For career life education we were asked to interview someone in a job field we were interested in to find out more about the experiences of people who work within said field. For me this field of interest is psychology. The person in this field I interviewed was with former Acting Supervisor of Victim Services for the RCMP Tracy. Tracy had held various positions dealing with psychology so being able to interview her gave me an in depth look into on aspect of the psychology field.
The first aspect I was asked about was what classes she took while getting her degree. Tracy “studied criminology, and social service worker and received two diplomas, and completed [her] BA degree in psychology.” She also took “specialized classes in abuse, addiction, counselling, and crisis intervention.” When I asked what classes she would recommend taking if I were to pursue this career path she recommended “taking psychology in high school, as well as career ed, and sciences, specifically biology,” since biology would help to understand the human body which would build a foundation for university courses. For post-secondary classes Tracy recommended “taking courses in criminology, psychology, family systems, mental health etc.” These responses gave me a greater understanding of how much work this career path would take in the education aspect.
The next thing I wanted to know about Tracy’s career was how she got into it. While the biggest reason she got into her field was because she wanted to help people, she recalled one event that began this want to help others. She was working in undercover security when she arrested someone who she had gone to high school with who was stealing to support his drug habit. She felt he needed support to deal with his addiction rather than a charge. From this she realized she wanted to “help people who were in desperate, and challenging situations.” She chose victim services so she would “be able to help victims of crime, while also supporting the police in getting justice for the crimes committed against these individuals.” It was clear to me from this part of the interview that this field would require a deep compassion for others and their situations.
Finally I wanted to know about her experience in the job. In the aspect of hours she stated that “[she was] not proud to say, that [her] work/life balance was lacking.” While working full time she worked 35 hours per week, 10am-6:30pm, 7am-3:30pm, 1pm-9:30pm. When she was auxiliary she worked on call from 6pm-7am. She was on cal at home and when dispatch called she had to go to the police station withing 20 minutes. She stated that she spent too much time working and not enough time with her family. For benefits Tracy detailed she was employed by the city so her benefits included pension, medical/dental, 3 week vacation, union membership and other such as physio, massage and counselling. When asked about the most rewarding part of her job she replied “the most rewarding part of my job is knowing that [she] was able to help someone during what could be the worst experience or day of their life.”
This interview gave me a good insight into one of the possible career paths in psychology and I am grateful I got to have this conversation.