Saturday, 25 October 2008


What I particularly love here is his attempt to keep going after the first snap. I only wish that we'd seen more of the clip - did she even acknowledge it??

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Welcome Tom - by Rob

Tom, welcome and thanks for a great couple of posts.

I think I have one thing to say about your last post. Yes, degrees are increasingly common. Yes, everyone seems to be doing psychology. Yes, graduates are doing more and more to get ahead. Yes, times are hard.

But there is one commodity that you didn't mention and which most people forget all about.

It's passion.

I think if there is one thing which separates out those who have happy and successful careers from those who don't it's following a passion. And that can be done relatively easily, it's just that so few people tend to listen, or have the right answers posed to them.

Following your passion gives you energy when everyone else is shattered, it gives you persistence when all seems lost and it gives you inspiration when no solution seems possible. It might be tough at first, but if you're determined nothing will stop you.

Identifying and then following your passion is without doubt the single most important factor in any career decision....I only wish I'd done it sooner myself!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Where do Career Choices start? – By Tom.

I haven’t had any experience of changing careers, let alone having one! – but something which does interest and affect me is the choices and changes that young people and students like myself have when thinking about career choices. Perhaps this could have been influenced during my first ever Psychology lecture, by having it drilled into us that degrees (And psychology ones especially!) are becoming more and more common; and that we will all face an increasingly competitive market for jobs when we graduate. It’s very true – and I was surprised when I found out how many of my University and work friends were getting involved in part-time internships and other CV-boosting activities to help them cut through the competition, and also importantly to widen application choices in a varied and inter-mingled work-market. (Where a relatively non-vocational course like Psychology can be combined and applied in so many areas!)

Obviously such speculation from a small-group into undergraduates’ work experience is un-proportionate and can’t be applied to all students, especially in my case; as only a small proportion of Psychology students eventually become Chartered Psychologists. ( … (Or as one rather uninspiring Graduate guide recently put it … ‘probably end up in Tesco with the rest of the Psychology graduates!’).

However, it would be interesting to see how important newly-released graduates see work-experience to be and perhaps how this relates to securing a career quicker, and also how work-experience is viewed at other Universities. This year there has been a 10% nation-wide increase in University Undergraduates, especially in courses involving Business, which further fuels the already competitive job market (BBC, 2008). But interestingly, The University of Surrey which is one of several Universities in the country to offer almost all of their courses with Professional work placements had a 40% rise in applications last year (More than any other).

Therefore do more students want more degree for their buck at a time when the jobs markets are so competitive? (Or possibly just stay a student and keep those irresistible discounts [especially during the recession] for that bit longer!).

Thursday, 9 October 2008

From Tom Bloom.

Hi There! My name is Tom, and I’ve just started as an intern at Bloom Psychology. By background is as a Psychology Undergraduate at Surrey, and this whole experience is part of my professional placement year during my degree. There is a huge variety of work experience in Psychology, and I chose to follow the Occupational Psychology path; which I thought was a relatively narrow and hard-edged field until I found Bloom.

I think gaining experience should involve taking risks as well as following a path you feel you can follow, and working for 8 months at Bloom will be a risk as it is a new and flourishing company; and a lot of hard work will be needed. HOWEVER, after going through a lot of thinking and some job applications (Some of which had nothing to do with Occupational Psychology at all!) I came to the conclusion that these 8 months will be purely what its name suggests … I am here to experience and take from it whatever and as much as I can. This will be through reading and developing the company’s research and intervention base as well as promoting the ethos of the company through networking; and crucially meeting people and learning along the way!

The fact that I have to be an independent and pushing member of the company I think will really allow me to make and take as much experience as I can, especially along with the energy and experience of Blooms founders and directors, Amelia and Rob.

I'm really looking forward to getting started, and i'll try and keep this blog updated with things that interest me and reflect the work Bloom is working towards!

Speak again soon!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so"

I've been having a difficult time at work. Working with values in a cynical public sector organisation is tough. I know it's right, but fighting a one-man battle can be difficult.

How do you counter that? Well, this weekend I found inspiration from four sources. The first was the support of friends - who uniformly offered help and sympathy. Thanks everyone.

The second was an e-mail from my Mum. My Mum is religious, and is praying for me. She was thinking about what to pray for and concluded that the best thing is not to change the situation, the people or even me, but my reaction to the situation. She prayed that I could find armour so that it would affect me less. She sent me a picture of a fireman to illustrate her point.

Meanwhile, an article in the Guardian from the child psychologist Stephen Briers illustrated this point further. If you can equip your child with emotional intelligence they are better protected against the slings and arrows of modern life. "How you interpret a situation is going to determine how you feel about it and what you do about it," he explains. This link between thought, feelings and behaviour is surely under-acknowledged in today's workplace.

And finally, I was on a run listening to one of the greatest songs of modern times, Empty Cans, by the Streets. This is a magnificent song essentially about perspective. The background is that the singer thinks his friends have stolen some money from him which they vigorously deny. The song explores two reactions to their explanations. One where he rejects them and the other where he accepts them with caution. In the second, accepting, version not only does he renew his friendship but he finds the money that he originally thought his friends had stolen. But this version begins with a change in key (in fact, it starts with one single note) well before he makes the decision to forgive his friend. In other words, it is his response to the situation that dictates his reaction that dictates the outcome.

This is related to the concept that Bloom works with, psychological flexibility. But the bottom line is that if we can learn this sort of resilience, and act on facts and values rather than emotions, we'd be better off. And so this week, that's what I'll be trying to do.