My Lightbulb Moments
Madisen Ecker (Be Psyched's Programs Manager and Career Coach) shares her career journey into psychology, and the whirlwind that our career paths can take.
I remember being 19, sitting at the dining table with my dad, flicking through University brochures for the millionth time, when he turned to me and asked “what about psychology?”. That, as my employer/mentor Alex would say, was my lightbulb moment. A feeling of satisfaction and relief that I had FINALLY found a profession that would combine my empathetic nature and need to constantly learn, followed by the thought “why hadn’t I thought of that?!”.
Like most high-achievers, I had my career plan mapped out, a perfect straight line, that began with a bachelor degree, then a masters degree, followed by private practice and gaining a PhD, and finally ending somewhere along the lines of university professor. What I quickly found is that a career, like life, definitely does not happen in a straight line. In the past two years my career path has been more like a whirlwind than a linear progression. By this point in time, my original plan would have seen me graduate last December, and doing a Master of Clinical Psychology as we speak, but interestingly, that didn’t happen. Even more interesting, is that I don’t regret that I’ve had a slight change in direction, because it’s taught me something extremely valuable: that my own personal definition of success, does not have to be a conventional one. This is what I like to call my second lightbulb moment – realising that by taking a year off from formal study, I am not delaying my career path, but simply taking a much needed detour which will ultimately shape the practitioner I become. For me this detour is only possible because of the opportunities I am presented with in my current position at Be Psyched.
Two years ago I was offered an admin position at Be Psyched, something that many of my student peers envied. Today, I am going by the title of Programs Manager, but what I do is so much more than that. I’m a career coach, research assistant, project manager, workshop presenter, staff trainer, personal assistant, financial officer, marketing amateur, and whatever else our team needs at the time, and I absolutely love it! This is not to say my role at Be Psyched is not defined, instead it gives me the flexibility to develop my skills in a variety of areas. It also supplies me with constant and exciting challenges, and most importantly, a diverse and supportive team that are more than happy to help me not just tackle, but excel in such challenges.
If you ask me what I love about my job, it’s honestly the fact that for the first time in my life, I don’t see this work as simply another “job”. To me, my employment at Be Psyched gives me the ability to pursue my career path, and my passion to help people reach their potential. I do this because I want to witness other people’s lightbulb moments. To help them in building their resilience, and move past their self-doubt and reach their personal version of success. To help them find a way to turn their passion into a career that isn’t a job, but rather an integral piece in them living their most authentic life.