Look Mom, I am an IO Psychologists. What Now?

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Look Mom, I am an IO Psychologists. What Now?

One of the challenges faced by the graduates of Industrial Organizational Psychology in Pakistan is finding the right jobs. Of course the first instinct is to search for a post titled “IO Psychologist” which is almost always a futile effort as the last time this position was announced in 2011 by Allied Bank and the applicants were selected in 2016. The next logical option is to search for positions in Human Resource Management or Organizational Development which unfortunately is saturated by jobless MBAs who have specialized in HRM and OD and to be honest are preferred by organizations over IO psychologists. The last remaining options then is academia i.e. lectureship, or research which of course are noble fields and help add to the body of knowledge. But let’s face it not everyone gets excited by the notion of entering data into SPSS for hours or checking student reports written in a horrible English Grammar, for a career. So what can an Organizational Psychologist who is looking for a thrilling and charming corporate life style do in Pakistan?

“Become an Executive Coach.”

A trending relatively new approach to people development worldwide is coaching. Coaching, specifically executive coaching is a growing industry that is receiving high levels of attention and has been proven to be an effective strategy to develop best performing, competent leaders. A research identified that more than 70% of formal leadership development programs in organizations use some sort of coaching strategy (Zenger & Stinnett, 2006). Interestingly enough it’s not only the C-suite executives that benefit from coaching. One survey stated that coaches spend almost half of their time working with managers at all levels of the organization, and not just top level management (Sherpa Consulting, 2011). A recent survey showed there are between 16,000 and 18,000 coaches in Europe (Carter, 2008).

The Economist, on 3rd August 2016, highlighted Pakistan as world’s fastest growing Muslim Economy. National and Multinational corporations in Pakistan are constantly looking for that one strategy/solution that could raise them an inch above others in the highly competitive and growing market. IO psychologists with their in-depth knowledge of human behavior, leadership, motivation, consumer behavior, human capital development, research, and skills in probing questions and interviews are excellent candidates to help organizations to

  1. A) Identify Individual Needs
  2. B) Develop Strategies to Meet Their Needs
  3. C) and Implement Interventions
  4. D) while Measuring Impact of the Strategies



Executive Coaching Career Path

Step 1. Complete Your Degree

Patience is a virtue. The good thing about the degrees of MPhil/MS in IO Psychology from Pakistan is you get to study variety of subjects which help in identification of the kind of coach you want to become. A strong theoretical background is a huge added advantage when you enter the field.

Step 2. Experiment

Go beyond your comfort zone. Enter the field of consulting, training or coaching and experiment. Sometimes what you think least enjoyable is best suitable and creates a hugely successful and fulfilling career. Find new clients with variety of needs and put your theoretically background to the test. Remember not all models and frameworks work. Experiment to find out what fits your personality and needs of your varied clients.

Step 3. Find Your Niche

Not all coaches are created equal. Your Niche is what separates you from the herd. It is the cross section between what You enjoy and what the Market needs. Just find out what a specific segment of the market needs, create the solutions and sell it to them.

Step 4. Get Certified

The International Coach Federation (ICF) is the leading global organization dedicated to coaching best practices and creating a network of international coaches. Getting certified from ICF is a huge boost to your level of credibility and marketability in the market.

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Ibrahim Siawash

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