‘The year in the life of’ a Psychology intern.

PART ONE: HOW I RADICALLY CHANGED MY CAREER DIRECTION

A year ago, if you had told me I was willing to walk away from my consulting career in a prestigious global firm, to start again as an Industrial Psychology intern in order to redefine my purpose, I would have said, “what on earth for?” I was exceeding all expectations as far as a career in consulting goes.

SO WHY CHANGE?

The fundamental shift started when I reached burn-out, at age 25. Thinking ahead, I could not see a life of purpose and balance if I carried on the same career trajectory. This brought on my ‘quarter’ life-crisis, in which I had to sit back and ask myself some tough questions:

  • Q1) What am I really doing with my life?
  • Q2) What do I really want to do with my life?
  • Q3) Is this what I dreamed of for my life?

Answering these questions was not easy but the answers ultimately informed my radical decision to change my career to find the meaning and purpose I was searching for.

This radical career change did not come easily. Moving from a highly-paid, senior position with a well-established reputation, all the way back to the start as an intern was just the beginning. I felt like I was in a ‘snakes and ladders’ game. For this to work I would need to achieve my Industrial Psychology Master’s Degree parallel to my consulting role.

Establishing this new career path has been challenging but starting my internship in 2018, feels like I have arrived and it has all been worthwhile and I now have a very clear ladder to the top. My dad has always taught me to consider the impact of my decisions. And as I reflect on the consequence of this life-changing decision, it has been the discovery of a career that talks to who I am.

Although this change is new and I am still finding my feet at Omnicor, I’m thrilled with how my plan is working out. What I’ve learned is that sometimes making the decision to change is the hardest part of the journey, ultimately the mess takes care of itself.

WHAT WORKED FOR ME

  • Set goals:

Change is tough on your own, find a mentor or a coach that can hold you accountable and provide the self-awareness you need to establish your path. Setting goals will help you move towards the change you seek. It may sound basic but without writing it down and creating a plan it will stay a concept in your mind.

  • Have compassion for yourself:

Remember to be kind to yourself along your journey. Change is difficult but learning to sit in the discomfort while you practice self-care will support you to your new destination and ensure you arrive in one piece.

  • Take time to reflect:

Reflect on your journey as you go, journaling and meaningful conversations are helpful to track your progress and spot any upcoming obstacles that may disrupt the path ahead.

I look forward to sharing more of my Industrial Psychology Internship throughout the year. Look out for part 2.

If you are seeking a career change and do not know if you are ready for such a change, contact me Amelia@Omnicor.co.za for an Omnicor Change Readiness Assessment.

Author: Amelia Samuels