I've just been offered that elusive thing I've been searching for....an Assistant Psychologist (AP) job!
Its in a charity working with people with learning disabilities. I was impressed by the set-up - its working partly in a residential facility and partly in the community. All of the staff (I've met the manager, some of the care staff and the current APs) seemed geninely nice, friendly people and the whole place does seem to be a really friendly, people-centred place to work. The psychologist was absolutely lovely and in the interview, we did actually have a long discussion about the pros and cons of working for the charity versus the NHS and the potential for getting on to a training course from the position. I am stunned that after such a frank discussion and my own admission that I might be put off the job by the fact it wasn't NHS that they offered me the job!
The job is very heavily clinical - most of the work is direct client contact with relatively little audit/administrative work. The supervisor was fantastic - I really felt I clicked with her. She likes to work systemically (which is something I'm seriously interested in) and says she will insist on a minimum of one hour formal supervision a week and to expect much more in informal supervision as there is a lot of clinical responsibility in the job. There's also lots of working within a mul-disciplinary team, training care staff etc. Its the kind of post I think I need as I have oodles of research experience and a lot of child psych experience so this would be an entirely new area for me.
My only dilemma is that it isn't an NHS post and the pay is peanuts (less than the NHS - shocking isn't it!). I've been applying for some of the senior AP positions in the NHS and I'm still waiting to hear back from several of them. Its very competitive and I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by holding out for another job offer and then not getting one! On the otherhand, if I were to be offered another post, was impressed by the psychologist in the interview, it was NHS and the pay was substantially higher...I can't say I wouldn't be sorely tempted! I don't like messing people around, so I want to give them a straight yes or no answer. I just wish I could wait to hear back from other places first.
I have one week to decide...answers on a postcard please...
But on a more positive note. Look what partner dude surprised me with this morning :D. Thank you darling!