Combining the terms psychology and business may seem like an oxymoron to some. But in reality, there is a close connection. Think about when you chose your current career. There was and still is a connection to your choice and ‘where’ you were at the time. And during these current economic and political times, choosing the right career path is becoming a bigger than life challenge. Not only for those in the midst of completing their education. But for those who are seeking a greater challenge in life or having the desire to switch careers. Nevertheless, there are jobs that will always be in demand. If you are curious, Google the field of interest to you to if it is part of the fastest growing sectors or a hot industry.
One such career choice that has little focus is business psychology. Not everyone has heard of this nor have any idea what a business psychologist actually does. In a nut shell, the efforts of a Business Psychologist is all about maximizing the primary asset of a company – its people. They achieve this by recognizing the impact of behavioral issues on the company’s bottom line. Thereby creating the most synergistic balance through education, information and teamwork.
Four Level of Psychology
Business psychology operates at four different levels.
At this level you are working at the managerial or leadership team level and getting the organization to be answering questions like:
- Are we a team organization?
- Are the leaders’ transformational manager?
- Do we value and embrace human diversity?
- Have we developed behavioral competence?
Diving one level deeper, the business psychologist look to those teams or groups that report to the managers and leadership team and begin seeking the answers to questions like:
- How effective is the team or teams working together?
- What processes are in place to efficiently handle conflicts?
- What effective decision making policies are in place?
Once again we move a level deeper, the business psychologist begins to work with the personalities of the team members. Additionally, they will have them pondering the following within the structure of the team:
- How do others see me within the organization/team?
- What is the best way to communicate with me?
- What is my management style?
- Who on my team is most likely to be the easiest to work/communicate with?
Finally, the deepest level they work with is the actual individuals themselves, independent of the team:
- How do I see the world?
- Who am I?
- What are my natural strengths and allowable weaknesses?
- How do I manage stress? Am I stressed?
- Do I have a behavioral blind spot?
- What are my developmental needs?
When choosing this field as a career choice one of the keys you need to understand to making you effective is being able to build trust with the people you are working with, to then building and establishing rapport. A good skill set for Business Psychologists has to have good managerial skills as your role will be to handle people.
Additionally, you will need to remember the individual you report to, whether under independent contractor employment, you are working for an individual that will be sharing with internal confidential information that can potentially harm the organization’s business success. You will be dealing with problems in the organization that includes the clients, employees and recruits. Objectives in each company vary so the nature of work is also not the same. Be sure to choose an organization that suits your personality, training and experience. Business psychologist focuses on how attitude and behavior in the work place can be improved on a company-wide basis through training programs, hiring practices and positive feedback systems.
Remember, a Business Psychologists employ the scientist-practitioner model. They use scientific principles and research in order to generate knowledge. This knowledge is then put to use to improve the bottom line and overall success and growth of a business. If you enjoy psychology, business and learning how people work within a business organizational structure then Business Psychology just maybe the solution to your career change you are seeking.