Topic 3: Jobs in Counseling – The Search & Application Process {by 6/13}

Based on the readings and assignment due this week consider the following discussion points:  *(1) Discuss your thoughts and feelings about your recent job search experience.  For example, did you learn anything?  Do you feel more (or less) optimistic about obtaining a job upon graduation?  (2) What are some potential anxieties and/or concerns you have about interviewing for a job in the mental health field upon graduation?  (3) Although your potential employer may want to know certain qualities about you, what organizational qualities are important to you?  Your original post should be posted by the beginning of class 6/13.  Post your two replies no later than 6/15.  *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.

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56 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brittany King
    Jun 09, 2017 @ 19:01:26

    For this job search, I looked on two job search websites, Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com. After typing in “master’s level clinician” in the search button and my area, I noticed many different things. The first thing I observed was that many of the jobs had preference for social workers over mental health counselors. I was surprised by this and felt defeated because I would have thought it would have been the other way around. The training we receive in a counseling program is focused on therapy and interventions while social work training is broader so I thought it I would have a greater advantage. Also, I noticed that many jobs have two pay increases for social workers, for their LCSW and then when they are independently licensed. While I am not in the field for massive amounts of money, it is discouraging knowing that even though I have experience and I am trained, there are some limitations even with a salary. Another thing I noticed during the job search was that there were a high number of jobs available for applying. For me, it was re-assuring that there will be job opportunities no matter when I begin to apply for jobs. I thought that because I was not graduating in May, that there were going to be less opportunity. One important that I learned from this experience is that it is important to read the description of what the responsibilities are. Some jobs have on call responsibilities, while others have a rotating schedule, and some are not what the job title stated it was. Even though the title says “master’s level clinician” the job could be just case management and not include therapy at all. Another piece I learned about was looking at the benefits listed under the job application. For me, when comparing jobs, benefits will play an important piece in where I apply to. Overall, I feel like the job search has motivated me to not settle for the first job I find and has opened my eyes to all the opportunities that are out there.

    I think that interviewing for a job, no matter the position can be anxiety provoking. One concern I have is feeling like I will not be prepared for all the questions I may get asked. I know people who have interviewed and have been asked to complete a biopsychosocial on a hypothetical case. For me, I feel like if I am extremely nervous, I may not be able to perform to the best of my ability which may impact my opportunity. Also, I am nervous about making sure that I get across the values I hold as a clinician. Sometimes when I go into a situation that I know holds a lot of weight for my future, I forget some important parts of who I am. For me, it is extremely important for me to work for an organization that has a positive reputation with current and former employees. The organization must have standards they want to keep for their employees while also taking care of them. I would want to know what they do for morale boosting in the agency, especially knowing the field we are in. I want to work for an organization that values their employees. Also, benefits is another piece that is important to me. I want to work for a company who will help me secure a financial future for me. If the organization does not have any competitive benefits, that would be a deal breaker for me. Another quality that is important to me is their mission statement. At both McLean Hospital and the residential program I worked at, they had mission statements that they wanted their employees to keep in mind day in and day out. I think by an organization having a mission statement, it shows that they are working towards a purpose and they want their employees to be a big part of that. Another quality I would like to know about is job growth. If the company does not pride themselves in job growth within the organization, it would not be a good fit for me. As much as I like to stay in the present, I am always thinking about the next step.

    Reply

    • Emily Morse
      Jun 10, 2017 @ 15:59:59

      Brittany, I also noticed the apparent preference for social workers during the job search! I don’t know if there are additional reasons, but I know for a lot of placements they prefer social workers because they can actually section people whereas LMHC’s cannot do that alone. Hopefully the legislation passes soon that will change this! But I agree that it was discouraging. Some jobs I found would list LICSW/LCSW/LMHC in the title, and then the job requirements would only list LICSW/LCSW. In my mind, I questioned whether I would even apply for these jobs or if that would be a waste of my time. Either way, hopefully LMHC’s have the ability to section soon and this clear preference will disappear!

      Reply

      • Brittany King
        Jun 10, 2017 @ 17:04:13

        Hi,

        Actually, LCSW’s cannot section until they have their LICSW but with the new law being passed, hopefully it puts us in an equal position for job growth!

        Reply

    • Amina Lazzouni
      Jun 11, 2017 @ 18:57:16

      Brittany,
      I also noticed that many jobs had a preference for social workers, but I noticed that more on other websites than Indeed. I know you said you used Glassdoor and Indeed, and using Indeed, I found a lot less jobs that were looking for social workers when I searched “Masters in counseling psychology” or “LMHC.” Maybe if you tried that you could find more jobs that didn’t prefer social workers? I also noticed that some jobs that came up under “Masters level clinician” were just case management, and I even noticed that it would say masters level clinician but when I would click on the job, it would say bachelors required. So I agree that is very important to read all the details of the job because at times, the titles of the jobs can be misleading. I didn’t think about morale boosting as an organizational quality, but I couldn’t agree with you more. I just started my internship, so I haven’t developed the skills to know how to deal with listening to people’s struggles yet, but I find it hard to sometimes keep morale high when I hear some very difficult stories, so working at a company the cares about and promotes the morale of employees will most likely be something I add to my list!

      Reply

    • cpopores
      Jun 13, 2017 @ 10:32:15

      Brittany,

      I understand your frustration about the job market’s preference for social workers. I wish we were more widely accepted and were able to work in hospitals. I know that they are preferred for political or bureaucratic reasons, but this is little comfort as we look for job opportunities. I hope that someday these things will change. I know that we have solid education and experience when we leave this program. However, on the flip side…others with the same degree when they graduate aren’t nearly as capable (not really their fault–we’re in a great program). They represent LMHCs and eligible LMHCs too, which makes me wonder about others in the workforce and how they positively or negatively impact our reputation and credibility as a whole. Of course, the same could be said for social workers, who have a wide range of concentrations to choose from and often have education less focused on effective mental health treatment.

      Reply

    • Julia Sherman
      Jun 15, 2017 @ 12:42:30

      Brittany,

      You make a good point about making sure to read the job descriptions carefully. Terms like clinician, therapist, counselor, etc. are incredibly broad. Some positions that I found under these titles involved strictly clinical work, while others were more administrative-based. While I’m definitely open to getting myself involved in many types of master’s level work in the field, I would not be interested in something that did not involve any direct clinical work with clients. Especially since it would be my first job post-graduation, I would be nervous that my clinical skills as a counselor would get rusty after having a job like that. I definitely want my first job to be one where I continue to engage in frequent individual/group sessions so that I can continue to improve my skills as a counselor.

      Reply

  2. Emily Morse
    Jun 10, 2017 @ 15:52:55

    1. This recent job search experience taught me that using the correct search terms is so important. While “counseling jobs in MA” brings up a variety of positions (some relevant and many not), using the terms “LMHC jobs in MA” brings up many more fitting jobs. This was especially true for jobs in college mental health, which is the area that I would like to be in. Searching “college counseling jobs” brought up a lot of jobs for guidance counselors, admissions counselors, school counselors, etc. but nothing I wanted. I actually found it much more successful (albeit it very time consuming) to go directly to college’s website and search through their careers section. I also used this method to find other jobs – I would think of places I could work, go to their careers section and search for jobs there. Now, like I said, this is way more time consuming, but if you are looking for a specific position (this method was also helpful for finding research jobs) or a specific area, I think this is the more successful way of doing it. I also learned (although we had mentioned it in class) just how many positions do NOT list salary, but some do say they offer “competitive” packages (what does that even mean?!)! I also found a few jobs that offered a signing on bonus. This isn’t something I have seen before in jobs searches and it made me wonder if these agencies were desperate for employees (which made me think they must have high turnover rates). Overall, I feel optimistic that I can obtain a job after graduation, but I am a little less optimistic about obtaining a job in the field that I want – college mental health counseling. These positions can be hard to come by, especially since the turnover rate is fairly low. Therefore, they are pretty competitive when there is an open position. I have some advantage in that my internship is in a college counseling center, so I will have some experience in the field when applying and the director may know of colleges that are hiring when I graduate. Still, knowing that it is very competitive makes me think I should also be looking into backup positions if I cannot get into college mental health immediately.

    2. Interviewing for jobs is always an anxiety-provoking situation, but I think I will be even more anxious when interviewing for a job in the mental health field because it is so important to me. When I was interviewing for internship positions at college counseling centers, I was asked to do role plays a few times. This is something that I expect may happen when interviewing for jobs as well, and it does make me anxious. At that point, I will hopefully be somewhat confident in my counseling abilities, but it is always hard having people watch you do your work in a hypothetical situation. Additionally, as I previously mentioned, many of the job postings did not post a salary, so this is something I will have to ask about at interviews. I am very anxious about how to do that tactfully and still get all the information I need to make a job decision. This also goes for asking about benefits, paid time off, etc. I am concerned that I do not know exactly what I should ask, how I should ask, and when I should ask. I am worried that I will just not ask because I am so anxious about the subject and how I will appear to employers if I do ask. Although there are other little things I get anxious about when interviewing (what to wear, what to bring, etc.) these are two things that I am especially worried about when it comes to interviewing for mental health positions.

    3. It is so important to me that I work for an organized company. This is something that came up when I was interviewing for my internship. One college counseling center I interviewed at did not seem very organized. There were times I asked questions and the director told me she had not thought about that yet (I can’t remember specifically what I asked, but it had something to do with supervision). Furthermore, she really did not have many questions for me. Although maybe that was just her style of interviewing, it came off as a little disorganized to me. The other college counseling center I interviewed at was the complete opposite. The woman interviewing me there was 100% prepared with an organized binder for interns and questions ready to ask me. She actually joked that I would think she was a nerd for making an intern binder, but I absolutely loved it because it is exactly what I would do (and have done) at my own job when training people. She was also able to answer so many of my questions before I even asked them, so that I barely had any questions when it came time for me to ask things. These were just little things, but even the appearance of organization is a huge factor for me. I do not want to work in a place where people are disorganized and there are papers and files all over desks and people are frazzled. I work much better in an organized setting, because things are done in an efficient manner that leaves much smaller room for mistakes.

    Reply

    • Brittany King
      Jun 10, 2017 @ 17:09:06

      I think it is really interesting that you want to go into college counseling! I noticed during my undergrad years that there was a need for more mental health counseling on campus. For many search engines, you can set alerts for the job you want so that may be helpful when you are ready to apply. To hear that you are doing your internship in a college counseling center is awesome especially for wanting to go into that area. Honestly, I think that will put you at an advantage when it comes time to apply. We both feel the same way about working for an organized company. Especially working in this field, having a disorganized company on top of a very chaotic job will lead to burn out. At my placement, I had an intern binder to and absolutely loved it! Good luck with your internship.

      Reply

    • Amina Lazzouni
      Jun 11, 2017 @ 18:50:58

      Emily,
      A lot of the things you mentioned in your post, I mentioned in mine as well. I was frustrated that I was hardly able to find any salaries! I also found jobs that said they had competitive pay and benefits and sign on bonuses, but since I couldn’t really find any pay, I didn’t know what competitive meant either. I also mentioned going to specific agencies’ (or in your case colleges’) websites and going to the career section. I think that’s an easier way to do the job search assuming you know where you would like to work. I also mentioned asking about salaries as being anxiety-provoking in my post. I also do not know how to ask and I feel like I would be too anxious to ask as well. I think that doing a little research about how, and when to ask the question tactfully will ease some of the anxiety around asking about salaries.

      Reply

    • Lindsay Millerick
      Jun 12, 2017 @ 10:34:51

      Emily,
      Your point about collecting information in an interview really resonated with me as I had not considered this previously. Job postings only provide potential employees with minimal information about the job; basic duties, requirements, and sometimes salary. However, there is so much more to a job than the general overview provided in job listings. Not only is it important to learn about salary but other job positions/roles, operations, benefits, hours, history, opportunity for growth, involvement with the community etc. In such a small time frame it may be very challenging to collect all the information necessary to make a decision.

      Reply

    • Marisa Molinaro
      Jun 13, 2017 @ 11:38:17

      Emily,

      I felt the same way about the actual words that you type in for the job search! I thought that simply entering “mental health clinician” would be sufficient but this brought up a wide array of positions, and some that didn’t even apply to us. I feel that this isn’t something I had considered before doing this assignment. I also have similar reservations when it comes to applying to a job and going on a job interview. All interviews are anxiety-provoking but because these ones will come with much more added pressure, I feel we will all be even more anxious (if that is even possible!). I also wrote about how the agency itself being organized is a huge priority for me. I had several interviews for my internship at places that were also very unorganized and did not even know where paperwork and assessments were! This was extremely off putting an solidified just how important this actually is for me.

      Reply

    • Meagan Monteiro
      Jun 14, 2017 @ 21:42:19

      Emily,

      I also found that the amount of jobs or variety of jobs was highly dependent on what you searched and what words you choose. This was extremely frustrating as I had to keep thinking about different ways to word what I was looking for and do multiple searches. I think another problem is that there are many different words for what we do, therapist, clinician, counselor, etc. that it makes it a little more difficult to tease out.

      Reply

    • Julia Sherman
      Jun 15, 2017 @ 12:35:56

      Emily,

      I like your point about using less conventional research methods for finding jobs. I think we are all so used to using google and other search engines for finding jobs, that we often don’t consider that some jobs can only be found through other methods, like looking at websites for specific companies. And although that is time consuming, it could definitely be worth it. At this point in our careers, when we are having some of our first professional counseling experiences, our first job could have a large impact on the types of jobs we qualify for later in our careers (Ex: Working with a specific population could open doors for later population later on, and close doors for other populations). So it is definitely important and worth while to really do your research on available jobs, as there could be something perfect out there for you that requires just a little extra digging.

      Reply

  3. Amina Lazzouni
    Jun 11, 2017 @ 18:44:40

    1. During my job search experience, I learned a lot, some of which was expected, while other aspects surprised me. I first learned that certain sources are better than others. The most useful website that I used was Indeed.com and I was able to find several jobs that I would be eligible for both right after graduation, and once I obtain licensure. Other websites that I used just brought me to other websites that I didn’t find to be helpful. I also found that looking up certain agencies and going to the “career” section of the website was a good way to find if jobs were available, assuming one had a particular agency in mind. I also found that it’s important to be specific in the search criteria. Typing in “masters in counseling psychology” brought up a lot of results on Indeed that were actually viable options. Many of the jobs either preferred or required an LMHC, so I was able to find both categories of jobs. Changing the search criteria to include LMHC resulted in jobs that required an LMHC, so I found with Indeed in particular, the search wasn’t too difficult if I was searching the right thing. One thing that I was surprised by was the salaries. First, it was very difficult for me to find jobs that actually had a salary as a part of the job description. A lot of the listings that I found claimed they had competitive pay, sign on bonuses (for which the actual amount was listed) and had information about benefits, but there was no salary listed, which I found interesting. I also think it’s unfortunate that most companies do not post salaries, because while many people in the helping profession are not in it to make an extravagant amount of money, one still needs to know a salary range when applying for a job (everyone has bills to pay!). For some of the jobs that I found that listed the pay, I was surprised about how low the pay is. One of the jobs I found started at $13.00 an hour, which is less than I make now at my part time job. I also found that some jobs ranged very drastically, for example $35.00-$85.00/per hour. There is a $50.00 difference in that range no specifications about who is on the lower end, and who is on the higher end of the salary range. Having done the job search, I am definitely more optimistic about finding a job after graduation, because I found several jobs that require a master’s degree, but not an LMHC. I am however, confused about what type of salary a new, unlicensed, master’s level clinician will be making, so I am a little uneasy thinking about how to bring that up during an interview if it is not mentioned.

    2. Like I stated at the end of my first paragraph, one anxiety is bringing up how much the salary would be. While I don’t think I should have anxiety about it, and I think employers understand why one would ask, I wish I could just look up the job and find the salary instead of having to ask about pay. Another concern that I have is the lack of experience I will have when graduating. While I will have at least a year of clinical experience due to practicum and internship, prior to starting my internship, I didn’t have any experience in the mental health field. I noticed that a lot of jobs wanted at least a couple of year of experience, and for the jobs that are more specific, for example, substance abuse jobs, and jobs working with juveniles, the employers want to hire people who have specific experience with substance abuse, or juveniles. I feel like if I decided after internship that I wanted to work with a population I haven’t worked with before, for example, with those who have substance use disorder, I wouldn’t be able to due to a lack of experience. Another anxiety I have that is also due to a lack of experience is that I don’t know what type of clinician I am yet, as I have not yet started working with clients. I don’t anticipate this being an anxiety when I actually apply for job, because by then I would have had at least one year or clinical experience and I’ll know what my skill set is when going into an interview, but right now, I do have some anxiety about what I bring to the table in an interview.

    3. When I think about organizational qualities that are important to me, a few come to mind. First, I think about functioning as a team to promote support within an organization. I know that clinicians do independent work for the most part, but I think having a sense of teamwork and helping each other out is important. I think especially as a new clinician, I would rather work at a company where I know I can go to my more experienced colleagues with questions or concerns I have. Another aspect of teamwork and support has to do with supervision, which is important to me, because as a new clinician, I would like to feel like I have a supportive supervisor who could help and teach me using his or her experience working in the field. I also think that organization and structure are important organizational qualities that a company should have. I like to work in an organized space, and to make sure I know exactly what tasks need to be completed each day so I can have enough structure to get what I need done during the day. I have worked at companies that I have found to be unorganized, and I just had to be on top of the work I was doing all the time, and I have also worked at companies that I found to be organized, and while in both scenarios, I always get the work done, it is much easier to get organized at a company that is already organized and structured. I would also like to work at a company that has resources available to it’s employees and provides training. I do not mind doing research, and working independently, so if my supervisor/colleagues were unable to help me gain a better understanding of a concept, I would like to be a part of a company where I had the resources to do the work independently.

    Reply

    • Brittany King
      Jun 11, 2017 @ 19:00:05

      Amina,

      It seems like we had very similar experiences during our job search! What I know is that salary will depend on the area you are applying in. I live out in Boston and the jobs have a higher starting salary but the cost of living is also more so it really evens out. I found some of the starting salaries rather insulting when I really thought about it. They are placing such a low value on our education and experience. I think for me, while I do not want to say that money is a huge factor, it is one of the top factors for me when considering a job. If they seem like they are a great organization but want to pay me under what I feel I should be getting paid (based off of other starting salaries) I would not accept the job offer. You brought up some great points throughout your post!

      Reply

    • Lindsay Millerick
      Jun 12, 2017 @ 10:39:38

      Amina,
      Team functioning is an important component to an organization to me as well! Especially as a beginning therapist, it is important to feel comfortable seeking out other employees for questions/advice and feeling welcomed. Further, it would be important to have direct, and easy access to colleagues such as phone lines, e-mails, or office access to communicate with them in a timely manner. Working well with other employees is enormously important as it could significantly impact one’s job satisfaction. Ideally, your colleagues would share the same goals and values and act as professionals in the work setting.

      Reply

    • Jackie Bradley
      Jun 13, 2017 @ 12:32:32

      Amina,
      I also found Indeed to be the best source for the job hunt. I thought that the website was organized, not too overwhelming, and I liked that you can really narrow down your search depending on what you are looking for. I had the same experience with other sites bringing me to another and another website. It made my search more annoying personally. Also, I had similar positive experiences looking up organizations and going to their personal webpage. The career sections made it easy to find available jobs, something I will definitely remember for my my future job search!

      Reply

    • Jacleen Charbonneau
      Jun 13, 2017 @ 12:57:43

      Amina,

      I definitely had a similar experience with the job search in terms of quality sources. Indeed was by far the best source that I had found, which surprised me because CareerBuilder, a few years ago, used to be one of the main sources that I could find jobs. Even some of the sources that I used that were not from Indeed ended up linking me back to Indeed when I clicked on job descriptions. Therefore, this allows me to trust Indeed as a job source among others for when I begin applying for jobs.

      Reply

  4. Lindsay Millerick
    Jun 12, 2017 @ 10:28:35

    1.) The job search experience for me was a valuable learning opportunity that made me feel more confident in regards to finding a job after graduation. I had not previously realized how many mental health positions are available for professionals prior to receiving licensure. For this activity, one of my intentions was to specifically target jobs that did not require an individual to be licensed, as this is the position I will find myself in immediately after graduation. As it turned out, the majority of positions I found did NOT require licensure, although many noted that they preferred licensure/license eligibility or required license eligibility. I also found it interesting that many research jobs are at the Bachelor’s degree level and a MA may over qualify an individual for a research assistant position. Further, this experienced opened my eyes to administrative positions in the mental health field which I found very appealing. After reviewing duties and responsibilities as well as credentials, I feel as such a role may be a good fit for my values and goals as a professional. Overall, this job search has given me a wide variety of career options, and the comfort of knowing there are many jobs available in the field.
    2.) I am concerned that in job interviews I will not stand out enough amongst peers. Individuals interviewing for the same position as myself may have similar academic and clinical backgrounds. As the hiring process is very competitive, I am unsure of how to leave a lasting impression on potential employers as compared to other similar candidates. If experience alone is not going to position me as a front runner, then having good interview skills may give me the edge I need, however, with limited experience doing so, I am unsure as to what these skills would look like. Another concern I have with interviewing is that anxiety will distract me from answering questions to the best of my ability, or cause me to feel uncomfortable physical distress (headaches, muscle aches, etc.) that will further distract me from the interview. Anxiety about an upcoming interview may interfere with my sleeping patterns as well which is another factor that may inhibit me from giving a good interview. In summary, I would like to improve my knowledge of interview skills/techniques, while also working on relaxation techniques to minimize the physical manifestations of anxiety I often experience.
    3.) It is important to me that the organization in which I will be employed shares the same values as me. I would like the organization’s goals to be working hard to improve the well-being of others, and helping individuals manage complicated mental health illnesses. Further, an important quality for me is that employees involved in the organization have good communication skills and frequently respond to e-mails, voicemails, etc. in a timely manner. Many organizations function based on team-work, and it is important to me that my colleagues will carry their weight, and effectively participate in tasks. Although I prefer an organization who is not focused too heavily on profit, it is important to me that the organization provide health care coverage for their employees, and have opportunities for growth; financially and otherwise.

    Reply

    • Emily Morse
      Jun 12, 2017 @ 11:10:33

      Lindsay, interviews are definitely somewhat anxiety-provoking, no matter how many times you’ve done them! As cheesy as it sounds, practice is really the best way to prepare. There are certain questions they will most likely ask you, and I know for me, having a (somewhat) prepared answer made it so much easier. For example, when I was interviewing for research assistant positions out of college, I knew they would ask about my past research experience, so I brushed up on research experience I had in the past to prepare myself. For my internship interviews at college counseling centers, I knew they would ask: why do you want to work in college mental health? So I sat down beforehand and really thought about why before my interviews, and when they inevitably asked me the question I knew what points I wanted to get across. I’ve also been asked many times about my strengths and weaknesses, so that is another answer I generally have prepared (or again, at least know what points I want to get across). Also, I always tried to do some research about the sites/research projects before my interview and come up with a few questions I wanted to ask. I would write them down on a sheet of paper and bring them in my folder for the interview (otherwise I knew anxiety would cause me to forget them). Then, when they asked me if I had any questions, I could look at that sheet to ask them, which I think also shows interviewers that you are prepared for this interview, did your research, and it is important to you. These techniques have helped me in the past and are probably ones I will use again when interviewing in the mental health field to decrease some anxiety, but I know I will always feel some nerves before an interview!

      Reply

    • Jackie Bradley
      Jun 13, 2017 @ 12:26:54

      Lindsay,
      I too am worried about standing out during the interview process we will soon go through. I feel like I am going to me one in a million other people who have the same exact qualifications and schooling. Like you said, this only adds to the anxiety that interviewing provokes. I hope to work on my interviewing skills, and become less anxious about the process in general. Also, I think that there are specific qualities we all have that make us more appealing than the next candidate. We need to dig down and really think about what we can bring to the table for a potential organization. I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit!

      Reply

    • Emily Noyes
      Jun 14, 2017 @ 14:19:24

      Lindsay- You are certainly not alone in the feeling of not standing out. I think this is a common anxiety for any newly graduated student. I too experience the idea of whether I will stand out from other potential candidates. After last nights class I do feel a little more confident in my interviewing skills and what I need to prepare for. Those who possess great interviewing skills still experience some levels of anxiety, as this is certainly a natural feeling when interviewing for a job.

      Reply

  5. mjoyceac
    Jun 12, 2017 @ 11:03:29

    I experienced a wide variety of discomforting thoughts and feelings before landing the job at Spectrum. One of my biggest concerns was finding a job that would provide considerable compensation while not requiring licensure. This concern was fueled by several job postings that listed very limited information regarding compensation, but was assuaged by finding listings such as Spectrum’s that listed considerable pay rates. It may sound like my decision was largely driven by money, which is partially true yet logical approach, but the benefits and other compensation offered by Spectrum made the job almost too good to refuse. Another concern was finding employment at an outpatient facility, as my searched really highlighted the current shift towards providing in home therapy. I see IHT as a valuable approach to addressing a wide variety of issues, but professionally I cannot see myself performing this job in someone else’s home. Beyond my own hang-ups with the idea of IHT, there are some very practical barriers to providing IHT that I identified during this process.
    One company that I interviewed for, FCP, wanted 32 billable hours of IHT work, which does not account for all the time spent driving to each location. Theoretically, I could be driving around to clients’ houses for many hours a week, without real compensation, just to reach the 32-billable hour mark. My final concern was surrounding the process of graduation and receiving our degrees, something my cohort is all too aware of. Describing how the end of my career at Assumption will end has left some interviewers scratching their head, with them asking why there is such an odd delay or gap between finishing classes, taking the oral, and having the degree conferred. I was worried that I would be unable to find meaningful employment until after the orals were completed, and those concerns have luckily been addressed!
    My concerns about interviewing for a job are actually quite limited, as I am very confident with my interviewing skills. One of the most important steps in interviewing is preparing, much like you prepare for a therapy session. I will thoroughly examine the job posting, content on their website, and any other information available, to ensure that I am able to ask specific questions related to any concerns. Being on the verge of completing this program actually makes interviewing easier, as I find myself talking about the professional identity that I have developed here at Assumption as a CBT clinician. One of the most difficult parts of the interviewing process is talking about compensation, and luckily, I believe I have a leg up based on my prior experiences in the field. With some companies, it is very clear that they strictly adhere to certain compensation rates for positions, but I feel as though my prior experiences are very valuable beyond my Assumption education.
    In terms of what I am looking for in an agency or employer, one of the biggest factors is the company’s size, impact, and commitment to quality care. After completing my internship at a very small community site, I really could never see myself working in such a small environment again. The first two employers I worked for were residential treatment facilities with over 100 employees, and I find that I enjoy a much larger and diverse treatment team. Another factor I value is the company’s impact and they work that they do within the community. My internship was great at providing some services to a large town, but fell short of really serving the community and surrounding communities to its fullest potential. Any potential employer will ideally have a far reaching impact within the community and will value providing services to a wide variety of individuals within that community and the surrounding areas. Finally, one of the biggest factors in a potential employer is a commitment to EBT’s and continued training around the dissemination of EBT’s. When I worked for UMASS Medical School, they emphasized an evidence based approach and provided trainings at multiple times throughout the year, which is something I hope to find in any employer down the road. When interviewing with potential employers I want to see that they value current research and approaches that go beyond providing “good” therapy.

    Reply

    • Jason Prior
      Jun 13, 2017 @ 16:04:18

      Mark,
      I really like how much thought you have put into the job that you want. It seems like you have a very clear picture of what will work for you, as a professional. At this point, pay is something that should be taken into consideration. While most of us are interested in helping others, we also must take care of ourselves. Your time, as a counselor, is valuable, so you should be compensated accordingly. I am glad you were able to find a position where you can not only be paid well but enjoy the work as well.

      Reply

      • Mark Joyce
        Jun 15, 2017 @ 11:45:38

        Hey Jason!

        You really make a great point that our time is valuable. After completing a bachelor’s degree and being on the verge of having a master’s degree, it’s ridiculous to think that I would work for little over $15/hr. I’ve made a significant investment and it’s time to make a return on that investment. The thing with Spectrum is, it seems that I am about to get the best of both worlds: a professionally fulfilling job and excellent compensation. One of the biggest factors was finding an outpatient facility that was close by, as I did not want to place extra miles on my truck doing IHT or commuting very far to get to work. Taking a logical and realistic approach has made this job search go much smoother than I had thought. I was offered a research position, but it was only per diem and did not offer anywhere near the same amount of consistent compensation and benefits, which made taking the Spectrum job even easier with all its pluses.

        Reply

    • Salome Wilfred
      Jun 16, 2017 @ 00:19:15

      Mark,
      Congratulations on landing your job!! Like you stated, I am also concerned with finding a job that provides decent compensation. Very few jobs I found reported starting salary and I had to do some extra research to get ranges. I was never sure if the ranges were based off of people with a license. Additionally, I don’t think it’s bad if money played a large part in deciding to taking the position at Spectrum. With being so fresh out of school and not having much of a foundation it makes sense that compensation would play a pretty big role in your decision.

      Reply

  6. Stephanie Halley
    Jun 12, 2017 @ 23:19:53

    1) In the beginning, I assumed this assignment was be so easy. Not that it was difficult to find jobs; there are thousands of them; literally. But it was a matter of pinpointing exactly what I want, weeding out jobs that aren’t relevant, or frankly not knowing exactly what to search for. There are also little to know mention of salary or benefits. Most places use a loophole of “competitive.” One thing I decided to do was not refine my search to Massachusetts. A lot of out-of-state jobs did post salaries. However, I found a lot that most states pay monthly, instead of stating the annual income or hourly wage. I was definitely indifferent about this, as it was not something I had seen before this search.
    One concern I certainly have is how many jobs require LMHC. A few mention eligibility for LMHC being acceptable, but maybe two that I had found and recorded stated that specifically. I guess this increased my anxiety and lowered my optimism slightly as it appeared to be basically every single posting I found. Another concern is how few postings shared salary. I understand this field is so underpaid, but I found myself reading more into those job postings that did have their salary and benefits posted. If a posting did not share that information, I found myself skimming the post very generally.

    2) As briefly mentioned above, I am anxious about those jobs who require LMHC. Therefore, I fear I will interview for job after job and be shut down for not having licensure yet. I am pretty confident in my ability to interview and sell my positive qualities well, however there are many candidates applying for the same position, so many of us will look pretty similar. So I fear I will blend in with a sea of new-graduates and will be overlooked

    3) As for organizational qualities, I want to work for somewhere reputable. It is always such an uplifting feeling when you share where you work and the immediate response is something positive about how great the company is. I feel it says a lot about the staff there; there is a high standard to be upheld. With that, I know I will work with competent clinicians and have a strong support system within this high-intensity field, which eases anxieties about entering the field.
    With that, I want to work for an organization that holds training and support to a high standard. As I stated, this job is so high-stress and it is important we know we have solid supervisors to fall back on, as well as training to keep up with the latest in the field.

    Reply

    • Jacleen Charbonneau
      Jun 13, 2017 @ 13:00:59

      Stephanie,

      I understand what you mean when you say the experience included weeding out jobs. I didn’t find the jobs to be very descriptive in their job titles. A number of jobs were titled “clinician,” which is a very broad term and does not specify which populations are included. This, therefore, prolonged my job searched and used up a lot of time. This ultimately supports my assumptions that a job search can be a long and grueling process. However, it is great to see that there are a number of jobs in the field at master’s level for a number of population types, despite whether or not the actual job title is descriptive. Compared to other fields, like the editorial field that I used to be in, this field appears to have no lack in jobs, unlike editorials which have sporadic jobs that would pop up on these websites here and there, with hundreds of candidates applying to a few single jobs.

      Reply

  7. Jason Prior
    Jun 13, 2017 @ 06:54:47

    1) This whole process has been an exercise in frustration. I have been applying to jobs for roughly a month. Lately I have been busy and slacked off a bit. In reality it has been only to about 6 places. I have tried for more, but some interesting and frustrating things have happened to slow my progress. Doing a job search like this reminds me of just how few really viable positions there are, and just how competitive they are. Sure I found almost 20 research positions, but each of those probably has 2 other applicants. It’s never a good feeling to know that you were passed over. Still, I am going to be persistent. The lack of information on some position can make applying difficult. For instance, most of the jobs give vague suggestions that you will work with others, will conduct some form of research, and maybe write something to do with publication. Not exactly explicit. Another pet peeve has been the reluctance of positions to put up the pay scale. Many of the jobs are similar and so should have roughly the same pay. I just don’t get why they refuse. I do know that it is more than I make now, so I am ok with it. As for the counseling jobs, forget it. Those make far more, but it is also not my first choice. Something I have learned is that it does pay to contact some of these positions, even if you think that you don’t qualify. Worst they can do is say no. After conducting the job search, I feel ambivalent. On one hand, I know that there are positions open that I not only want, but am qualified for. On the other hand, I know that there are others out there thinking the same thing. All of my attempts so far have met with failure. While some went pretty far, they ended up the same. It is a bit disheartening. But I know that persistence is the key. I do feel good about getting a position as a counselor, ironically. Currently there are a lot of openings, particularly around Worcester. Factor in that Assumption’s Master’s program is pretty well known around these parts and I think that I have a pretty strong chance for getting a job, even with the LMHC still pending.

    2) When it comes to being put in the spotlight, I become very uncomfortable. So imagine my excitement at being placed in the hot-seat with a career on the line. I know many of you are the same. I constantly have to slow myself down and think answers through with interviews. There is the constant nagging that the interviewer has already made the decision and is just gong through the motions. Not to mention the fact that they are, quite literally, assessing everything you say and do. Realistically, my biggest source of anxiety is blowing the interview and loosing the chance at the job. Hence a focus on getting out of my own way in the interview. All of this having been said, I like to think that my history of interviews have gone well.

    3) This is actually a topic I touched upon last week in class. One of the most important organizational qualities that I can think of is for every voice to be considered. Too often have I observed good suggestions and wonderful ideas tossed aside without being considered, just because it came from someone who wasn’t in a management position. And if you question a decision made by a manager who only knows money and not the service aspect. Maybe my time in residential work has made me cynical, but when people feel like they are not listened to, they stop caring. I believe there needs to be communication throughout the company so that every employee is kept appraised of the goings-on and the decisions that are made.

    Reply

    • Emily Noyes
      Jun 14, 2017 @ 14:14:41

      Jason-I feel that I have had a very similar experience working in residential. It can be very frustrating to feel as though your voice doesn’t matter, and I think that it can certainly lead employees to feel that they aren’t making any real contribution. I think that this is a very important aspect to have in a organization that I wish to work for, as it makes your work much more meaningful.

      Reply

    • Mark Joyce
      Jun 15, 2017 @ 12:28:01

      Jason,

      Your concern for talking and thinking too fast is certainly something that resonated with myself. As I’ve gone through many interviews, I’ve been able to practice a degree of mindfulness as I think about and respond to each question. It’s understandable to want to give a perfect answer right off the cuff, but it is totally okay to slow the pace down a little bit and collect your thoughts before answering. I understand the immense pressure that can be experienced during an interview, but taking those couple deep breathes before beginning your response is helpful I’ve found.

      Reply

  8. cpopores
    Jun 13, 2017 @ 10:24:01

    (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?

    Over the past year, I have been periodically doing job searches just to see what’s out there and get an idea of what opportunities there may be and where. While doing this assignment, I noticed that there were less job opportunities that appealed to me. For example, it was hard to find research jobs in the field of mental health, whereas other searches were usually more successful. This was disappointing, but I have learned that the job market fluctuates, and more opportunities may come about. Although not surprising, the majority of the job openings were related to substance abuse. I know that I qualify for many of these jobs and would most likely perform well, they are not my top choice. Unfortunately, because I focused much of my search on New Hampshire, I anticipated a large number of substance abuse jobs. This is because NH is working toward more drug treatment (we’re way behind MA). I also know that NH has a shortage of counselors, but there are no jobs open for them to apply to. The main reason for less counselors is that MA pays more, and many key places in MA are an easy commute from southern NH. Also, after reading for this class, I was much more aware of the limitations of online job hunting. Many of the postings were 30 days or more old, were posted on multiple search sites, and probably had a large number of applicants. It has made me think more about other avenues to pursue rather than relying solely on jobsites.

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

    Overall, I tend to get uncomfortable talking to new people or having one-on-one social interactions. Not surprisingly, this flows over into job interview anxiety. I have to sit in a room and talk to someone face to face! Not to mention, the stakes are much higher than how well I schmooze at a party. I know that I have always done fine in interviews and that I have enough social skills to make it through just fine—I just don’t like it. Another area of anxiety is the age old fear of forgetting what to say. As much as someone can prepare for typical interview questions, we can’t predict exactly what will be asked. I dread the question “What is your biggest weakness?” or anything related. How do you answer honestly in a way that still makes you appealing? I could be honest, and tell them I suck at organization and will probably lose my paperwork and be late from time to time…but then I definitely wouldn’t get hired. I believe at my last job interview I said that I am sometimes shy and take a little time to warm up and get comfortable in my work environment. Lastly, I sometimes worry how my appearance will affect the potential employer’s opinion of me. I am self-conscious about my teeth because I know they need a lot of work. Not having an appealing or healthy smile is hard to hide, and could influence first impressions.

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

    When looking for an employer in the mental health field, there are certain standards that I won’t compromise on. For example, I would not want to work anywhere that did not use evidence-based practices, or that said they used evidence-based practices but still implement other methods that have no real value. I want to work in an environment where CBT is an important part of their treatment foundations and philosophy. That being said, I also want to work somewhere that I am not pigeon holed into following a manual and only using one type of treatment. For example, many clinicians at the Bridge have the type of treatment they do in their job title: “IMR Clinician,” “DBT Clinician,” “CR for PTSD Clinician.” Although they may be treatments that I feel comfortable implementing, I want to be able to approach each case individually and shape it to each clients’ unique needs. Because of my time at Assumption, that won’t be as hard for me like it may be for clinicians who don’t have a solid CBT foundation. However, I don’t want to feel too limited in my treatment approaches.

    It is important to me that my future employer upholds philosophies that align with my own beliefs. For example, I want to work in a “person centered” organization that respects the individuals they serve. I do not want to work in a place that I feel I am not supported in treating clients with respect as human beings. This sounds sort of extreme when I write it down, but many organizations say they are “recovery oriented” or that they treat each individual with respect when in reality they treat individuals (especially those with substance abuse problems and/or serious mental illness) as sub-human, or at the very least they do not value individuals’ input. This is incredibly important to me, and I want to feel supported in empowering, supporting, and collaborating with the individuals I serve.

    Reply

    • Meagan Monteiro
      Jun 14, 2017 @ 21:39:27

      Colleen,

      I am glad you mentioned how rigid the positions are at The Bridge. I also struggled with that. It is so hard to be person-centered if you are stuck with using only one intervention/type of therapeutic approach. I think our internship and who we are as people defined what values we are looking for in organizations. As far as being worried about your appearance, there are some things that cannot be helped and as look as you present as professional, they would be jerks to judge you on such a thing. We are all self-conscious about something!

      Reply

  9. Jacleen Charbonneau
    Jun 13, 2017 @ 11:23:24

    1. I will admit that I was a bit skeptical about my job search experience before beginning it; I did not initially think that I would have such a positive experience. I have heard a lot from others regarding different styles of jobs that are offered in this field, with many including fee-for-service jobs that involve hour-by-hour pay that is not guaranteed if the client does not show. Therefore, throughout my process as an intern, I had felt quite discouraged with the thought that I will be graduating with a master’s degree and obtaining a fee-for-service job, with high no-show rates, as it appears to be a lack of job security and a reliable source of income. However, after thoroughly job searching across a number of job sites, I can truly say that I am extremely relieved to find that there are a number of jobs out there that are full time, salary based, and include benefits.

    Moreover, I have learned a lot about the field in general when completing this job search. For instance, I have noticed a substantial difference in salaries for bachelor’s level counselors compared to master’s level clinicians. Many jobs seem to have wide salary ranges, which are all estimated salaries on Glassdoor due to a lack of salary range listed on the actual postings, but I can assume that once LMHC licensure is obtained, the salary will increase again. This experience, therefore, allows me to appreciate the fact that I am obtaining my master’s degree, and everything will likely look up from here.

    This job search also helped me realize just how many positions are available for this field. Compared to my previous field of work, writing and editorials, this field’s job opportunities appear almost limitless. Therefore, I have realized that I should take my time to truly find the right fit and right location to work, and not just jump on the first opportunity I can get (which is how it is in the editorial field due to a very small job market). Taking the time to determine the exact population and location I want to work in should be the first step that I take in before applying, so that I know I am overall ready to accept the job if offered (and on the contingency that I feel the location is right after visiting for an interview).

    2. Anxieties and concerns that I have for interviewing for a job in the mental health field includes how to ensure, at the interview stage, that I am interviewing at a location that can fit my needs just as much as I can fit the needs of the position. For instance, I want to ensure that I am at a location that has enough technology where I can upload files via a computer versus writing them by hand, as well as a number of other factors. Being able to remember these needs and asking about them at the interview worries me because I often tend to forget what I hope to ask or say during the interview process until I leave the interview. Moreover, I am also a bit hesitant to go through an extensive interview process again, although I know it has to be done. Interviews can be a frustrating experience and seem to follow the same pattern, which involves a number of questions to determine if the candidate is good for the position within a usual one-hour interview; then, the hiring managers usually state something along the lines of “we will get back to you,” which means that there is no satisfaction and often confusion when leaving the interview, which hangs with the emotions at least a day until the hiring manager decides to call back. This process is emotionally exhausting, even if the call back is good news, and can be quite frustrating when searching for the right job; it is also very time consuming, so having to go through this rigorous process is something that I do not look forward to. Lastly, I often get nervous regarding who will be interviewing me, as some hiring managers may be very friendly and laid back while others may be more stern and strict. Although I appreciate all personality types, I often go into the interview without knowing that exactly to expect, which can be nerve-wracking for me. Regardless, though, I usually find myself comfortable in the conversation within 5 or 10 minutes, so I know I will have to rely on this fact while interviewing with a number of individuals until I find the right fit.

    3. In terms of organization qualities, I cannot stress enough how much I appreciate team-oriented work. I am a very independent worker, but knowing I have the support of a team that I can always go back to with questions or concerns is extremely empowering and relieving as a professional. The best part of my internship experience was that the individuals that I worked with, including fellow interns and clinicians, were always there with an open door to take the time to address any questions or concerns that I had along my experience. The support and respect each staff member had for one another was the solid ground for any crises or problems that occurred with clients. Therefore, this sense of respect for one another is a majorly important organizational quality. I appreciate working in environments where individuals act professionally and truly put pride in their work. However, I do not have a preference for the size of the organization that I work for, as each have qualities of their own that are important to me. For instance, small organization allow for a tight-knit, problem-solving team, while larger organizations include great diversity in terms of the individuals working, as well as the great input that these individuals can contribute. Therefore, a work environment that is team-oriented, diverse, and supportive are extremely important to me, and I hope to someday work in such an environment.

    Reply

    • Marisa Molinaro
      Jun 13, 2017 @ 11:46:53

      Jacleen,

      I had a very similar experience with this assignment! I went into it thinking that basically the job market was only going to be low-paying and fee-for-service options. However, after doing this assignment and doing some further research, I realized that this is actually not true and that there are many positions that offer full-time salaried positions. I also found it very comforting that there is a big difference between the salary for those with bachelors and those with a masters. This helps to validate the decision to get a masters to get a better job opportunity that has a higher salary. I did not even consider technology as an important factor to consider! However, after reading your post I realized that this is honestly a very important quality. We need to make sure that they are not only interviewing us but we are also interviewing them. Making sure the actual facility is equipped with all the things we need to be successful is an important quality to notice while on the interview and having conversations with management within that agency.

      Reply

  10. Marisa Molinaro
    Jun 13, 2017 @ 11:23:30

    The first thing that I found surprising while doing this job search was the variation in jobs that appeared when I simply typed in “mental health clinician”. I was flooded with results from needing just a bachelor’s degree to needing a PhD. I understand that this is a broad term in defining a job that we would qualify for, however this was not something I was expecting. Another thing that surprised me was the lack of salary ranges displayed on each posting. This made me less interested in the jobs that did not even mention a potential salary range when compared to those that were displaying this as an option. It was also very interesting and surprising to me how many jobs were asking for an LICSW. In my mind, the education that we as LMHC is far more intensive and specialized than the broad education that is given to those who become LICSW. However, it does appear that most jobs will accept both or may prefer those with an LICSW. After completing this search, I do feel that I am more optimistic about landing a job after graduation. I think that I had this idea in my head that there were going to be no jobs, or very few jobs, available after graduation. However, this job search help to reassure me that there is a great deal of jobs out there that we will all qualify for.

    I have many anxieties when it comes to interviewing for a job in this field. I believe that once strength I have is the wide variety of experiences that I was given at my internship. I was exposed to all age groups, outpatient, school-based, and home-based. This will allow me to be more flexible in the jobs that I do apply for. However, I do feel that our field is a competitive field and that this would make me even more anxious when applying for jobs. There is most likely a long line of individuals that are applying for the same position and making sure that you are able to stand out and make yourself noticed is very important. I am also anxious about finding a job that I both enjoy but also pays well and allows me to afford the cost of living as well as all my student loans. I do not want to settle just for a job I like or just for a job that pays well. Finding a balance between the two is something that I am nervous about.

    There are many organizational qualities that are important to me that I did not even really notice until completing my internship. Working somewhere that is organized is very important to me. I am a very neat and organized person and I do not think I could thrive in an environment that does not have organization and order within the office. This can apply to both the actual physical office and the people within it. I also think it is important to ask about how many people are typically in the office, and how many of these people are supervisors. You never know when a crisis may occur or when you may have a difficult session where you need to process and/or receive some supervision. Making sure that there are usually people around will allow me to feel more supported and also less stressed if a difficult issue arises.

    Reply

  11. Jackie Bradley
    Jun 13, 2017 @ 12:02:53

    1. After completing the job search I can say that I do feel a little bit more optimistic about obtaining a job upon graduation. I was able to find 25 positions and probably could have found a much longer list if I had continued my search. I was a little unsure of how many job openings there would be for someone who will be in my position of freshly graduating, but this search eased those worries. I felt comforted by the two job prospects that I chose two discuss and would actually consider applying for. Both jobs emphasized that clinicians may be fresh out of school and that that is okay. They will provide training and supervision to guide someone like me, and help me to help my clients in the best way possible. I think that I was intimidated when I thought about getting my first job, and working with clinicians who have been in the field for many, many years. After this search, I do feel better about this and I am more aware of how many other people will be in the same boat as me upon graduation. This job search also reminded me how much connections matter. I was able to find 25 jobs fairly easily, but it has always been drilled into my mind to maintain connections with people I come across in my work at practicum, internship, and Assumption College. My dad has always instilled in me to reach out to people and simply plant a seed with them to remind them that I am working on getting my Masters and soon enough will be searching for a job. Sometimes, I would roll my eyes at my dad thinking that I don’t want to annoy these people with an email, but as I progress in this process of obtaining my Masters, a job, and licensure, I am reminded just how important a simple email can be to someone. I think that networking is super powerful in the work field and can get you places you wish to be. So, I plan on maintaining connections with people that could potentially have a job for me in the future, or even offer guidance in the job hunt process that is coming up fast. Something that surprised me was the broad range of jobs and requirements for those jobs that would come up just by searching clinical counseling or counseling. I began to notice that I was finding jobs, but you didn’t need an LMHC or Masters to pursue them. I found myself reading descriptions and thinking “this could be an option”, but I then found that these jobs weren’t requiring any schooling after undergrad. I learned that I should be more specific with my searches and actually search for LMHC positions rather than just counseling.

    2. One thing that I learned about job searching is how hard it is to find a listed salary or compensation amount. Out of the 25 jobs that I found, only a few had a salary listed, and those salaries were often a very large range. Many of the job listings simply stated that their compensation was competitive, but that is a little vague. Money is not the most important thing when it comes to finding a job, particularly in this field, but it is of course a deciding factor in applying for/accepting a position. I am a little weary about interviewing and having to ask about the salary for positions in which it is not listed on the job posting. This is obviously a common question and does need to be asked to avoid wasting my time interviewing somewhere where the pay is less than another opportunity. I know that it is acceptable and fair to inquire, but it is still a little uncomfortable. Interviewing in general brings up a lot of self doubt for me. For the most part I have been successful in interviews, but I always enter them feeling that there will be someone who is better than me, more qualified, and will beat me to it.Sometimes this may actually be true to an extent and that is okay, but I need to not allow those thoughts to consume my mind before interviewing. I know that this is something that I need to work on more and give myself some more credit on based on past interviews.

    3.Qualities of an organization that are important to me include being organized, supportive, and sharing similar values to my own. First, working at an organization that does not take pride in being organized and efficient is a deal breaker for me. I drive myself crazy when I start to get unorganized and I can only imagine how difficult and stressful it would be to work for an organization who does not stay on top of their game. Second, I hope to work for an organization who is supportive of their employees. Last class we discussed how draining this job can be and how easy it is to get burnt out. It is important for me that an organization is aware of this and acts on it, supporting their employees and working to boost morale. In this field it is so important that employees are well taken care of in order to take care of clients. Lastly, it is important that an organization share the same values as myself. I think it would be very difficult to work somewhere where the values do not mesh with your own.

    Reply

  12. Emily Noyes
    Jun 13, 2017 @ 12:14:38

    1.) This assignment did relieve a bit of anxiety that I had about job hunting. I have done some job searching, but not as much as I would have liked to at this point. I am graduating this fall, and this is something that I really need to get serious about. I am familiar with many job search engines, but this assignment allowed me to explore further resources on the internet. The thought of finding a job after graduating will always be anxiety provoking for me, but I realized that there are a good amount of jobs out there that don’t require licensure and provide supervision. I am still a little nervous to really begin job hunting, but I think that this assignment definitely helped with some of the uncertainty that I was experiencing. After searching for several jobs in my field, I am beginning to feel more optimistic about job hunting and finding a job after I graduate. I found a lot of job positions that didn’t list a salary at all. I feel as though I don’t really know what a typical salary would be for someone who is unlicensed, and this is a bit concerning for me because I want to get a good understanding as to what someone can make so that I know that I can choose the right job with the right pay once I graduate.
    2.) There are many anxieties that come to mind when I think of the job hunting process. I am still a little uneasy as to what is a good way to approach the salary question. Mainly because as noted before, I am still a little unclear as to what a typical salary is for an unlicensed clinician. I want to make sure that I am not selling myself short and that I have the proper knowledge going into an interview to allow me to choose a job that is right for me. A lot of postings also stated that LMHC is not required, however, it is strongly preferred. I am wondering how likely one without a license would be to get hired. Some of these positions that noted that “LMHC is strongly preferred” also had a salary range. I am wondering how much that would differ for someone who is unlicensed.
    3.) Working for a repeatable organization is something that is important to me. I want to feel as though I am working for a company that is passionate and effective in their work. Working for an agency that shares similar values as me is also something that I believe to be important. I want to feel as though I am a valued team member and that my work is really making a difference and contribution to both the agency and the individuals that I serve. I had many experiences as an intern where I felt that my voice wasn’t heard, and felt that my opinion didn’t matter or was brushed to the side. This can be discouraging and make somebody feel as though they do not matter. I want to work for an organization that really values their employees and makes them feel as though they are making a difference.

    Reply

    • Janean Desjardins
      Jun 13, 2017 @ 16:38:28

      Emily-
      I agree with you that now when looking for jobs it has become less anxiety provoking knowing that there are more jobs out there with just a master’s level and not having to be licensed. That was my original fear that I was not going to have many options with just my master’s and be bumped way down and have the frustration of only finding jobs where they wanted people with their license. I too found many jobs offering supervision as well, which is good to see. They have sites that you can look at the median average salary for positions in the area of what a master’s level clinician is making to get an idea. If you look at other sites as well that are showing what other positions are making you can get an idea as well. Glassdoor is a search engine that generally posts salaries/per hour amounts on there. Granted it depends on the type of organization, but it should help you going in to know how much you are worth with your master’s.

      Reply

    • Stephanie Halley
      Jun 14, 2017 @ 19:52:36

      Emily,

      I definitely agree to your points regarding salary. I kind of already understood that I wouldn’t find many posts with salaries. Any posts I did find were at the state level, which are much higher than the average clinician salary. I also feel anxious about asking salary questions. The trickiest part is knowing what is “acceptable” and what is not enough, especially when there are very few to compare it to.

      I also agreed to your points about working for a company you feel comfortable in. As we are all about to enter our careers more than we have been up until now, it is important to feel important and respected.

      PS–congratulations on graduating in the fall!

      Reply

  13. Janean Desjardins
    Jun 13, 2017 @ 12:22:33

    *(1) Discuss your thoughts and feelings about your recent job search experience. For example, did you learn anything?
    Going into this I was not expecting that this was going to be as positive of an experience as it turned out to be. I was expecting less job than I thought with just a masters, but there was more out there than I thought. I know that you have to look in multiple places, as with any job search. Although, a lot of the job are cross referenced some search engine site do provide different positions. Some of these positions do list the salary range where other search engines do not. If you know a place that you would like to work at going directly to the site of the facility you would like to work at is much easier. Some of these things I knew going into this, so I did not find the job search to be very difficult. I think knowing also what position you want will also help narrow down that search or broaden it. You have to be mindful of how you are searching for a job. What you type in is going to restrict or broaden your search. What was surprising what the vast amount of LCSW positions out there opposed to the LMHC positions. I did find a lot of social work positions opposed to mental health positions paying much higher. Knowing that there was still a wealth of opportunities out there for LMHC’s I was not discouraged by this as I was still able to find positions. After receiving our degree word of mouth/connections is also helpful. I feel optimistic about finding a job after graduation. I know people in the field already both in Boston and the Worcester area. Working fee for service right now is definitely not something I will want continue to do after graduation.
    (2) What are some potential anxieties and/or concerns you have about interviewing for a job in the mental health field upon graduation?
    Interviewing for a job always brings up anxiety no matter how prepared I feel that I am. Being put on the spot is really uncomfortable. Most employers have a typical list of usual questions along with one or two throw in questions to keep you on your toes. Even if I feel like I know what may be asked of me I fear that I will not be able to carry across who I am and what I represent. I have been on many interviews in the past but those consisted of just my work ethic, where I will be in 5 years, my past experience, etc. These interviews will now entail who I am as a clinician and my style of practice, as well as everything else. It will incorporate so much more putting everything that I have on the line. It will make me have to stand out so much more against someone else standing in line for the job.
    (3) Although your potential employer may want to know certain qualities about you, what organizational qualities are important to you?
    Organizational qualities that are important to me are how well they are invested in their employees and support their staff. Knowing how stressful this job can be I believe that it is important to have supportive directors and supervisors to fall back on when needed. I have enjoyed the small organization that I have been a part of and being able to go to someone when I need them. In a large organization I would want to be able to have this same opportunity. I am not at all turned off by going to a large organization at all. I also believe in giving to the community, which is something that my organization is heavily involved in. I appreciate how much my organization does and am proud that the town knows this. I would want to know that whatever organization I am a part of gives back in some way to the area they are in. Organized, organized, organized… I cannot stand mess, but maybe I’m just a little overboard. If it is cluttered or messy I cannot deal with that. I think people made really good points during discussion in class last week.

    Reply

    • Jason Prior
      Jun 13, 2017 @ 16:18:40

      Janean,
      I totally emphasize with your anxieties related to interviewing. You managed to describe some of my own anxieties in a very clear way. It seems overwhelming to think that someone can show who they really are as a therapist while sitting in a room, being asked questions. The whole process sees nerve wracking to me. I also like how you emphasized a need for organization within an organization. If everything is clean and in it’s place, an organization can run like a well-oiled machine. If the place is disorganized, however, then we have chaos.

      Reply

  14. Taylor Gibson
    Jun 13, 2017 @ 13:53:55

    I’m would say that this job search has made me feel less optimistic about the opportunities available to me prior to acquiring my license but far more optimistic about the opportunities available after I have my license. I was struck by how many of the jobs I found that required that applicants have their licenses already. At the start of my search I was feeling a little un-optimistic about the opportunities available to beginning counselors. So many of the jobs available with a license worked with interesting populations, had good hours, and decent pay. Conversely, many of the jobs for unlicensed clinicians required late night and weekend hours, which are not ideal for me and failed to list the salary ranges. As I have recently moved to Rhode Island, this job search also prompted me to compare positions in Massachusetts compared to those in Rhode Island, specifically focusing on the pay differences between the two states. I was surprised to find that the average pay of a counselor in Rhode Island is significantly less than the pay of a counselor in Massachusetts. I had considered that this might vary from state to state but I was surprised by how drastic the difference was once I actually researched it out. It makes me hesitant to even apply to positions in Rhode Island. I would say that this job search has not done much to assuage my anxiety about how to manage my career as I navigate the changes that I am anticipating in the next 2-3 years of my life. However, it was good to see that breadth of opportunities available.

    Reply

    • Jill Harrison
      Jun 13, 2017 @ 16:41:15

      Taylor, I completely agree with your comment about the lack of good hours, pay, and compensation for master’s level clinicians compared to licensed clinicians. While I understand the difference, it still makes me feel like I have another 2 years of compromising on the hours and populations I work with.

      Reply

    • Stephanie Halley
      Jun 14, 2017 @ 19:59:44

      Taylor,

      I felt your same frustrations in this job search. I didn’t realize there was such a difference in Rhode Island, which is scary considering how little we’re paid in Mass!
      I checked out a few other states as well, because why not? Fortunately in my case, it was higher pay in the other states. However, that would require moving across the country and relocating my entire life and leaving family. So there are definitely sacrifices, but it was nice to consider.

      I know we mentioned it in class for someone else, but definitely look into residential programs for clinician positions. I worked for Justice Resource Institute and they have a lot towards Rhode Island (Attleboro, Taunton, etc.) and I LOVED working for them!!

      Reply

  15. Julia Sherman
    Jun 13, 2017 @ 14:22:11

    I honestly feel a little bit less confident about obtaining a job after graduation than I have been before. I had always known that there were lots of counseling jobs out there, but I did not realize how difficult it is to find one that matches what you’re looking for! Most organizations aren’t even posting salaries/wages, which naturally makes me think they are nervous that people won’t apply if they see how little the position pays. And many of these posted positions give very little information about what they are looking for, or what the job truly entails.

    My biggest anxiety when it comes to any interview is that I tend to be entirely too honest. Employers love to ask questions in interviews like, “What is your biggest flaw?” I know you’re supposed to answer things that sound like flaws but are actually assets, like “I’m too much of a perfectionist,” but I am a terrible liar. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s great to be honest, but when it comes to job interviews there is definitely such a thing as being TOO honest. I am worried that I might accidentally let it slip that despite my years of experience, I still very much feel like a beginner in the counseling field, and I definitely do not want to come off as an amateur during my first job search post-graduation.

    I think the most important things that I look for in an organization are their dedication to the clients, their dedication to the employees, and the cohesiveness of the clinical team. Without each of those three things, the workplace becomes stressful and treatment does not get done properly. For example, some of my work in residential has been stressful because, although staff were a cohesive team and were dedicated to the clients, the management was not dedicated to the employees (very low wages, little concern for those getting frequently mandated to work double shifts, etc.). This made staff stressed out, resulting in difficulty in implementing effective treatment to the clients.

    Reply

  16. Salome Wilfred
    Jun 13, 2017 @ 14:36:33

    This process sparked a range of emotions. While I am optimistic to find employment once I am licensed I am anxious about finding purposeful employment now. Since undergrad I have had a passion for working with individuals with eating disorders, specifically adolescents. I was told by one of my advisors that while it’s good to know who you want to work with you need to make sure you do not limit yourself to what you know while in school. As a result I completed my internship and did my graduate research with a population I knew very little about- Latino males struggling with substance abuse. While the experience has been fulfilling it also validated my passion for working with adolescents with eating disorders. During this job search it appears that many of the jobs I am now qualified for (and receiving offers from) work with individuals with addictions. Additionally, many of the programs I have applied to that work with eating disorders either cannot offer me a position until I complete my oral exam, until I am licensed, or are offering me lower level positions (i.e hourly direct care positions). So while I feel moderately more confident about finding a job, I fear it will be a position that will not prepare me for moving forward in the direction that I planned and originally intended.

    I have a few anxieties and concerns about interviewing. It is pretty obvious to an interviewer that I am fresh out of school and eager for a job. I also have noticed that a starting salary for an unlicensed counselor is higher than I originally anticipated. As a result, I am nervous about navigating jobs and interview. Due to being so young and new I don’t know when or if a potential employer is taking advantage of me. I am anxious that I am especially vulnerable to this because student loans are a real thing so starting salary is playing a factor. I just don’t want to find myself in a position that is not good for me because I didn’t know all my options or all the factors during the hiring process.

    This assignment for this week helped me really understand the importance of organizational qualities when searching for a job. A few qualities that I look for in an organization are dedication to evidence based treatments and a team-work approach to treatment. I worked at a treatment program for a while that used a lot of psychodynamic techniques. I struggled and frequently disagreed with how they approached treatment with our clients. I also really value when an organization states and demonstrates the importance of working as a team, specifically in inpatient and partial hospitalizations. This is a quality I listen for when interviewing for different positions. I appreciate working at a program that values treatment teams and keeping all staff involved in the process of treatment.

    Reply

    • Jill Harrison
      Jun 13, 2017 @ 16:34:36

      Salome, I really appreciated your comment about being anxious about being fresh out of school. I think I worry about future employers viewing me as not having enough experience to be qualified for the job. I found a lot of jobs in my job search required experience for a certain number of years, which makes me think that they are not looking for a new graduate and may discourage me from applying.

      Reply

    • Taylor Gibson
      Jun 15, 2017 @ 23:08:03

      Salome,

      What you said about an employer possibly taking advantage of you is something that resonated with me. One of my anxieties about job searching is that I will accept a position which appears good from the outside but is not what I want and not satisfying. When I speak to older adults who have higher level positions they often speak about the horrible jobs they took at the start of their career. My concern is differentiating the crummy jobs that are “paying your dues” type positions versus those that are satisfying and setting me up for a fulfilling and worthwhile career.

      Reply

  17. Jill Harrison
    Jun 13, 2017 @ 16:04:00

    After completing this job search assignment, I do feel more optimistic about the job market and my ability to get a job after graduation. There are many Master’s level positions available in my ideal area that I do not feel like I would have to settle on a job that I am unhappy with right away. I also feel more secure about the prospect of getting an even better job after receiving my license. While I have always wanted to go into private practice, it is nice to know that there are many LMHC-required jobs that I can picture myself taking and being very happy with if I decide to go in a different direction post-licensure. I also feel that I should keep my options open to those types of positions as they could prove to be a better fit for my professional, as well as personal, goals. After completing the search and assignment, I also feel more confident in my ability to find job openings and research specifics about different agencies and their specific requirements, benefits, and the overall work environment. I know that being able to decipher between positions and agencies will allow me to make more informed decisions and choices going forward.
    The interview process can be an anxiety provoking process regardless of the field you are entering. However, I would be most nervous about stumbling or blanking on a question when asked on the spot, which may make me look incompetent. I also get anxiety thinking about how to ask about benefits, salary or compensation, or other financial matters. I do not want the agency or my supervisor to think that I am only concerned about money, but it is an important part of the decision-making process.
    Some qualities that I feel are important in the agency or organization I decide to work for mostly involve the work environment and the organization and structure of the agency. It is important for me to feel confident that the agency is operating professionally and ethically, as well as being timely and organized with paperwork and other administrative tasks. I would also hope that the work environment is friendly and welcoming. Flexibility and trust in my abilities is also important in choosing an organization.

    Reply

    • Salome Wilfred
      Jun 16, 2017 @ 00:24:28

      Jill,
      The qualities you look for in an organization are ones I also really value and did not think about originally. Specifically, I really value an organization that operates ethically and a place that is friendly and welcoming. I know that when I am working at an organization in which I feel as if people are not friendly I do not perform as well and shy away from asking critical questions and thinking critically about my cases or my work.

      Reply

  18. Zachary Welsh
    Jun 13, 2017 @ 16:27:40

    1. I enjoyed doing this assignment and seeing all the jobs that I could apply for. It allowed me to feel more optimistic since there were a lot of jobs to pick and choose from. I was also glad to see that there were many jobs that did not require a degree and I could apply for immediately after graduating from the Assumption counseling program. Doing this assignment also made me a little nervous since I will have to do this for real when I graduate in a year. Being only in my third semester, I am still pretty focused on classes and do not spend a lot of time thinking about what I will do after graduation. This assignment allowed me to explore those thoughts more and experience what it will be like when I graduate. I think I will do this assignment again when I am looking for clinical jobs in the future because it allowed me to explore a lot of different areas of the psychology field and will help me narrow down the right job for me.
    2. One anxiety that I have about interviewing is feeling that I am not ready for this job. I feel that I have learned a lot in the program so far but I still have a lot more to learn. I am also concerned because I do not have much experience as a counselor. I know I will learn a lot from experience but I am also worried that the employer will see this as a weakness when deciding to hire me or not. Another anxiety I have about interviewing for jobs in this field is that I am worried that I will take a job that is not right for me. Since there are so many different populations to work with in this field and so many different settings, I am worried that I may get stuck in the wrong job. This makes the interviewing process that much more important and allows me to ask questions about the agency to make sure it is the best one for me. I am worried that I may not know what to ask about and take a job that I don’t really enjoy.
    3. One organizational quality that is important to me is that the organization must do things to take care of their employees. This field is difficult to be in and the turnover rate is high. It is important to me that organizations take care of their employees and recognize that they are human and may experience burnout. Another quality that is important to me is that the organization is not so much concerned about making money but more importantly helping people. An organization that is invested in making people’s lives better is a quality I will look for in an employer. This will make my work more meaningful and allow me to enjoy my job. Another organizational quality that is important to me is that the employer must offer good support and supervision. Being a new therapist, it is extremely important to have a supervisor and other coworkers that I can rely on for any questions I may have. This support will be crucial, especially just starting out, and will help ensure my success in the field.

    Reply

    • Janean Desjardins
      Jun 13, 2017 @ 16:45:00

      Zachary-
      I cannot agree with you more about what you want out of an organization! How an organization treats its employees is a big indication of how they represent themselves as a whole and to the community. If they are not backing their employees and helping to guide them then who is? Leaving employee to the wayside helps no one especially in this field. An unhappy employee is one that will leave fast creating turnover at a high rate and create a bad reputation for their organization. I believe that I would not be able to function as a good clinician without the support behind me. Going into a dysfunctional and unsupported place everyday would just create additional stress that is unneeded and would be difficult to function in.

      Reply

    • Taylor Gibson
      Jun 15, 2017 @ 22:59:14

      Zachary,

      I was very glad to see that you mentioned supervision as an organizational factor that should be considered. I have had four (UGH) supervisors during the course of my internship and their varying levels of experience, skill, and available time resulted in drastically different experiences. One supervisor was very knowledgeable and experienced and always made time for my individual supervision but was too busy outside of that time to be available to me when I would run into questions or need help outside of that one hour a week. Another was less experienced and was unable to give me helpful feedback or suggestions which led tome experiencing a great deal of frustration and anxiety. Finally, I was connected with a supervisor who was the perfect combination of knowledgeable and available and felt a great deal more satisfied and comfortable in my work. I think that going into future interviews, asking about my (possible) future supervisor and, if possible, meeting them, will be a major deciding factor in whether or not I accept a position.

      Reply

  19. Meagan Monteiro
    Jun 14, 2017 @ 21:27:21

    I was reluctant to do this assignment as the job search process namely the interviewing process gives me a lot of anxiety, and I like to actively avoid this topic of discussion. However, this assignment was quite helpful and I learned several things. There seemed to be less job opportunities in Worcester, and in Connecticut than there were several months ago when I looked. Despite this, I was pleased to see numerous jobs that we are eligible for once we complete school. I was worried that a lot of positions would require you to be licensed. As such, I feel more optimistic about getting a job after I graduate, but now I am more worried about finding the right job or a good job. I think the most frustrating thing about the job search process is the amount of jobs that do not list a starting salary or range of salaries. It is also frustrating as a lot of research is required to determine what type of organization you could potentially be working for.
    I have a lot of anxiety about the interviewing process as a whole. I get very nervous to the point where I will throw up before an interview. I will also not sleep the night before. I also find that no matter how much I practice or rehearse, when I am in the interview nerves take over and I seem to ramble, which makes me appear more nervous. I had two interviews over the past year that varied a little bit. In my interview for my internship, I was quite nervous but once I started talking about my work with my individuals at work, I felt more comfortable and I was not rambling as much. I seemed to have a sort of flow, and I was communicating more naturally. Upon leaving, I felt like the interview went well. I had another interview a month ago, for a promotion at my current job that I was not quite so thrilled about. I decided to apply for a supervisor position as I was doing many of the tasks of the supervisor without the pay. This interview did not go so well. I had good answers for the questions but I was rambling and it took me forever to get my point across. I worry that this will happen again. I do think that what made me perform worse was that I had not entered this “flow”, which caused me to ramble more than usual. I will have to practice this. I am also worried that I will take the first job that I am offered as I will think that I will not have any other options.
    One value that I would want my organization to have is offering support to its employees. I work for a company now that does not offer support and it makes me feel that my work is unappreciated and that I will not grow to be an effective professional. At times it can also make me feel resentful and feel that I need to be quiet about important issues as my managers will not have my back or understand where I am coming from. Another important value is being person-centered or fostering why many of us come into the field-to help people. I think that some agencies get caught up in the system or become too focused on productivity, which causes other aspects to fall short, such as how we treat our clients. I would want a company that supports me and continues to focus on making a difference in people’s lives.

    Reply

    • cpopores
      Jun 15, 2017 @ 19:37:16

      Meagan,

      I understand your point about organizations supporting their employees. I think that sometimes there are ways that organizations as a whole may support employees, but often this seems to get lost on a smaller level. In the mental health field, it seems especially important to have strong leadership and the involvement of employees as an important part of a team. Having management that lacks understanding of the needs of their employees and the individuals served can be a detriment to the effective implementation of mental health services. Burnout is also a big problem that can arise, and it can affect how we interact with individuals. Unfortunately, poor management and lack of support are often not brought to light until after we have already started a job.

      Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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