Tanya Nasr – Psychologist
Posted October 23, 2017, by Jenny Sakr
Tanya was drawn to the psychology field from a young age, even playing the student in the playground who everyone spoke to when things were tough.
Tanya fulfilled her dream and now works as a psychologist and team leader at IPAR, a leading national provider of comprehensive injury prevention, injury management and return to work services in Australia.
What is your current job title and how long have you had this role?
Team leader for Different Employer Services. I have had this role for two years, however, been in the company for three years and in the industry for five years. I manager a smaller caseload of high needs files as well as mentor a team of consultants over three locations (Sydney CBD, Liverpool and Wollongong).
What did you study and what are the steps you took to be where you are today?
I studied a Bachelor of Psychology and graduated with honours. I then took a few years off to work and found myself in vocational rehabilitation. Approximately two years into my career in rehab, I decided to pursue my psychology registration. I enrolled in a psychology internship program with Learning Links and was employed at IPAR as a Vocational Consultant – Provisional Psychologist (and later Team Leader) whilst fulfilling the requirements of the internship program and volunteering at All Saints Primary School (as a school counsellor) for the two years.
What inspired this career path?
I have always had an interest in psychology and always found myself to enjoy analysing. I have a fascination with understanding how the human mind works and as a chil, I found myself always asking why and how things happen (this always frustrated my parents). I was the student in the playground who everyone spoke to when things were tough. I guess it just came naturally to me.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I always knew I wanted to help people and I felt a strong push towards counselling. I remember a fellow student asking me in year 7 what I wanted to do and I thought long and hard and responded by advising them that I wanted to be a psychologist. I was never able to change my mind no matter how hard I tried. When completing preferences for university I also applied for Policing and the tried to complete my registration through the army, however, I could not shake the pull towards psychology so in the end, I chose it as my number one preference.
What was your first job?
My first job was as a front counter attendant at the local fish and chips shop which did not last long. I later went on to complete my Certificate II in hospitality which led to working at ANZ stadium catering in the Corporate Boxes for 7 years whilst at high-school and university.
Tell us a little more about your role and explain a typical day on the job
I get to use my skills providing counselling and/or providing job seeking / vocational counselling assistance to clients who are adjusting to physical and/or psychological injuries. I often have to undertake a comprehensive assessment of a client’s vocational, social, medical, education, personal and psychological needs in order to develop an individual rehabilitation plan.
I get to use my skills in a variety of settings and I’m never doing the same thing two days in a row. There is no typical day as I could be doing anything from conducting client appointments, completing assessments, conducting training of staff, presenting to a workplace, completing EAP counselling or providing rehabilitation assistance to defence staff and other government agencies / groups.
Name the best and worst parts of your job
As mentioned above, the best part of my job is that I get to use my skills in a variety of settings and I’m never doing the same thing two days in a row. I really enjoy the variety and challenges my job brings. The worst part of my role is that I often see clients who are struggling in every aspect of their lives and it’s quite sad to see.
What do you wish someone had told you before becoming a psychologist?
I wish someone had told me how long the process to full registration would take and how emotionally, physically and financially draining it would be.
What qualities and skills should people have if they want to go down this career path?
In order to be successful as a psychologist, the individual must be empathetic, objective, non-judgemental, kind and above all patient.
Name a career highlight
A career highlight was the day that I conquered my fear of public speaking and presented to a group of 30 individuals on how to manage stress and mental health in the workplace.
What’s next for you?
I would like to continue to grow in my role and continue to mentoring staff. In the future, I would also like to go down the path of training in the Psychology field (workplaces and individuals/groups).
See what Tanya has been up to by connecting with her on LinkedIn.
Is psychology your calling? It’s never too late to start! Kickstart your career in the field by enquiring about a course in Psychology.
Jenny found her way with words while interning during uni, since, she's produced articles on it all – from hair and beauty to homewares, travel, career advice and study tips. On a weekend you're most likely to find her lining up for a table at the latest cafe or restaurant.