Topic 3: Jobs in Counseling – The Search and Application Process {by 2/6}

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 2/6.  Post your two replies no later than 2/8.  *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.

32 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alyce Almeida
    Feb 02, 2020 @ 15:59:08

    1. My job search experience was quite interesting in the sense that I was a bit surprised. I was surprised to see many jobs not requiring even a master’s degree but were fulfilling duties that were considered “clinical work.” It made me somewhat concerned as to the specifics of the job were, and how under appreciated a clinicians role could really be in this field. Not to mention, almost all the jobs I searched for did not provide pay or salary information. Which made me more suspicious in feeling as if clinical work is also under paid as well. After the job search I’m still optimistic on potentially securing a job, but a little less optimistic about whether or not my job opportunities will provide me with all the aspects I need. I think the crucial concern for the job is whether or not I’ll get the appropriate supervision which is something I really want but obviously need for licensure. Only some job descriptions mentioned that, so I’m nervous I’ll be blind sided by that during the search and potential interview process. The best way to put it is that I’m nervous I won’t know all the information necessary and then unfortunately be surprised or even disappointed when or if I do find out which will lead me back to square one of applying all over again.
    2. With interviewing for jobs my primary concern is being too “under experienced” since I’m fresh out of graduating. It’s a scary feeling to be so excited to start our career and still feel somewhat not prepared since we are just starting independently. I think an important aspect for me is the team approach and not feeling alone in my experience. I would love to be apart of an agency that takes pride in that, so I’m fearful jobs will seem great on paper, but once I get to the interview I might be surprised as to what the job really would look like. Just like I mentioned in my previous response for #1, I’m nervous that the job may not mention important aspects in the description (supervision for example) and then at the interview be disappointed that the agency(s) wouldn’t have the licensure expectations needed. A lot of my anxieties are logistical, but a majority of my anxiety is honestly my own confidence in whether or not jobs will take me seriously, or think I’m an appropriate fit for the agency.
    3. Organizational qualities that are important to be is the team approach, client advocacy, and honesty. I want to work for an agency that not only loves what they do, but has pride in that they are providing the best care for the clients. This ties hand and hand with the client advocacy, and honesty I mentioned. We wouldn’t be good therapists if we weren’t honest with our client, and helpful in guiding them to receive appropriate services or needs they may be unable to attain on their own. I think another important aspect is the team approach, I truly thrive off of feeling comfortable and trusting the others I work with. I want to feel comfortable enough to ask for help, stick up for what I think is right, and also receive the appropriate feedback and support I think everyone deserves in this field. Nothing is worse than going to work and not trusting your fellow team, and with this kind of work it makes the job 10x harder in my opinion. I want to feel okay with being myself which was a struggle for me during this internship experience, so I’m determined to make sure I feel genuine with myself as a therapist and co-worker and overall employee for the agency I work for.


    • Amanda Russo-Folco
      Feb 03, 2020 @ 19:11:49


      I really like how honest you were with your response to the job search and didn’t sugar coat how you felt. I agree with everything you’re saying because supervision is a major part of us obtaining licensure so that is something we always have to consider when applying. Also, it is a possibility that we are going to be”under-experienced” depending on the job but, working at previous jobs and our internship does help us with some experience and we know the basics of things. I think it is a little scary now but whatever job you end up accepting, you will be great at it! In terms of organizational qualities you chose, those are really big qualities that are crucial to have in an agency because it is important to feel like you can be yourself around others without being judged so you can be the best clinician and worker you can be and being in a positive working environment definitely would help achieve that.


  2. Amanda Russo-Folco
    Feb 02, 2020 @ 16:32:16

    1. Personally, I enjoyed job searching because I never realized how many different job opportunities there were out there in this world having this degree. Searching for jobs did make me anxious because I realized that graduation is so close, but I was glad we had this opportunity to be able to look for many jobs. I was expecting to not be able to apply to a lot of jobs with just having a master’s degree and not being licensed, but I was wrong. I did have some thoughts such as “I wonder how much this job is going to pay” because not a lot of jobs had their salaries listed. There were so many options and it was difficult and overwhelming in the beginning because I did not know what I wanted to do. However, I started to eliminate jobs I knew I did not want, and this made the process a little easier for me. I also learned that they have jobs for early childhood mental health clinicians, and I did not know this existed. I only thought they had Early Intervention services, and this made me really excited. Starting to look for jobs made me feel more optimistic about obtaining a job upon graduation because there are many options to choose from and starting to generate a list of options now was extremely helpful for me. Now that I have created this list, I do not feel as overwhelmed as I did in the beginning.
    2. Some potential anxieties and/or concerns I have about interviewing for a job in the mental health field upon graduation is that what if I am not qualified enough for this position and also I would not know what to expect. I have been on interviews for jobs before but I feel like this time will be different because it is for my professional career and it will be my first full-time job. I also would be anxious because I would not know what questions to ask and if I am missing anything when I am in the interview. I also am afraid to ask about the salary and how much the agency has to offer but I know it is a personal thing I have to overcome. Since I will be applying for multiple jobs, I know I will have to go to multiple interviews, but I know each interview will be different. I will be anxious for the first couple of interviews but the more interviews I have, I feel that I will be less anxious and concerned because I will know what things to ask and look for. I also have concerns about how the agency will look at me and view me since I am and look very young and I don’t know if they will take me seriously. I can see that a majority of my anxiety has to do with my self-confidence I have about myself with the interviewing process and I know that is something I need to work on.
    3. Organizational qualities that are important to me is that I would want to work in a friendly and close environment where everyone works as a team to try and help one another. This is important to me because I feel that this is the best way to help clients and advocate for them. Also, I think it is important to have a lot of supervision, whether it is individual or group or both, to hear everyone’s perspective on the situation to generate different opinions about the case so they can give the best possible care to their clients. Having multiple teams come together to help a client is really important in this field. Also, trust and honesty are other important qualities to me for an organization because I feel like if there is no trust, then no one would be able to count on one another for help. It’s important to notice the work environment in general because that is where you would be spending most of your time. So if you enjoy your work environment, that makes going to work that much easier.


    • Mikala Korbey
      Feb 03, 2020 @ 19:29:15

      Amanda, I definitely have most, if not all of the same anxieties that you do too. I have worked a full time job before, but the job interview was not as big of a deal to me because I knew it was a job I was not going to be in forever. I am so curious to see how these job interviews will differ and what kinds of questions they will ask. I almost wish I knew exactly what they’d ask so I could prepare better, but I know that never happens in real life. Asking about salary is something I feel like a lot of people struggle with, myself included. I need to practice tactful ways to ask about salary so that it doesn’t make it seem like that is the only important thing to me.


    • Nicole Plona
      Feb 07, 2020 @ 07:18:54

      I found myself being relieved by how many jobs I was able to find as well. It definitely lowered my levels of anxiety about finding a job after graduation. I agree with your frustrations regarding not knowing what the salaries for the jobs available were. I think a lot of us are a little annoyed with the same lack of information. This is something we will need to get better at when interviewing. Asking what the salary for a job is makes me super anxious and is going to be something that I’ll have to work on moving forward.


  3. marissasweeney
    Feb 03, 2020 @ 14:11:51

    1. When I began the job search experience, I initially expected it to be anxiety provoking and overwhelming. However, I learned that there are so many different opportunities in the mental health field. There are so many different settings currently hiring mental health professionals and that gave me a bit of reassurance and optimism when thinking about obtaining a job after graduation. I noticed throughout my search that many positions required only a bachelor’s degree which was very surprising to me! I did not expect to see that. I was also surprised to see that many of the positions which required a master’s degree also required licensure, therefore I found fewer positions that only required a master’s degree. This shows how important licensure really is in the field. In addition, the jobs I found which required licensure also paid much higher than other jobs. For example, one job I found was seeking an outpatient mental health clinician and listed that a MA level clinician salary was $46-48K and a LMHC salary was $53-61K. I also noticed that not many job listings include salary or an exact salary which was a bit frustrating. Many of the positions I found showed a range or simply listed the position with no mention of the salary or pay rate at all. Overall, I feel pretty optimistic about obtaining a job after graduation in either RI or MA.
    2. Some potential anxieties and/or concerns I have about interviewing for a job in the mental health field include my confidence and ability to prove or show what I know and am capable of, especially being a newly graduated clinician. Confidence is something I have learned that I really struggle with in this field and it is something I recognize I need to work on building. I tend to doubt myself and doubt my abilities and this is something I worry about portraying in an interview. I guess I’m mostly concerned with being looked down upon due to being a recent graduate and not having the experience that others do. Something I know I will need to improve upon is asking questions in an interview to ensure that the agency or position is a true fit for me. I will need to improve on my self-confidence and ability to be strong and demonstrate what I know and am capable of.
    3. Organizational qualities that are important to me is definitely a team approach/environment. I think that this is especially important to me being a new therapist and still learning. I hope to be a part of a team environment that is supportive of one another and helpful in providing feedback and guidance. It is important to me to be in a setting like this to feel as though I am supported and have people that can offer different perspectives, styles, and experiences. This also ties into supervision. I would want to be a part of an environment that provides ongoing supervision and possibly even education and trainings. This not only benefits the clinicians, but also the clients they are serving. Another important organizational quality is being a part of a team that takes pride in their work and creating a healthy and positive work environment. This field and the work we do can be extremely overwhelming and even emotionally exhausting at times, so it’s important to me to be in a healthy work environment where others prioritize creating and maintaining a positive environment.


    • Amanda Russo-Folco
      Feb 03, 2020 @ 19:02:34


      I literally had the same initial thought and feelings as you did! It is crazy that there are so many different job opportunities out there! I was also getting frustrated about how not a lot of jobs had their salary posted which made me feel more anxious in a way because I just wanted to know the salary but it is comforting knowing I am not alone in this. In terms of the interviewing process, I feel that as newly graduates, most of us will have self-confidence issues because we are brand new out of graduate school and it is a new chapter in our life. As we work more and gain more experience, I feel that our confidence will improve and we will not continually feel this way throughout our professional careers. In my opinion, I totally agree with those organizational qualities and feel that it is super important to consider that when accepting a job offer.


    • Alyce Almeida
      Feb 06, 2020 @ 14:03:04

      Marissa all your anxieties spoke so loudly to me!! I too struggling with my confidence and expressing my knowledge and experience in the field. That self-doubt constantly comes creeping in and it’s super frustrating. I also agree with that feeling you mentioned about being newly graduated and possibly under experienced during the interview process. It’s so nerve wracking to finally be finished and then go into an interview to be potentially shot down due to the lack of expertise or experience in the field. Hopeful for us both!


  4. Mikala Korbey
    Feb 03, 2020 @ 19:25:27

    1. In my job search, I learned that the terminology in some job postings is used very loosely, for example, just because I type in “clinician” doesn’t mean I will only be shown mental health counselor jobs. I feel optimistic that I will be able to find something, even if it is not my “ideal job” right away. In regards to finding a job in schools (which is were I think I want to be), I know that will be hard, but I am definitely open to other types of jobs and am keeping an open mind! Doing a job search definitely made things feel real and it was kind of scary to think that in a few months I will be going in interviews and actively looking for a big girl job. I also wish more information was given in some of the job descriptions, specifically relating to salary. I guess it is something you find out on interviews?
    2. I am definitely an anxious person, especially when it comes to job interviews. On top of that, I am not very confident in myself or my abilities (which is something I am working on), so I am worried I won’t do a good job at selling myself and coming across as a confident clinician who knows what they are doing. I am also worried that if I do not get any school jobs and have to apply for other jobs, they will question if my school experience can be generalized to other settings, like residential or outpatient. It is definitely a question I feel like I need to be prepared to answer.
    3. Good leadership, accountability and office culture/co-workers are three things that are very important to me. A good, supportive leader knows how to help their subordinates know the way in the organization, as well as knows how to properly delegate. I also really like organizations with accountability measures built in. Accountability is important to ensure that employees are doing what they are supposed to be doing, and helps the organization as a whole run more smoothly. Finally, I also really value good organizational culture and good co-workers to aid in helping me understand cases, and I really value being able to bounce ideas off of other people.


    • Rachel DiLima
      Feb 05, 2020 @ 20:30:44


      I definitely understand your anxiety surrounding the interview process. I think there is added pressure when considering our limited experience, and lack of license (which makes me feel a bit of an amateur). But I just need to say, that whenever you speak up in Internship Supervision, you always sound intelligent, eloquent, and passionate. I firmly believe in your ability to “sell” yourself. You got this!


    • Nicole Plona
      Feb 06, 2020 @ 20:11:30

      I definitely agree with a lot of your worries surrounding the interview process. I also get nervous when interviewing and having the confidence in myself to do well. “Selling” myself is definitely not my strength and I often feel awkward doing that. The salary issue in your job search was also a struggle for me. I’m nervous that I won’t pick a job that will pay me enough that I can live off of.


  5. Nicole Plona
    Feb 05, 2020 @ 08:42:19

    1. Throughout this job search, my thoughts would go between being frustrated and interested. At first, it was exciting to research and find interesting or “cool” positions to apply for one day. As the search continued, I began to get more annoyed looking at what these positions would get paid. It was frustrating to see that the majority of the positions needed licensure in order to apply. When I did find a job for a master’s level clinician it seemed that the pay was ridiculously low. For a person that just spent several thousands of dollars and over 6 years to begin working in the field, the pay that was offered in some of the positions felt like a punch to the gut. I understand not doing a career just for the money and I actually enjoy to job, but I also need to afford to live as well and some of the positions were pushing that limit. I also learned that the types of terms you use while searching can drastically change the job that appears (I.e. using clinician instead of counselor while searching). I know I will be able to find a job once I graduate, but after looking into it, picking the right one (that I’ll actually get paid for) is more of a concern for me.

    2. I am definitely a little worried about interviewing for jobs after graduation. When it comes to talking about myself to someone, I get anxious and overwhelmed. I also have the habit of forgetting what to say in the moment and then after the interview is done, I think of much better information to talk about. I need to develop more confident in talking about my strengths with an interviewer in a way that will get me the job. I am also nervous about picking a job that is paid an appropriate amount. I don’t want to be ripped off and accept a job that is trying to underpay a position.

    3. Good supervision is super important to me. I was lucky enough to have a great supervisor in my internship placement and it made working there a more positive experience. Along with that I would want to work with people that are a part of a team and are willing to help each other and also enjoy the work they do. Having co-workers that have negative attitudes and put-down the work they do makes the overall environment less enjoyable.


    • Mikala Korbey
      Feb 05, 2020 @ 18:13:38

      Nicole, I 100% experienced the same frustrations as you during this job search. Yes we did not get into this field to make the “big bucks”, but money is required to live (pay rent, buy food, etc). I had a little bit of a different experience though, many of the jobs that came up on my search did not list a salary at all, which left me feeling frustrated and thinking “well when will I find out how much you’ll pay me, or do I have to ask on an interview?”. Even the thought of having to ask about salary scares me. And I too am worried about picking the right job, I have some ideas of what I want, but I feel like we won’t truly know the jobs until we are in them and that scares me a little.


    • Jayson
      Feb 05, 2020 @ 20:25:36

      I do agree with you that changing specific words in our job search can dramatically change the results completely. I noticed that the less I used the word, “counselor” and used more words like “clinician”, “therapist”, or “professional”, so many jobs opened up that was relevant to our graduate experiences! It is just silly to think that changing one word can change our chances of getting our future job and it also makes me concerned about what other words can we use to replace “counselor”.


  6. Liisa Biltcliffe
    Feb 05, 2020 @ 09:51:40

    1. I thought it was kind of fun and exciting albeit daunting to do a job search in this field. I still feel a bit like “is this really happening” and “am I really qualified to do this?” You know the old “imposter” syndrome is rearing its ugly head again. I split up the job search between California and Massachusetts and I learned that in California there quite a few positions that were looking for LCSWs and MFTs and not as many looking for LPCCs (the equivalent of the LMHC). So I was a bit concerned about that. However, I did find about 12 in CA (and the rest in MA) that were looking for what I was qualified to do, and the majority of them did not require licensure right away. I think that, in general, I am feeling a little bit more optimistic about finding a job after graduation since doing this search…I just need to really work on my negative self-thoughts.

    2. When I interviewed for the position at Open Sky I completely botched the first interview because I was so nervous. I did not get the position to begin with and I had to interview a second time, the following year. Open Sky was great about setting up an environment where I would feel more comfortable in which to interview, but that is definitely NOT going to be the case going into job situations. I need to overcome this anxiety I have about interviewing and talking about myself and my skills. I do tend to fidget and not make eye contact so that was something addressed in this week’s chapter and something I need to work on. My internship has helped somewhat with my self-doubt by helping me to feel as if I can do this job, and at the same time I still struggle with the self-doubt.

    3. I am really wanting to be in an environment where I am on a team. I want to be able to bounce ideas of others and have the support of a team. Also, I am hoping for a strong organizational supervisor to begin with. Someone whom I can count on for guidance and feedback on a regular basis. In addition, from listening to my fellow classmates in internship class, I know I do not want to work in a hospital setting even though originally I thought I did. I want a positive work culture where diversity is accepted and nurtured. Being a part of LGBTQ+ community, this is important to me.


    • Jayson
      Feb 05, 2020 @ 20:20:57

      I do agree with you that during job interviews, I think we all do become a little anxious and even more anxious than others. I do think it is a learning experience with learning how to manage with the anxiety and thus with more control over it, I do think going in for job interviews won’t be as bad as we thought it was going to be. But overall, I do agree that dealing with our anxiety is something we all need to confront and face and it is completely natural to become anxious because we all really want that job position!


    • Sarah Mombourquette
      Feb 06, 2020 @ 10:54:37

      Hi Liisa, I agree that it is so important to have an environment where you can work collaboratively with the other clinicians. Upon reading your post, I started to think about how important it really is for client care to be looking at situations from multiple viewpoints and to learn from our peers. I also completely agree with your point about having an organized supervisor who you can rely on. In my internship I have already had 3 supervisors. While each person has been a great supervisor, the experience of relearning supervision styles on a regular basis has shown me that I really want to make sure the supervisor that I have in the future is a stable and reliable supervisor that I can trust.


    • Alyce Almeida
      Feb 06, 2020 @ 14:08:07

      Lisa I’m on the same boat in regards to your organizational wants when applying to jobs. I’m all for the team aspect! I think it’s truly impossible to be in this field without it, just sounds like pure terror to me. I agree with the openness, and feeling comfortable, especially with your supervisor. I had quite the rough start with my supervisor and internship experience overall (which you heard in our other class) so thats something I’m putting a lot of focus on for what jobs I apply to. I’m glad you were able to figure out some insight about the setting you want to be in because theres SO many to choose from it’s quite overwhelming. But at least knowing that could definitely benefit you throughout this process!


  7. Shannon O'Brien
    Feb 05, 2020 @ 18:53:34

    1. I feel both anxious and relieved after the job search. It looks like there are a lot of available jobs, which is really comforting. However, many job postings did not include a salary. I worry so much about my future finances and the lack of salary information did not help. I feel guilty sometimes focusing on the money portion of the job search because that really is not what working is about for me. I get frustrated as because we work so hard to get to this point to be offered so little for a field that is only growing and becoming more necessary. Okay, enough complaining. Overall, I feel more confident in finding a job. I do think that us Assumption students come out of school more prepared than other students from other programs. That in itself is comforting when thinking about submitting resumes and interviewing. So many times during the search I thought, “How am I at this point?” For our first blog post I wrote about how excited I was to finally graduate and have my “grown-up job.” However, this search made me realize how nervous I actually am to leave school and come into this new role and transition in my life.
    2. Honestly, I am most worried about the anxiety I am going to have leading up to my interviews. The anticipation is already killing me. Fortunately, I perform pretty well under pressure. So, I am not super worried about the actual interviewing part. Although, I am worried about possibly negotiating terms of my employment. I can be very complacent and I really hate confrontation or bargaining with anything in life. So, the potential for needing to stick up for myself and ask for things that aren’t originally being offered without coming across as rude or ungrateful definitely scares me. I also worry that some employers will say that I don’t have enough experience. Some postings were looking for 2+ years of experience, which clearly I don’t have yet.
    3. I am really looking for great supervision and support. Honestly, compared to what someone my other classmates have expressed, I think I am getting spoiled at Spectrum. I never worry about supervision there. I get both weekly individual and group supervision there which has helped me tremendously. In no way do I want to make a sacrifice on availability of supervision and support. The idea of working with a lot of other clinicians appeals to me as well. I work much better with other people as I like to receive and give feedback. A strong team approach to treatment is a huge selling point for me. I am also looking for something a little more fast paced or crisis oriented. Maybe one day my need for a little bit of an adrenaline rush will fade, but for now I definitely need something more stimulating with a lot of room to be busy!


    • Dee
      Feb 06, 2020 @ 01:24:38

      ” I feel guilty sometimes focusing on the money portion of the job search”
      I too can feel guilty or selfish when looking for the salary of a job listing. I guess what many of the other posts have touched upon that has made me feel better, is the fact that we all have living expenses and of course we deserve to take care of ourselves just as our clients do. I didn’t go into this field expecting to make big bucks, honestly just enough to have a modest life and pay my debts is enough for me. But it was definitely disheartening to see the salary amounts of some posts, or the lack of salary listing at all!


  8. Jayson
    Feb 05, 2020 @ 20:12:49

    1. I learned that there are a lot of misleading job titles. For instance, whenever I would type in “mental health counselor”, a lot of the results offered were usually residential counselor positions which makes sense since the word “counselor” is in my job search. However, these jobs are misleading because some residential counselor job positions do not really focus on actual therapy, for instance, individual and group sessions are not required for the job requirements. Once I changed the word, “counselor” to “clinician”, I noticed that there were many of jobs that were relevant to my actual experience I received from graduate school such as doing individual sessions along with group sessions and developing treatment plans with clients. It just amazed me how changing 1 simple word can dramatically change and lead to different results. It just makes me curious about what words I should be using to actually help me find jobs relevant to my graduate study skills.
    Something else that bothered me and negatively influenced my optimism about finding a suitable job is that I have come across a few jobs that seemed perfect for me such as finding jobs relevant to substance abuse counselor. I read through the qualifications and job requirements and everything seems perfect. However, then I take a look at the reviews of previous employees who worked at the place before and it just ruins my excitement for the job knowing there are a lot of negative feedbacks about the place. Sure, there are a few positive comments about the job, but I can’t help, but not ignore all the negative feedback. After reading the negative feedback from previous workers, it just negative affects my judgment of the place and I become more ambivalent about whether I should actually apply for this position. I don’t want to enter the job knowing that there were actual people who gave strong negative feedback about the place and I did not listen to their feedback and now I am experiencing their negative experiences.

    2. I don’t really have too much anxiety or concerns over getting a job aside from having anxiety about not getting the job I wanted. It makes me feel more relaxed knowing that we are all graduating from a very great graduate program and we all have much clinical experience to offer towards our position and thus we will have much to say during our interviews. I feel lucky that my internship gave me the opportunity to develop an interest towards working in the substance use field and because of my experience, I really do not feel any anxiety towards going for interviews or positions I will be applying to regarding substance abuse.

    3. Organizational qualities that are important for me is to simply have great communication with our fellow co-workers. The better the communication is with everyone in an organization, the better we are able to effectively communicate and assist one another with each other’s clients. Based on my work experiences, I have worked with co-workers who did not get along with one another and often spoke bad about the other behind their backs, usually to me. Whenever they would be in the same room, oh man, the room’s tension grew and everyone just became very uncomfortable and due to it, I saw it negatively affect how we all interacted with one another and if that were to happen in our counseling settings, then it will affect how we work together to do what is best for our clients. Overall, the better communication there is with our fellow co-workers, the easier it will be to interact with one another and thus make it easier for us to altogether as a team work to help the clients.


    • Rachel DiLima
      Feb 05, 2020 @ 20:25:02


      I COMPLETELY relate to the deflation you felt after reading negative reviews of employers, and how frustrating it is that by simply changing a job title, completely different jobs popped up. I kinda got around this by putting my degree in the “job title” category rather than “clinician” or “counselor.” This also opened up a wider variety of possible careers.


  9. Rachel DiLima
    Feb 05, 2020 @ 20:17:47

    1. Initially, this job search was overwhelming and a little disheartening. I felt inundated with positions that I was either unqualified for, or overqualified for. The titles and positions became a bit confusing (as all psychology titles seem to be), and I was starting to feel like I tumbled down the rabbit hole. To top it off, it seemed that the positions I was qualified for are high-stress and low-pay, which is a perfect combination for early burnout. I also opened my search to all of New England, Colorado, and Delaware, which was at first even more overwhelming. However, this is where the search began to turn-around for me.I discovered mental health retreats that used evidenced-based treatment, coupled with wilderness therapy, to treat all kinds of mental health disorders. Finally, something sung to me! I dedicated the rest of my search for evidence-based + wilderness therapy retreats.
    2. Because of my lack of experience, I am slightly anxious about interviewing for these positions. However, because of the evidence-based training I received from both Assumption and my internship, I feel confident that my knowledge and passion will come through and aid me in interviewing.
    3. Through my work at internship, I came to value good supervision and collaborative treatment planning. I enjoyed going to my supervisor and asking for insight or assistance if I was getting “stuck” with a client, and I always appreciated validation and support from my peers when confronting challenging predicaments. Those qualities will be a necessity for me. I also am looking for education and training opportunities to be provided by my employer, and for a focus on evidenced-based treatment.


    • Dee
      Feb 06, 2020 @ 01:29:07

      ” discovered mental health retreats that used evidenced-based treatment, coupled with wilderness therapy, to treat all kinds of mental health disorders”
      I found this to be very interesting! I am hoping that you might share some of these findings with me. The current lifestyle that I have keeps me in the city for 99% of my time. But on my vacations and free time I am out with nature and feeling whole. If I could combine my work-life loves with my hobby and recreational passions, then I’m sure my work satisfaction would be incredible!!


    • Sarah Mombourquette
      Feb 06, 2020 @ 10:59:52

      Hi Rachel, I can definitely relate to your thoughts about lack of experience in the field. Apart from my internship, I don’t have anything else in terms of direct experience in this field. It makes me feel nervous when I am being compared to others who could be applying for the same position with more experience. I am glad you were able to find jobs specific to that category that you were talking about! In my search I had been discouraged because I couldn’t find jobs related to specific areas or populations, so it makes me hopeful to know that it is possible!


  10. Dee
    Feb 06, 2020 @ 01:18:14

    1. My initial experience with this job search was shock at the laxness in the title of clinician in many postings. What many employers consider a clinician position is not at all a mental health counselor! I made sure to take great care at finding true clinician postings that actually align with my definition of the title and my training/qualifications. I did learn that there were a wide variety of true clinician positions out there, not only that I am qualified for (yippee!), but that are appealing to me! On the flip side, there were plenty of listings that I found to have job requirements expected of a clinician that I either had no interest in (IHT), seemed to be above the asking pay-grade (obscene amounts of hours or job requirements), or were very fruit loopy in nature! Also, I did find myself being very frustrated during the search in the fact that most employers do not list the salary or pay. I found this to be quite asinine as it seems to imply that you inquire this during the interview, and if you are unsatisfied with this pay and decline, both your time and the potential employers time is wasted! Fortunately, most of the postings I did find with pay listed seem to be within range of the state average for a master’s level clinician position, which gives me some hope. I do feel more optimistic about obtaining a job upon graduation, especially after seeing how qualified (or overqualified) I was for many positions, the sheer number of open positions available to me out in the job market, as well as the fact that there were many positions listed that I felt I would actually apply for or inquire more about for serious employment.

    2. In terms of anxieties about interviewing for jobs after graduation, I am comfortable with my interviewing abilities and preparing myself to be a competitive hire in an interview however, I am always anxious to inquire about the pay. Part of this anxiety stems from familial/cultural values towards money (YOU DON’T ASK ABOUT MONEY), but I am on my own financially and I have too many bills to avoid this conversation AND accept a job at a pay that is unfitting of my role. I intend on being more aggressive in this regard, and it helps knowing what the national and state level average salaries are for an entry level position with a master’s.

    3. Organizational qualities that are important to me include:
    -collaborative environment with a team centered on ethical treatment of all clients and supporting other clinicians
    -LMHC supervision
    -LGBTQ+ Allies and support groups
    -true mental health supporters (genuinely care about clients and serving the community)
    -open door policies
    -readily available resources (books, assessments, session materials)
    -opportunities for growth and more training


  11. Sarah Mombourquette
    Feb 06, 2020 @ 10:48:47

    1) At first this job search was very challenging because I was having a difficult time finding jobs that would allow for license eligible clinicians. However, when I began to reframe the search through different words, I realized that there are many opportunities for careers right out of undergraduate. This made me feel much more optimistic because one of my largest concerns about employment post-graduation was related to not officially having the LMHC title. Furthermore, I did find it challenging to find jobs that are geared towards specific interests. It seems that most jobs indicate an overarching role working with multiple populations. I have always been told that most people in the field think that there are many opportunities for clinicians who want to work specifically with trauma-impacted children, but this job search did not make me feel optimistic about finding an LMHC job working with specific populations.
    2) In terms of the interview process, I feel very prepared for the interview process in terms of knowledge and the ability to answer questions. Where my anxiety comes in is whether or not my resume with have enough experience. I know that I have a full year of internship, but I am not sure if that will be enough compared to others who are applying for the same jobs. Similarly, I worry that my lack of experience will result in my inability to gain further experience. Although I am happy that I stayed at one placement for the year, I also wonder if that will limit my ability to have had experiences with different management styles for the range of agencies I will be applying to. This could include experience with specific assessment measures or even just exposure to specific forms of documentation programs.
    3) I am particularly interested in agencies that place a lot of emphasis on diversity and cultural sensitivity. I would want to work in an environment that openly discusses and acknowledges the role that our own privilege plays in the work that we have been able to do. I would also want to work in an environment that does not have high employee turnover so that I can form strong work relationships with the people who would be supporting me as a clinician. I would also like to work for an organization that would allow for collaborative creativity between clinicians and that would offer opportunities to engage in leadership and advocacy.


    • Liisa Biltcliffe
      Feb 07, 2020 @ 11:34:48

      Sarah, I am also interested in some particular client populations, but I was not sure how to exactly narrow down my search, or rather I did not really think to do so at the time. Like I was saying to Becca, I feel as if for a couple of years, I will just have to settle (to a point) in order to get to where I can work with the population I might want to work with eventually. Like you, I am also interested in an agency with diversity. I did not think about the employee turnover aspect, but your point hits home because I would also want to be at a place where I could form strong bonds with my colleagues. I am also worried about my lack of experience to put on my resume/CV and I feel that others will have so much more/better experience to put that I will be overlooked. But, all I can do is look forward and have faith that things will work out for the best.


    • Shannon O'Brien
      Feb 08, 2020 @ 00:44:06

      Sarah – I really like your comments about the environment you are looking to work in. I feel very similarly. You bring up a great point surrounding turnover rate. This wasn’t something I initially thought about, but do find to be really important. It is hard to form bonds and rapport as a team when the work place is like a revolving door. We have had some recent changes at my internship and some of my clients have made comments such as, “I feel like this place is a stepping stone for a lot of people in your field.” So, that goes to show that clients also notice, which makes me wonder how that may impact their motivation in or view of their treatment.


  12. Becca Green
    Feb 06, 2020 @ 12:36:29

    1. Overall the job search was what I expected. Many of the positions posted had licensed or license eligible requirements and several years of experience. It is disappointing to see how little money masters level clinicians make at the start. With the amount of debt that most people who go to grad school accumulate it seems unfair that the starting salaries are so low. I found a lot of outpatient clinician positions that were fee-for-service. The issue with that is if your client cancels or no-call no-shows then you don’t get paid. Additionally you do not receive benefits as a fee-for-service clinician, so that would be an issue. A lot of places are looking to hire individuals who want to work with young children and go into school settings, which is not something that I am interested in, which is discouraging as well. It seems as though there are a lot of positions out there but none that are available to masters level clinicians who want to work with young adults and older. While there are still positions available, it seems like I will just be settling until I get my license.

    2. Although I tend to be a very anxious person I actually feel I typically do well in interviews. I do my best to do research about the agencies I’m applying to and have a list of the things that I am good at as well as things I need to work on. I think I am more nervous about finding a position that allows me to only work one job and I can support myself off of it. I also worry that I won’t be able to find a job that offers support and ongoing training.

    3. Mainly it is important to me that the agency’s values, mission, and general vibe match with what I hope to accomplish. Human rights are a top priority and person-centered treatment modalities are important to me. I would want to make sure I am getting adequate supervision and have the opportunity to be part of group supervision as well. I would also enjoy to work for an agency that provides access to additional trainings for the clinicians on staff, that way I can continue to learn and grow as a professional while I am there.


    • Liisa Biltcliffe
      Feb 07, 2020 @ 11:23:47

      Becca, I, too, saw many posts for clinicians needed to work with children and I am wanting to work with adults as well. I think that like what Dr. Volungis said in class, having the substance use clinical experience will help quite a bit because I also saw quite a few posts wanting experience with substance use or certification (especially in CA). I think you are right that for 2 years we will just need to “settle” for the most part but I am hoping to find out what works or doesn’t work for me during this time too. I mean I know the internship helps with that too, but I guess these next 2 years could also be used as a learning experience as well. I also found that many of the salaries tended to be a bit on the low side for being unlicensed and that is concerning. Moving back to CA (next year), the pay tends to be a bit higher, but so is the cost of living. It’s stressful to think about it all. And yet, somehow I know it will all work out one way or another.


    • Shannon O'Brien
      Feb 08, 2020 @ 00:25:18

      Becca – I feel the same way about interviewing. I feel pretty confident that I can interview well. I like your comment about researching the company and making sure you know important and specific things about each place you interview at. I think that is something so important and can be a huge selling feature! I also feel your anxiety about finding one job that can financially support me as well as provide good CE. I worry about that a lot and have debated keeping my dispatch certifications up and keeping it part-time/per diem to make some extra money for a while. So many things to think about!


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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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