Journal Entries

Thoughts on the future and careers

So, now I've gots me degree I'm wondering what next.
One thing that seems interesting but may have insurmountable problems is a career change.
I am, and have been for a while, quite interested in the sort of business psychology consultancy area. Advising companies on their setup, internal and external workings based on various psychological findings and theories. Not just the boring old workforce happiness survey stuff, although that is a part of it, but things like group interaction theories, hierarchy theories, reward theories and so on.

To do this properly you need to be a chartered psychologist and this requires a related accredited post grad qual (MSc in Occupational Psychology or the like) plus qualification exams from the BPS. All told at least 5 more years study. Plus the accreditation requires related work experience - ie already working in some related area and your chances of being accepted on to the one of the MSc programs is increased if you have related work experience. I do have a short while to think about this as most of the courses start either later in the year (so have time to apply) or in January (too late to apply now).

I don't. I work in IT. On the other hand, I do have 13yrs experience of actually working in a varied range of organisations and teams. So I do have practical experience of what they study.

There are also a lot of psych grads out there, many with better degrees and most 15yrs or so younger than me.

So I'm not really sure a) how I would even go about doing this in the best manner and b) whether it is worth trying anyway. I'm 39 so qualification would take me until at least my mid 40s.

The other obvious factor would be a pay drop, and I'm lucky that I can afford to take quite a cut, but this could still be a killer.

I was wondering if it would be worth writing to some of the specialist business psych consultancy companies out there and asking for their advice, not looking for a job, just asking if they had any advice for someone starting out from a mature student perspective.

I dunno, I suspect I might just be indulging in fantasy and actually I'm too old for this to work.

Any thoughts, advice?

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Latest reply: Dec 14, 2011


Just got the email notification this morning that I got a pass grade 2 (70%-83%) for the OU module I did this year.

Which means that the OU has offered me (and I have accepted!) the award of a Bsc(Hons) Psych (open) 2.1 (to give it its full title!).

Actual letter to come and official award date will be Dec 31st but that is all formalities.

I managed it, a 2.1 at last, what I should have got all those years ago.

smiley - bubbly all round

I promise I'll only do this this once, and yes I know there are lots of you with much better letters than below, but allow me my one moment of vanity will you?

Ictoan BSc(Hons), BSc(Hons)

Discuss this Journal entry [26]

Latest reply: Dec 7, 2011

The seasonal generosity of Cross Country Trains

This morning, in a surprise move, Cross Country Trains decided to say thankyou to its regular and loyal commuting customers.
In a move sure to increase passenger good will and inject a little bit of excitement into the daily commute, the had a surprise gift ready for us.

First, they ramped up the tension. 10mins delay. 20 mins delay. 1hr delay. By which time there were 3 trains all going on the same route sat on different platforms. Platform staff were clearly clued into the big surprise, as was the local press. The presence of Radio Stafford in the railway lobby, live broadcasting on this of all days, can have been no coincidence. The platform staff played along well, making cryptic comments about staying on the platform as there would be further announcements as to which train was going where and when.

It was at this point I started to get suspicious that this was no ordinary delay. Oh, there were the usual blank faced excuses of power problems and blocked lines. But we regulars know these happen all the times and rarely merit such obfuscation and diversionary tactics. Nor did they usually coincide with the presence of major press organisations. No, this had to be something special.

After 1hr20mins of waiting, during which all concerned kept remarkably straight faces and played the part of uninformed underling with no power to change things remarkably well, a cross country train arrived.
Clearly this was the signal for the start of the Big Event.

In their clearest tannoy voice, they announced this train was "only for Birmingham" and the platform staff reinforced this by stating it "wasn't going anywhere else". The earnest assurances that this train really was only going to Birmingham echoing back from the disused multimillion pound postal service platform, we decided to climb aboard.
Again, the train manager suppressed his undoubted glee at the surprise he was about to spring on us by repeating the bland and obvious destination of the train - a destination which it was not unfamiliar with from its daily excursions there at roughly this time anyway.

It was only on leaving the station that they finally let us know.
Yes, as a special thankyou to us all, Cross Country Trains had decided to make this a magical mystery train taking a special 1 hour detour to allow us poor, miserable commuters to enjoy the seasonal sunny delights of...

Truly a destination to raise the spirits and engender a festive feeling in all those aboard.
Not least because we only stopped there for 5 minutes and were reminded of the fact that none of us lived there.

So yes, thank you Cross Country Trains for this surprising and welcoming gift on an otherwise ordinary tuesday commute in december.
I promise you I shall not forget it and may even send the full measure of emotional response to it in hand written form to your head office as a mark of my appreciation.

Discuss this Journal entry [7]

Latest reply: Dec 6, 2011

OU Petition

OU Student Association has done an ePetition over fees and changes.
Basically, the OU fees will be trebling to cover short falls in funding, which will obviously massively affect their traditional student base.

Not wanting to start a debate on the politics here, so just plonking the petition down and if you are interested, feel free to click through:

you have to be british and resident to sign.

Discuss this Journal entry [11]

Latest reply: Dec 2, 2011

So, new HooToo - bad timing!

Did it really have to come back just before my last psychology exam?
I mean, really? I need to be revising as it is tomorrow and head-explody time. If I fail, I'm blaming noohootoo smiley - smiley

interesting some of the old names appearing on the list, not sure if they are actually there though.

Discuss this Journal entry [16]

Latest reply: Oct 17, 2011

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