Since I have written my first blog on what’s next after I have resigned and now in unemployment, I have been searching and searching. I did search externally by attending few talks and trying to find out what or more importantly how I could find my next moves. I have attended a career planning seminar, which I have also written about it on my blog (https://gooly2012.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/5-pence-in-life/), an entrepreneurs networking session, a career fair which targeted at women and moms, etc. Mind you, all of these were free events and I didn’t have to pay a penny, except my transportations and coffee.
I also borrowed a lot of books from my local library and did a lot of research online, reading etc. A lot of these provide good advises, practical but definitely require a lot of actions. When I resigned from my last job, I gave an excuse of wanting to pursuing study. Well not quite an excuse since it did hold to a certain extent the truth of my intentions. What do I want to study? Where do I want to study? These are the few questions my last boss asked me. I told him proudly “Psychology” but not quite decided where to study. I told him I needed to do more research. I want to do something completely different to what I have done for the last 10 years.
But why Psychology? Do you want to work with people with mental problems?
Not quite exactly what I intended to do. Obviously when I declared that I wanted to study psychology, I thought I knew about the profession. The fact is I didn’t. I have no idea what exactly how the career world is like for those who have done psychology.
So I started to research. Of course the first step would be the universities. It was a pure intention to enrolling to courses, Master degree as I don’t wish to waste any more time to start all over again. But all Master courses require a foundation degree or diploma in Psychology. I don’t have any of those.
So I took myself back on the journey of how I started to become an Internal Auditor without following through the traditional route, i.e. doing a Chartered Accountant. I still survived today in this profession although not without any hardships.
I went to a talk organised by The Institute of Internal Auditor in Malaysia one evening after work when I was still working in PwC in Malaysia. That talk changed my life indeed as I was determined to enrol and take the Certified in Internal Auditor exam. Is that a short cut for me? Maybe but more importantly I always like to be different or to be the minority. So in this psychology route, I was wondering whether I could do something similar?
I looked at the syllabus of the psychology courses offered in most major universities in the UK. To be honest after reading the content, I was less motivated to study Psychology. It sounded boring to me and I did wonder whether I really want to study that? I wasn’t sure, in particular when I was told that I have to either spend 3 -4 years in Bachelor’s degree in order to gain an entry to the Master degree. I am not young anymore and definitely not prepared to be out of job for so long. Then to my aghast, I have to spend another 3 years in order to be able to gain myself into that uptight psychology profession. Do I want to do that?
I went to a “Clinical Psychology” talk in March without knowing what exactly the talk was about. In a way, it was similar to the Internal Audit talk I went to many years ago, which helped me to decide to go into that route. However this talk was different. It didn’t quite have the same impact on me. It was in fact on the contrary, I wanted to get out of the room almost immediately. The presenters were from NHS working as a clinical psychologist. Whilst their work is undeniably demand respect, they are to me somewhat uptight. And I really can’t envision myself being one.
There was only one clinical psychologist to-be who has all the charms a normal human being have. That was because he has had more than 10 years of odd jobs life experience. He decided to try himself out in clinical psychology eventually. He graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology but decided to do something different apart from the psychologists route. He has a breadth of life experience, facing and dealing with people of which he must have acquired some other soft skills that other conventional psychologists don’t have. Then again, I don’t know anyone who works in that field. So I can’t quite conclude that psychologists lack the normal human nature. Would they?
I wonder if psychologists will view all human beings as a subject of study? I think if I am one of them, I would. Would I then lost that normal human touch? The normal human interaction without passing any judgments consciously or sub-consciously? Then again, even when I am not one, I am a very judgemental person and I would boxed people up in different categories. So I guess it is not to do with the profession, but more so of my own restrictive knowledge of human mind and mental and behaviour.
Now after having done some research of psychology discipline, from what I thought I know about to a confucious state of mind due to the number of schools of thoughts to different associations in the UK market, abd to varying degrees of specialisation, I can only conclude now that I am ever more confused than before the research. I wonder if it is me who is just being so green in this field or that discipline itself is so diverse that opens to interpretation and practices? Do I want to be in that field that I couldn’t even understand to begin with?
So I am back to the basic question. Why do I want to study Psychology? Can I really work as a psychologist? There are a lot of not so glamourous about this profession and practice. Can I afford to do that?
Why do I want to study psychology?
The first thing I thought about was I wanted to understand human and in that process I can only do so if I study the discipline and the subject. But most importantly I want to help people to solve their problems. Or could I? I don’t aspire to work with those with serious mental illness. I guess I only want to work with people with mental health problem. It is a big difference as mental health problems, to my limited knowledge, are what we are facing in our normal life, i.e. stress given either by ourselves, society or perceived demands. I could be having mental health problems and so is anyone around us.
But I am more interested in helping people to unleash their potentials and optimise it. That brings me to career counseling. I do enjoy doing that. When my friend and I were choosing for our universities and programmes many years ago, I knew instantly what I wanted to do or where to do it, with the restrictions I have. I managed to decide that on my own and on top of that, helped my friend or rather pushed my friend to go for her opportunity to study abroad. That gave me a sense of satisfaction as if she was living my dream of studying abroad.
Then later in my breathing years, I also helped another newly acquainted friend to steer his direction of study and eventually choice of career. I did so by the combination my observation and analysis of his personality, behaviour, thinking method, etc. He is now doing that and fingers crossed that I have given the right advice.
So what gave me the nerves to do that? I have no idea but just pure gut feeling. So I must be either good in this or people just basically need some push in order to pursue what they think they want or they really want to pursue.
But is that really what I want to do then? I don’t know but that sense of satisfaction is definitely there.
I bought a book “Jung” many moons ago and only now I have the will to read the book. It is about Carl Jung, his early days in the profession, his relationship with Sigmund Freud, etc. More interestingly, I could associate with him or more specifically he had done something what I am doing now. No surprise as he was in the psychology field, you may think. But what I didn’t know was when he was in his late 30s, he had withdrawn himself from the world to do some internal search. Exactly what I am doing now. Mid life crisis he labelled that. Not so much of because of menopause, or because of old age. More so of what exactly my life is about.
He explored his own unconscious mind, through his dreams and fantasies. So I am following this now. All of sudden, I realised that it wasn’t a change of career that I am looking for to satisfy my own self existence. It is searching internally, what exactly am I looking for in a broader context. What does my “mask” tell me about me or what is my “persona”, my animus, my partner choice of me as his spouse, etc.
The journey of within continues……