Industrial/Organisational Psychologist

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KEY SKILLS

  • Excellent communication skills 

  • Empathy 

  • Analytical mind 

  • Research skills

  • Ability to design psychological interventions 

  • Deductive reasoning 

  • Creative thinking 

  • Data Analysis

PROS

  • Opportunity to make a positive impact in others' life 

  • Good work-life balance

  • Steady income

  • Opportunity to interact with people from diverse backgrounds

CONS

  • Education and licensing takes many years and are expensive

  • Difficult to account for unique human factors while creating and assessing jobs

OPPORTUNITY TYPES

GOT WHAT IT TAKES?

  • Corporate 

  • Coaching 

  • Learning and Development 

  • Academia

  • NGOs

  • Passionate about mental health 

  • Interest in working in a corporate setting

  • Ability to deduce problems and come up with effective solutions

  • Ability to motivate people to do their best 

KEY OPPORTUNITIES

Books

Podcasts

Networking Groups

Interesting Facts about the career

The concepts of I/O psychology have been around for a long time, but was adopted more officially as a science around the turn of the 20th century- During the early 20th century, much focus was directed towards understanding motivation and productivity in the workplace. Interest in issues related to selection and hiring quickly developed when there was a need to better screen and assign recruits for army jobs during WWI. Assessments of cognitive ability, psychomotor skills, and personality were developed to differentiate between individuals. These programs are the root of all personnel testing. The development of these tests rapidly advanced the science of hiring.


I/O psychology will not help you diagnose and provide therapy for clinical issues- The closest that we will ever come to dealing with clinical issues is by studying work-life balance, workplace stress, and aggression/discrimination at work. I/O psychologists do not conduct therapy sessions or pick your brain on your emotional state. We are not analyzing your thought patterns. We leave that to clinical and counselling psychologists.


We do a lot of research but, sometimes, our answers are not black-white- I/O psychology is built on a framework of evidence-based practice. We do a lot of research across settings. Straightforward answers and results are easy…but may not always be the most interesting. One of the phrases that I became all too familiar with while doing research was, “It depends.” For example, one of the best predictors of job performance across job positions and levels is cognitive ability. However, we also know that cognitive ability becomes a better predictor of job performance when the complexity of the job increases. Another example is that we know stress can facilitate performance (by way of increasing arousal), but only to a point. Low and high levels of stress can be detrimental to performance. Finding that sweet spot—just enough stress and arousal—will enhance performance. As good researchers and practitioners, we continue to better understand and refine the theories and ideas we put forward so we can understand these complex relationships.

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