Hello everybody! I hope you’re all doing really well on this fine winters’ morning. Today I have a different post for you all as we have an interview with Chloe Witty, a blogger and Assistant Psychologist from Newcastle. As a recent psychology graduate, I’ve been researching a lot about different career paths and I thought it would be a great opportunity to share Chloe’s experience with you all. Psychology is a broad degree and so there are many career paths you can enter, and Chloe is currently pursuing a path to becoming a Clinical Psychologist.
“Hi there! My name is Chloe and I write over at www.chloewitty.com. I blog about all things fashion and lifestyle, with regular uploading not included. I’ve been blogging since 2011 which makes me practically vintage.”
How did your route into psychology start? Did you have any jobs prior to becoming an assistant psychologist?
I decided I wanted to be a psychologist when I started picking my A-Levels; I distinctly remember looking at what Universities wanted to accept for psychology, which led me to pick quite heavy subjects (Maths, Biology & Psychology). I didn’t do much towards being a psychologist whilst being an undergrad, mostly I worked at a cinema, and did the odd bit of volunteering. The first time I really started realising how hard it would be to get into was near the end of my third year after talking to some graduates and took up a voluntary AP post at a brain injury service. From there, I completed a Master of Research, worked as a Laboratory Demonstrator and a Support Worker before getting my first AP post.
What are your particular research interests? Is there anything about your job (or psychology in general) that really interests you? (My personal interest is Girls with Autism. It’s so incredibly interesting!)
My biggest interest in neuro. I love all things brain related and how to create successful rehabilitation for someone with an ABI. I’ve had a publication on stroke rehabilitation, which was my master’s thesis, and I’m working with a colleague now to publish something on vocational rehabilitation too.
I think what really interests me is the variety of work, truly no two days are the same. The patients absolutely make the job and seeing them go from strength to strength is just heart-warming.
Do you find that there are any links between your job as an Assistant Psychologist and your blog, or do you try to keep them separate?
I tried to link them at one point and write a series which I named “Modern Psychology”, but actually found it really hard to write. The last thing I wanted to do was come home and read/write more about what I do for a lot of the day. So now, I like to keep them separate. I love just talking about the thoughts I have and things going on in the world.
Do you have any advice for people who may be struggling with their mental health?
It’s almost an impossibly hard question to answer; the simple is to speak out and get help. Truly, that doesn’t even cover the challenges of actually doing that. The most important thing to know is you’re not alone and you deserve to be heard. Try to talk to anyone you can – be it friend, family or doctor. You absolutely deserve help.
I recently read your post about university rejections and I noticed that you were also a Miz Cracker fan. I love that she shows us how OK it is to be weird and/or love bread – when I went to see her at 10s across the board she was throwing bread into the audience and I’ve never related to something so much! Do you think theres’ any other lessons that Cracker has taught us?
Cracker definitely showed how to rock failure. That it’s okay to be sad when it happens, but to know from that, you can get something even better. People love Cracker for being that weird chick, she was always just herself. Also, just eat the damn bread!
Where do you see yourself in five years? I know that you’ve just found a new job, but were you planning on taking your career further as a clinical psychologist?
I’d love to imagine that in 5 years I’ll just have completed the doctorate and be heading into my first Band 7 post in the NHS. Also, I’ll be nearly 30, which is a horrifying thought. But for context, 30 is quite a normal age to have finished the doctorate. So, if you’re reading this in your early 20’s and still feeling like a million miles away from the goal, same. Unless you hit a streak of luck after graduating, the process takes a whole lot longer than even I first envisaged, so don’t panic yet.
If you had any advice for somebody at school who wanted to pursue a career in psychology of sorts, what advice would you give to them?
Be ready for the long slog and that it isn’t a quick process. You’ve got to be ready to push and fight your way in but remember to help others on the way up. Also, clinical is often built up to be the be all and end all of psychology, when in fact, it’s only one of so many career choices you could pick. But, if this is the path you’re interested in is this, here are my top tips: volunteering either in charity or NHS as an AP is essential, working as a support worker provides you with vital skills and look into how to improve your scope for research.
If you would like to participate in my Psychology Careers series, then please do feel free to contact me!