that are most important would be sharing the same goals as my coworkers, supportive supervisors and coworkers, being able to learn and grow within the agency such as the chance to move up in the agency as well as attend trainings, and transparency. I think the need for transparency stems from being in positions and agencies where transparency is not valued as much as it should be and seeing management left out of important conversations about programs they run.

    Reply

    • Paola Gutierrez
      Feb 02, 2021 @ 12:08:44

      Hi Katrina – I’m in a similar boat when it comes to leaving my internship. I’ve really appreciated the quality of supervision I’ve received and am hoping that will be replicated in my post-graduate job.

      Reply

  8. Paola Gutierrez
    Feb 01, 2021 @ 17:21:50

    1. I was somewhat disappointed by the job opportunities currently available. Although there were many opportunities for licensed mental health professionals, there did not seem to be as many open positions for pre-licensed clinicians. I noticed that there were many different job position titles with confusing requirements and job descriptions. For example, I assumed that “master’s level” clinician generally referred to a pre-licensed mental health counselor. However, that was not always the case and some jobs with that title required a license. Several jobs I found even had contradicting information in the job description. I was also a little discouraged when I saw that there were more child/youth/family clinical work because I’m primarily interested in working with adults. Like others have mentioned here, I was also frustrated by missing salary information in many of the job postings. Although I feel optimistic that I can obtain a job upon graduation, I’m less optimistic about obtaining a job that also possesses the qualities that are important to me.

    2. I feel anxious about interviewing as part of the “normal” anxiety one might experience, I have some experience working in the mental health field beyond my internship, which is helpful in strengthening my application for post-graduate jobs. I am confident that my Assumption education and clinical experience at Open Sky are valuable assets as a job candidate. My knowledge and clinical strengths will hopefully be apparent to employers.

    3. I’m looking for a workplace that values open communication and transparency; support and collaboration; cultural competence; and professional growth. One of my goals in my post-graduate internships is to strengthen my clinical skills and be challenged in the work I do. A focus on evidence-based practice is also important to me as a CBT clinician-in-training. In the past, I have found that interviewing my employer has helped me determine whether my needs will be met (values, benefits, etc). When I interviewed for internships, I had a list of questions about clinical approaches and employer values that helped me narrow down opportunities that I thought would enhance my knowledge and skills.

    Reply

    • Kelsey Finnegan
      Feb 01, 2021 @ 20:20:24

      Hi Paola,

      I also made the mistake of assuming “masters-level” therapist means pre-licensed therapist and found it extremely difficult to determine whether a license was necessary for many positions. I found many postings with contradicting information as well! I agree having a list of questions for the employer is a great idea. I have done this in the past, and the interviewers expressed appreciation of coming prepared with questions.

      Reply

    • Olivia L Corfey
      Feb 02, 2021 @ 10:23:45

      Paola,
      I most definitely agree and find it quite frustrating that job listing sites have confusing and sometimes contradictory information. I really like your “interviewing the employer” approach in order to truly identify their values, benefits and clinical approaches. This could be really beneficial as some employers are not specific and give a general description.

      Reply

  9. Kelsey Finnegan
    Feb 01, 2021 @ 20:10:35

    (1) I learned that there are many positions available for bachelor’s level counselors/case management work and licensed therapists, but positions for pre-licensed, masters-level, therapists are more difficult to come by. After this job search, I feel slightly less optimistic about obtaining a job with a reasonable salary that also provides supervision for masters-level therapists. I’m still optimistic about obtaining a job upon graduation, but it seems like I may have to compromise on pay and preferred setting. For example, many of the jobs I found were for home-based and residential settings, which I would prefer not to work in.
    (2) My main concern with interviewing for a job in the mental health field is figuring out how to get an accurate gauge on the company/agency culture and determine whether my supervisor will be “good.” I feel relatively confident in my own interviewing skills, so I do not have much anxiety there.
    (3) Organizational qualities important to me include transparency, opportunities for growth and education, and a sense of community. I also want to work for a company that actually prioritizes self-care. It seems like some agencies/companies preach self-care, but do not actually have a culture that supports this.

    Reply

    • Kara Rene
      Feb 03, 2021 @ 19:43:41

      Kelsey,

      I completely agree with you about companies that prioritize a culture of support and self care, and the challenges of really assessing that during an interview! I have been thinking that a supervisor who is willing to be open about both the good and bad of their program is probably a good sign- if they are willing to share their weaknesses, I hope that means they are honest about their strengths! It also gives us the opportunity to ask what they do to address those weaknesses.

      I also agree with you about salary. It’s so unfortunate that such an important and sometimes taxing job pays so little!

      Reply

    • Monique Guillory
      Feb 04, 2021 @ 15:42:59

      Hi Kelsey, I can definitely relate to the idea of having to make a compromise when it comes to obtaining a job after graduation. Salaries do seem relatively low, and many job positions are residential, or require having already obtained a license. I suppose starting somewhere in order to fulfill the initial supervisory hours is most important. I definitely value independent learning for professional growth as well.

      Reply

  10. Paola Gutierrez
    Feb 02, 2021 @ 11:29:38

    Kelsey – I hadn’t thought about it, but it can be tricky to accurately assess a company/agency culture and values in an interview. I’ve also found in the past that what’s said in the interview is not always reflected in practice – which is concerning. Same goes for finding a supervisor. Good things to keep in mind when interviewing for sure!

    Reply

  11. Anthony Mastrocola
    Feb 03, 2021 @ 09:57:34

    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?

    I was definitely intimidated by having to search for 25 jobs. I was pleasantly surprised to find a vast number of opportunities available not only in MA. as a whole, but also close to home. I actually recently accepted a position at North Shore Counseling Center in Beverly, MA. This assignment was great in providing an opportunity to compare my expected position to other jobs in this state. I am fortunate to be finding myself in a therapeutic environment that I believe will support me in making significant contributions to this field. This assignment also allowed me to learn about other agencies, practices, and groups to consider differences and potential avenues for later on in my career.

    2. What are some potential anxieties and/or concerns you have about interviewing for a job in the mental health field upon graduation?

    My top anxiety when interviewing revolves around the notion that I need the job more than the company/agency needs me. To help with this thought, I tend to remind myself of the growing need for qualified mental health professionals and how in fact most agencies need us just as much, if not more than we need them. As I interviewed with my soon-to-be employer, the hiring manager disclosed that they have a 200 person waiting list. Other agencies/hospitals/practices in the area aren’t even accepting clients. These are individuals who are not being served and money left on the table for providers.

    3. Although your potential employer may want to know certain qualities about you, what organizational qualities are important to you?

    As a product of this program, I have found myself greatly considering a company’s stance of employing best practice/evidence-based practices to the clients. I also want sufficient opportunities to grow my competency with diverse populations leading to an eventual specialty. I look for sufficient support with reasonable productivity expectations. I want a work-life balance and it appears some employers/agencies are more concerned about meeting revenue expectations despite pushing employees to burnout.

    Reply

    • Kara Rene
      Feb 03, 2021 @ 19:39:49

      Anthony,

      Congratulations on your new position! That is so exciting and I am glad to hear that you feel confident in the environment you will be working in!

      You raise a good point about your feeling of needing a job more than you are needed. I understand that fear, too. But it reminded me that for the four years I worked as a Family/Youth Support worker, there was a clinical position open the entire time! I think it’s more likely that the agencies need us even more than we need them!

      You raise a great point about whether the agency uses evidence-based practices, and reminded me that I should look for that, too!

      Reply

    • Ashley Foster
      Feb 04, 2021 @ 11:10:37

      Hi Anthony,
      First off congratulations on accepting a position, that is so exciting! I absolutely agree with your answer for question 3, and is so relatable. I think that there is such a need for clinicians and I can understand as a company growing to fulfill those needs, but I think these organizations need to respect their employees enough not to burn them out in doing so. It’s amazing that in our field we worry so much about our clients taking care of themselves, we forget about the clinicians/ ourself.

      Reply

  12. Kara Rene
    Feb 03, 2021 @ 19:34:39

    *(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?
    This exercise helped me identify agencies that fit into my areas of interest and expertise and agencies that do not. I was also struck by the differences in quality of information given between agencies. For example, LUK gave very little information in their job listings while CHL and Open Sky had more complete listings including detailed qualifications and bulleted job descriptions. When looking on Indeed, I was struck by how many different uses there are for the word “clinician”- I came across many positions that were not in the mental health field. Lastly, I was frustrated by how few agencies listed salaries, especially as it is considered tacky to ask about salary until after receiving a job offer, and by how low some salaries were after calculating what I would be earning yearly. I am not necessarily more or less optimistic about searching for a job as it is looking more and more like I will be able to continue to work with my internship programs, but I was pleased to learn about a few new agencies I can look into!

    (2) What are some potential anxieties and/or concerns you have about interviewing for a job in the mental health field upon graduation?

    I think my biggest concern is choosing the “right” job. I know that my first job probably won’t be my forever job, but I also want to be intentional about the type of work, kind of program, and environment I will be working with. I will work to ask questions about these things during the interview process, but it is also hard to really know what a job will be like before actually doing the job! I also would like to preferably have a job that has decent pay, as Adam and I would like to buy a house soon, but I’m also kind of resigned to starting salaries being as they are.

    (3) Although your potential employer may want to know certain qualities about you, what organizational qualities are important to you?

    I have been thinking a lot about this recently. It is very important to me that supervisors are acutely aware of the impact they have on team morale, and work to keep their finger on the pulse of the morale of their programs and work to encourage high levels of morale. I think that this is important now more than ever, as clinicians are being asked to work in new ways with more creativity under more uncertainty while we help our clients deal with the same issues we are dealing with ourselves! I will also want to ask whether there is an LMHC available to provide supervision.

    Reply

    • Paul Avolese
      Feb 04, 2021 @ 11:57:11

      Hi Kara,

      It was nice reading about your value of morale. In my experience, this is something that is either overlooked or advertised as morale when they really mean productivity. With that in mind, I think morale is something very personal. Each of us is motivated in different ways by different things. I think as we understand our own motives, it will help us find organizations that would be a good fit for us overall.

      Reply

    • Monique Guillory
      Feb 04, 2021 @ 15:51:43

      Kara,
      I am also surprised at how many different job titles that are applicable to “clinician”, and I definitely think that it makes searching for a relevant position a bit more tedious.
      Morale is tremendously important to me also. It amazes me how many mental and behavioral health organizations function with low morale, and I’ve seen first hand how that impacts the quality of care that is provided. An institution must take care of their employees, which in turn flows over to the quality of services provided to help each client.

      Reply

  13. Ashley Foster
    Feb 03, 2021 @ 21:59:43

    1. When completing this job search, I had mixed emotions. On one hand, I learned that there are an increasing number of positions in medical facilities which makes me hopeful of obtaining my goal of a medically based clinical counselor. On the other hand, I was discouraged by the lack of salary and jobs available for entry level, licensed eligible clinician positions. I also search not only in Massachusetts but also Rhode Island and Connecticut which were outstandingly worst in jobs available and salary averages. I found in my search also that many jobs did not have available information regarding salary making it harder to understand actually how much I could be making right after graduating or being licensed. In many of the positions that actually had the designated salary shown, I was also disheartened and learned that I already make around what is offered to master level clinicians at my job at Butler Hospital with a bachelor’s degree. I am optimistic of obtaining a job upon graduation but am concerned about the salary I could be receiving.

    2. When it comes to interviewing for a job in the mental health field upon graduating, I am not all that concern. On the other hand, I would have some anxieties about interviewing for a position in a medical setting as that is my idea setting but I have no experience in working in those settings other than personal experience. I believe my biggest challenge would be making myself look “expert-enough” to obtain a position within that population which may be a challenge. I do think though that my past experience will do me well in many other populations/jobs.

    3. The most important organizational qualities that are important to myself is that the organization respects myself as a professional in the field and my time rather than trying to overload employees which leads to burnout and turn over. I have a higher expectation for organization from working in the field for the past 10 years and I’ve learned from my experience that many jobs believe their workers are always replaceable by someone who can do more or better. I want to work for an organization that understands that it’s not only those at the top who make a difference in a company but also their employees.

    Reply

    • Paul Avolese
      Feb 04, 2021 @ 11:49:57

      Hi Ashley,

      I was also surprised by the lack of salaried positions I found while searching. I had not realized most entry level positions would be fee-for-service. I do appreciate the flexibility of the fee-for-service positions. I can also relate to your anti-corporate outlook in terms of values. Something I enjoy about my internship is the opportunity to provide services without feeling like I am being rushed to discharge people as soon as possible (even if they are not ready for discharge).

      Reply

  14. Paul Avolese
    Feb 04, 2021 @ 11:44:11

    In terms of my job search experience, I am glad I found an organization like And Still We Rise. Their values, expectations, and mission all align with my own and I would love to work for them once licensed. It concerns me that I was only able to find one organization like it, but I am sure as I network and grow as a counselor more opportunities will present themselves. Searching for jobs also helped me to feel more confident about remaining at my current internship site after I graduate. It seems like other sites would be similar for the most part and I already have established relationships with clients and coworkers. After searching for potential jobs, I have adjusted my expectations and am motivated to pursue independent learning to grow as a counselor and make myself more marketable.

    My biggest anxiety/concern with interviewing for any position is understanding the social etiquette required in a workplace. I have worked in a variety of positions and engaged with many diverse communities and subcultures. At times, I feel very comfortable around people and put a lot of energy into gauging boundaries for what is expected in certain contexts. I am confident in my abilities as a counselor with my limited experience and education and am still working to gain confidence in my professional social skills.

    Organizational qualities I value are an intersectional and culturally sensitive perspective, minimal corporate influence, eclectic evidence-based treatment practices, and encouragement and opportunity for growth and learning.

    Reply

  15. Monique Guillory
    Feb 04, 2021 @ 16:30:21

    1) I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of private practice groups with job listings for independently practicing LMHC’s. Later in my career, after licensing and ample experience working within an organization, I plan on pursuing my own private practice. I do see myself working in a multidisciplinary private practice group, as I know that I am very team-oriented. Like many I have been a bit discouraged by the lower salary average, and the fact that many organizations do not even list a salary range. Overall, I feel optimistic about obtaining a job, in part due to the fact that mental health services are in such high demand with the ever-evolving stress from the pandemic.
    2) In the forefront of my mind is the anxiety of conducting an interview over the computer, as it can often feel impersonal and disjointed, but I suppose with all the telehealth therapy I have been conducting I should be well prepared to do so. Other anxieties are related to forgetting that I’m not the only one being interviewed, as the interview process also includes me interviewing the company. Another concern is the amount of jobs that do not stipulate whether or not they take pre-licensed clinicians, which just adds another layer of work when weeding through job listings.
    3) I’m very interested in how organizations care for their employees, because I know that how an employee feels about their job will definitely influence the quality of services they provide to their clients. Providing mental health services can be so taxing on the clinician, that I think it is imperative that an organization have resources in place to support the overall well-being of the mental health provider. Benefits such as health insurance, 401K’s, family medical leave, PTO, and other benefits such as discounts to gym memberships can be so valuable. I also care about the ethical standards, and procedures that a company upholds, as well as utilizing empirically supported treatments.

    Reply

  16. Taylor O'Rourke
    Feb 08, 2021 @ 16:31:36

    1. I found this job search experience to be highly beneficial. Though I have spent a lot of time searching through Indeed on my own time over the past several weeks, I liked the idea of setting up an Excel spreadsheet and noting down facts that could help factor into my decision of where to apply to. I am fortunate that my internship site, Community Health Resources (CHR) in Danielson, CT, has already offered me a full-time position starting after graduation, however I have certainly been keeping my options open in case something better comes along as far as earning potential or experiential opportunities. I expected that this process would lead to a bit of anxiety for me because it can be quite intimidating and stressful job searching. However, I found that it was the opposite. It was truly a relief to see how many jobs I am eligible for with my degree upon graduation and how much earning potential there is in this field, despite what my thoughts have been about it in the past. Though ideally, I would like to make much more money, there is always the option of private practice once I am a much more established clinician. The biggest thing that I learned from this assignment is that job searching is not as scary as people make it out to be, and often taking that first step of looking can oftentimes be the most intimidating and challenging part. I have a good amount of optimism about post-graduation since I already have a job lined up with CHR, however I am also optimistic about potentially finding something that would challenge me more and take me outside my comfort zone that is working in an outpatient setting in CT.

    2. The biggest concern that I have about interviewing for a job in the mental health field upon graduation is doing so through Zoom, potentially. All of us have learned that taking classes and seeing clients virtually is certainly a different experience than it is in person. It is less personal and more challenging to connect with each other. I worry that when interviewing for potential jobs, my competence and personality will not shine through and this may limit me during an interview.

    3. One of the biggest organizational qualities that is important to me is the cohesion of the site; how well colleagues and directors/supervisors work together and how well the site operates. Coming from an internship site that has gone through higher-up changes and periods of adjustment, I have seen the toll it takes on the primary clinicians and it has been challenging for them. I would want to know what the dynamics are like in the workplace because having reliable and helpful colleagues and supervisors is important to me. It is also important to me that I would receive good quality supervision for my post-graduate internship. This is definitely something I would ask about during a potential interview.

    Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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