The modern topic of conversation has veered more and more towards the world of mental health and wellbeing. For many people, this represents a profoundly positive shift as the conversation has been opened up to the whole world to talk about their problems in a way that they never would have been able to in days gone by. At the same time, it is also the case that more and more people are looking to pursue this particular career path. There are all sorts of different reasons why it can prove to be a positive step in the right direction.
However, when you are choosing any career path, it can prove to be daunting. You will inevitably start to wonder if it is the right one for you. After all, it would be ideal if you did not dedicate so much of your life to training in a particular subject, only to find that it is not right for you in one way or another. Taking this firmly into account, the following blog post is going to be all about the ways in which you can tell if a career in mental health is the right option for you. Hopefully, by the end of reading it, you will have a clearer picture in your mind of whether you would like to keep on pursuing it.
Table of Contents
You Have Taken a Firm Interest in Mental Health
First of all, you are going to need to have a clear interest in mental health, to begin with. This is what will see you moving towards your eventual goals in whatever aspect of the field that you want to get into. It may be that you have had a longstanding interest in the subject that you would like to pursue in further detail. At the same time, you could also find that you are looking to get into mental health after what you have heard and learned about the subject since the world started putting it more and more into focus. Ultimately, this initial level of curiosity is going to be what encourages you to take things a step further and really commit your time to study the field. You can then pursue it even further in a career path. Of course, having this initial fire in your belly is important as it tells you what sort of passion that you possess.
You Are Prepared to Work Hard
Since we are only scratching the surface of what mental health means, it is inevitable that new information is going to be coming out all the time. Therefore, you certainly need to make the type of commitment to lifelong learning that will steer you in the right direction. Not only this, but you are also going to need to gain the right type of initial qualifications. It is often going to be the case that these are going to require a stint at university, so this is worth bearing in mind before you go any further. Of course, this has only mentioned the whole studying aspect of the job. It is also going to be the case that you are going to have to work hard as you go along. This means that you may have to commit to some long hours and days. Not only this, but you are likely to be spending a lot of time away from work thinking about your job. If all of this is not proving to be all that appealing to you at the moment, now may well be the time to have a total rethink about it all.
You Already Work in Healthcare
It is often going to be the case that the people who are already working in healthcare have a better idea of the type of commitment that is going to be involved in taking care of people that are in need. Not only this, but it also may well be the case that you will start to develop the necessary soft skills that go such a long way towards your success in the field. Of course, it is not necessary that every single person comes from a healthcare background, but it already gives you a clear and obvious idea that you are looking to help people in your career, and this is something that you are willing to dedicate your life to. For example, if you already work in nursing, you are then able to check out a PMHNP to see if this could be the right option for you to pursue.
You Have the Necessary Soft Skills
There are also going to be a host of so-called soft skills that are going to help you out in the world of mental health. First and foremost, you are going to need some excellent interpersonal skills as these will go such a long way towards ensuring that you make the kind of connections with your patients that lead to success in treating whatever ailments are causing them issues. Not only this, but they will also help you out in ensuring that you are able to get along well with your colleagues and work towards certain common goals and causes that are clearly set out in front of you. Beyond this, having a high level of emotional intelligence is also going to provide you with a major helping hand in mental health. At the same time, you are also going to need rock-solid communication skills, as these will also go a long way in this field. Ultimately, there are certain soft skills that you will find come naturally, while others are going to need the work. If you already possess the necessary soft skills, this can act as a major pointer in the right direction, telling you that mental health could well be a calling for you. At the same time, if you do not necessarily possess them straight away, but you are willing to work at them, this could also tell you that you are moving in the right direction in terms of your overall career path.
You Want a Career Helping People
It should already be seen as a clear and obvious point to make, but if you are looking for a career that works closely with people, then mental health is certainly a possibility in front of you. Of course, there are all sorts of other career paths that also work with people, such as teaching, nursing, social work, etc. At the same time, there is no doubt that you need to have this initial drive to do good in the world in terms of mental health. There is no doubt that times will get tough, and you will start to struggle at various points in your career. However, having this initial fire in your belly can really make all the difference in terms of being able to keep on achieving the levels of success that you are looking for.
You Are Open-Minded
When you are working in many mental health careers, you are going to encounter all sorts of different people along the way. While some of them are going to be naturally easy to get along with, there will be others that prove to be more challenging to you. At the same time, you will still need to have the level of open-mindedness that tells you that you are willing to work with them regardless. You also need to be open-minded in terms of the type of situations that you find yourself confronted with, as well as what is going on in their lives. At this stage, you need to take a non-judgemental approach to what is happening. The minute that you start to judge your patients and this creeps into other areas of your life, the harder that it is going to be to remain impartial in your job and complete your job of helping them out. Therefore, having this initial open mind can make all the difference in so many different ways.
You Are Willing to Keep in Persevering
There are some people that are willing to keep pushing themselves forward, while others are bound to give up at the first sign of trouble. It is the former camp where you should find yourself in the world of mental health. As has already been mentioned earlier on in the blog post, there are bound to be some times when this proves to be an especially tricky career path. As such, if you give up at the first sign of trouble, it is simply not going to be the case that you are going to make it all that far. On the other hand, if you are willing to keep on persevering and moving forwards, this can really make all the difference in so many ways.
You Are Happy to Take on a ‘Social’ Job
There is also the clear and obvious sense that a career in mental health is one of the most ‘social’ that you can get into. While some people are happy to simply sit at a desk in isolation tapping away on a keyboard, there are also plenty more who like working with people all the time. Therefore, you certainly need to be willing to take on a social job that sees you interacting with people throughout the course of the day. Not only is this going to be the case with your patients directly, but you are also going to need to keep on interacting with the other staff members around you as well.
Hopefully, after reading this blog post, you have a much clearer idea of exactly what you are going to need to possess in order to have a successful career in the world of mental health. To begin with, you are certainly going to need to have that initial interest and passion for the field. Without this driving you forward, you are going to find it especially difficult in all sorts of ways. At the same time, you are also going to need to be willing to take on and pursue further study in the field. As was mentioned earlier on in the blog post, it is often going to be the case that you need to go to university in order to have the necessary qualifications to keep on moving forwards. Not only this, but you may need to do various masters degrees, etc.
Beyond the actual qualifications that you are going to require, there is also the sense that you will need to have a hard-working nature that keeps on carrying you forwards to new heights. This is just one of a collection of soft skills that can really make a big difference in helping you out in going far in the field of mental health. While you do not necessarily need to have that initial healthcare background, it can help you out in a big way when it comes to moving forwards. At the same time, you are certainly going to need to accept that it is a social career option that will see you needing to interact with people on a regular basis during the course of the working day.
One of the major aspects that draws people into a career in mental health, to begin with, is the desire to help people, and this is something that should certainly burn brightly throughout everything that you are going through. There are going to be occasions when it proves to be a tough career choice in so many different ways. However, this is the initial level of fire that can keep on pushing you forwards. Ultimately, it is the knowledge that you are making a real difference in the lives of other people.
If you have read through this blog post and recognized yourself in it, you may well find that a career in mental health is going to be the right one for you to take on.
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