A week in the life of a Psychologist


An early start to the week; I leave home before 7am to run an Assessor Skills Refresher course for a client in the financial services sector. They’re due to hold assessment centers next week as part of their graduate recruitment programme. I’m working today with one of our partners. We split the group for most of the day so I’m working with four participants, observing while they practise and then giving them feedback. It’s been a fairly intensive day as the timetable was tight and one of the participants needed a lot of help.


Arrive at the office just before 9am and spend the morning outlining a new development centre process. Our client, a major brand manufacturer in the food industry, wants a process that will incorporate the latest thinking on management development. Fortunately, I had been thinking about some new approaches, and this is just the opportunity to implement them. Less happily, the client wants a detailed specification by the end of the week to bring it to a meeting of their HR Managers in Holland on Monday! After a quick lunch I travel with a colleague by train to meet a public sector organisation that had short-listed us to pitch for a series of diversity awareness workshops for 240 of its managers. We are due to make a presentation to the Board at 4.30pm. On the train, we brainstorm the issues they are likely to ask about. It pays off as many of the issues actually arise and we’re well prepared to respond to them. Sometimes it’s hard to tell how well a pitch has been received, but on this occasion we feel quietly confident. We’ll know by Friday!


No travel today – I’m working from home as I need peace and quiet to complete the development centre design. I wasn’t feeling very creative to start with, but as I got stuck into it, the ideas flowed and I’ve come up with some innovative proposals for scenarios and exercises, and even some practical solutions for the logistics of the event. By the end of the day I e-mail a draft to my managing partner for review.


I spend the morning working on a proposal. It was difficult to figure out how we could deliver the solution that the client wanted within the budget that they had set. In fact, most of the morning is taken up with solving this problem and finalising the proposal. By early afternoon, my managing partner gets back to me with feedback on the development centre specification having spotted a few potential difficulties. We talk through ways to overcome these and by the time I have re-drafted the specification, it’s close to 7.30pm.


Everyone is in the office this morning. We try not to sell Fridays to clients as it’s our day for reviewing progress on projects, catching up with clients and for paying attention to our own business. At 9.30am we have a psychologists’ meeting. Later, I meet with my colleagues to plan next week’s work and to make arrangements for accommodation and travel. Between 11am and lunchtime I’m involved in meetings concerning our web site and my planned business development activities – I promised to write a couple of blogs this month and to speak at an internally organised seminar for our clients next month. In the afternoon, we review our current projects. I also take the opportunity to catch up with the office gossip and learn about what everyone has been up to this week. I’m on tenterhooks waiting to hear if we had won the contract for the diversity workshops. The call finally comes at 4.30pm, and it’s good news. A great way to end the week!

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