With a burgeoning industry comes bright new opportunities for a psychedelic career. Whether you are a student or a seasoned professional, choosing the right career path can be challenging. Join career counselor Dr. Mary Feduccia in exploring how to find the best psychedelic career for you.
It’s hard to deny that we’re in the midst of a Psychedelic Revolution. Psychedelic treatment for mental health disorders and addiction is covered in prominent mainstream media such as the New York Times, USA today, and Science Daily, to name just a few, and on television by ABC, CNN, 60 Minutes, CNBC, and a growing list of others. Clinical studies are now conducted at world-renowned universities such as Johns Hopkins, University of California, New York University, and Yale, and these are just some of the universities engaged in psychedelic work and research. Roughly 50 public companies are now trading psychedelic stocks, evidence of a multi-billion dollar industry with unprecedented growth potential.
According to the New York Times, psychiatry may never be the same as a result of the Psychedelic Revolution. Rick Doblin, founder of the MAPS, explains that this revolution has spurred a global spiritual awakening and that by 2070 psychedelic-assisted therapies will have penetrated mainstream culture enough to create a “spiritualized humanity” that’s psychologically well-equipped enough to solve seemingly intractable crises like environmental destruction and economic inequity.
Opportunities for New Psychedelic Careers
Just as the Psychedelic Revolution generates amazing possibilities for treatment of all kinds of mental health conditions, it also brings impressive opportunities for new careers. A quick look at jobs posted on sites such as Psychedelic Alpha, LinkedIn, and Indeed in June 2022 reveal 230 job openings for work in the exploding job market for careers in psychedelics.
Positions cover the gamut of different types of roles such as researchers, mental health professionals, guides, doctors, software engineers, marketing and sales managers, attorneys, financial analysts, administrators, and educators.
So, if you’re thinking about playing a role in this emerging field, there are key considerations you should make in your decision to start your career in psychedelics. The burning question is, “What is the secret ingredient of career success?” Many people search an entire lifetime trying to discover the element that will create fulfillment and a sense of reward in their work. Working with hundreds of individuals over the years has convinced me that without a doubt, the keystone of career success is to do what you are!
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Discover a Psychedelic Career Best for You
Ready to discover who you are and hopefully choose a career in psychedelics? All that’s needed for this journey is your readiness to make the trip and a little guidance along the way. The principal investment is your time and energy as you explore four main areas: your abilities, interests, personality, and values.
If your work is not aligned with who you are in each of these areas, you’re not on the best path. Examples of this misalignment abound. So often you can be interested in a particular type of work but if your abilities are not quite up to par, it’s not a good fit. Or, you may choose a path based on your strengths but realize after awhile that your interests are lacking. Not a good choice!
Different personalities are better suited to certain careers than to others so understanding your unique personality is critically important. The final area to explore is your values and I think this is the most neglected area. We can be in a career that suits our abilities, interests, and personality, but if our values are not honored, it’s not a good fit.
When we compromise who we are in terms of our values, we realize we’re in work that cuts across our grain. A career in psychedelics may be just the solution to finding work that truly fits you in these four areas.
So, you may be wondering how to understand yourself in these four areas that are critical to your career success. Over the years, career theorists have developed tools to help in identifying the careers that are most representative of an individual in these four areas. The Highlands Ability Battery published by the Highlands Company is a phenomenal instrument to understand your innate abilities and aptitudes.
Abilities are hard-wired in you and become stabilized around the age of fourteen. They don’t change over the years, even if they aren’t used. They are literally a part of your DNA and have tremendous influence on success and happiness in your career. Understanding your abilities is key to deciding on which career in psychedelics is best for you.
Most of us spend more time at work than in any other role we play, whether that be with family, community, church, etc. There’s nothing more deflating than having to do work we’re not interested in for hours and hours each day. We often know what we’re interested in doing, what we like to do, but translating that into a career in psychedelics is more difficult than it seems.
One of my favorite interest assessments is the Strong Interest Inventory based on John Holland’s person-environment fit model. He felt strongly that there are six basic types of people and there are six basic work environments, so if we can identify our type, we can look at the careers in the corresponding work environment and explore those rather than trying to consider every type of work within the field of psychedelics.
There are several other very helpful interest assessments that open many possibilities, but the key point is to make a choice that represents your interests at this point in your life.
Let Your Personality Guide A Psychedelic Career Path
A successful career in psychedelics should include understanding your unique personality. You can undoubtably think of a teacher you had along the way who had the knowledge needed to teach the subject matter, an interest in teaching, but just the wrong personality.
That teacher’s personality may have been the leading reason the teacher was ineffective in helping you learn the material. Maybe the teacher was illogical and couldn’t present the material in an organized manner, or maybe the teacher was a strong introvert and became quicky drained by the energy of the students, or maybe the teacher was so spontaneous that the focus of the lesson was easily lost during the class. This is just one example of how not every personality is suited to every career.
It’s important to explore your personality type and understand which types of psychedelic careers people with your type most enjoy. I use the Myers Briggs Type Instrument (MBTI) for a thorough exploration of one’s personality. The Myers Briggs is the most popular personality assessment in the world and is commonly used to help individuals choose careers based on their unique personality pattern.
If we can choose work which allows us to use our preferred ways of doing things, we are often energized and find fulfillment by being allowed to do what we are!
Know Your Values to Find Your Psychedelic Profession
The last of the four major domains we must explore to find the career in psychedelics that’s the best fit for us is Values. Of the four major areas that need to be explored to make a good decision in choosing a career, I’m convinced that Values is the area most neglected.
As I counsel individuals who are unhappy in their chosen path and know in their hearts that they’re in the wrong field, it’s not uncommon for their value system to be compromised by the work they are doing.
Values instilled in us as children are often pretty stable, but it’s not unusual as we grow and develop and move through life stages for values to shift and find that old ones are not as prominent as they used to be and that new ones are of more importance. Values are critically important in choosing a career in psychedelics that fits who we are in terms of what is important to us.
To explore values, I use a card sort developed by Richard Knowdell that resembles a small deck of cards. Each card has a value and a short description of that value. The cards are sorted into five columns that reflect the range of one’s most important values to those of least importance.
Once the strongest values are identified, a comparison with the values represented in the work one is engaged in or is thinking about doing is discussed. Often it becomes clearly apparent that one’s strongest values are not allowed to be honored in the current work or that an idea about a new career in psychedelics would be a good or a less than desirable choice based on values.
Be Confident in Choosing Your Psychedelic Career
By exploring these four critical areas and identifying your career possibilities in the field of psychedelic work, you’ll feel confident that you’re making the right choice. Work that feels comfortable, natural, and energizing is a sure sign that your work epitomizes the inner core and allows you to work in a way that brings huge positive results, both in the results of the work itself and in your life as a whole.
A sense of wholeness and motivation to reach even greater heights is typical of individuals who are engaged in work that allows them to express the essence of themselves. So, as you explore who you are to discover the career that is best for you, you just may find that a career in psychedelics is the ticket to career success for you in every sense of the word!