Job Title: Senior Business Psychologist
What exactly is that?
I’m an Occupational Psychologist and I work as a consultant helping organisations get the best from their people, in a positive way.
How did you get there?
Discovered psychology at A-level as I wanted a replacement for Maths that I was hating – psychology has a big statistics element so seemed an interesting swap. Loved it, went to university to do a BSc in Psychology. Did an exchange in a Canadian uni for part of my final year, where I took Occupational Psychology as a module and found it really interesting. When I graduated I got a job on an HR grad training programme. The idea was to get 3 years experience then go and do my occupational psychology masters – but I loved my job (and salary) and was getting relevant experience, so I spent three hard years working full time and doing my MSc part-time and have been working as a Chartered Psycholigist consultant ever since!
Describe a typical day in your life
I get woken up between 6&7am by my 2 daughters (usually the early-rising youngest). I am fortunate to have a husband who is around during the day, so between us we get the girls ready for school while I also get ready for work (hair and make-up done if going out, not bothering if working from home!). From then on no 2 days are the same as a consultant. I could be anywhere! I love that variety. If at home, I will head to my home office at around 8.30am – write a to do list for the day and check my emails.
The day will consist of some combination of project management, sales calls and writing proposals, designing training and other wellbeing resources for clients, writing client reports, Skype calls with colleagues etc. I’ll break around noon to have lunch with my husband and youngest daughter if it isn’t her preschool days. I then typically finish at about 4pm when my eldest gets home from school.
My husband heads out to work at that time and I transition immediately from consultant to Mummy. The evening routine of homework, dinner, swimming or parks in the summer, puzzles, CBeebies, bathtime, stories and bed!
At 8pm I pick up the hour’s work I have left and then finally get an hour or two to relax! On days when I am with a client it could involve all sorts. I leave home when I need to (could be any time from 5.30am). I might be delivering training, pitching for new business, facilitating a focus group, presenting at a conference, meeting a client to plan or review work. The hours are enormously varied and I couldn’t do it without the flexible support of my husband and friends and family who help out with the girls if I can’t get home before my husband works.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
Helping to make work a better place for people. The variety which means I never get bored and the autonomy I have to juggle work and family.
What’s the one thing you would change if you could?
I’d be self-employed – but my husband is self-employed and we need one stable income! We’ve agreed to swap in about 5 years time!
What did you want to do for a living when you were at school?
I had plans to be an interpreter. Mostly I just wanted to wear a suit and work in London. I’ve ticked the last box at least!
Tell us about one thing you were insecure about when you were at school
I’ve never really struggled with insecurity! I am tiny and got picked on a fair bit for that, but I also got a lot of good attention for it and I always managed to see it as a positive. That’s my philosophy on everything.
What advice would you give yourself at 18 if you could?
Don’t stick too rigidly to your plans (and so don’t worry if you don’t really have firm plan). Be ready to embrace unexpected opportunities as they arise.
What’s your favourite thing to do in your spare time?
Visit beautiful outdoor spaces – camping, walks, picnics etc
What’s the title of the last book you read?
Making your mind up – finally treated myself to some chick-lit after months of reading work books for a new job!
Please share with us one beauty tip
Smile and hold the camera high!
Share with us one money tip you have learned
Shop around – don’t just let things automatically renew (be that insurance, mortgage, mobile phone etc). There’s usually a better deal to be had as a new customer elsewhere.
Tell us one life lesson you have learned
You get out what you put in!
Tell us about your favourite recent purchase of £25 or under
It was a gift, but a fleece blanket from Next. It’s wonderful to snuggle under on a weekend morning with my daughters or in the evening with my husband. I even wrap it around me when working from home sometimes!
Where can people find you online for more details?
LinkedIn – Katie Dodsworth, Robertson Cooper
Twitter – katiedodsworth6