#48 – Early Career Psychologist Series, Chapter 1 – Jim Smith

This episode is the first of a series of five chapters with early career psychologists. They're either completing their training, or are in their early years of working, and come from all different backgrounds with vastly different life experiences.

I love how in this small sample of seven people, you get a sense of the diversity of individuals that come to this profession. Each person reminded me of the sheer determination and hard work it takes to become a psychologist, something we should pat ourselves on the back for achieving, regularly!  Chatting to this special seven also normalises the up and downs of early career life!!

In this episode I'm chatting to Jim Smith. Jim is 54 years old, lives in Canberra, and is in his first year of the Clinical Master’s Program at the University of Canberra.

Jim was born in Michigan, USA.  He met his wife (Jenny) in Munich, Germany and came to Australia in 1987. He has 3 grownup children.  Jim has been working since he was 14 years old in some capacity or other, and has had A LOT of different jobs. However he considers Psychology to be his first career.

Jim wanted to do this interview to let people know that becoming who you are meant to be, isn’t always a straight road, and that finding the true you can take time. Jim Says “Be patient.”

So have a listen and see how we all wear it differently with Jim Smith.

Amy Felman


  1. Peter Grieve on July 25, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Wow. I so needed to hear this right now Dr Jimbo !!
    I’m 46, currently finishing 3rd Psych at Adelaide Uni and have been having a crisis of confidence about my Age and whether or not I can make it into a Masters program somewhere. It was just so great to hear your story and it’s encouraged me to just keep going. As everyone knows entry scores for Honours and Masters are just so ridiculously competitive that I push myself for HD’s in every subject (which sometimes I don’t achieve and then beat myself up about). But with a Wife and 2 young kids finding time for everything is really difficult. The pressure is enormous, so hearing a success story helps keep the motivation high. I dream about “working for nothing” in a Masters placement !!!!
    Thanks Amy for broadcasting these inspirational stories. Keep it up. All us Undergrads really need to hear them.

    Kind Regards

    • Jim Smith on July 28, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Good Luck, Pete! I appreciate your kind words. Good luck, mate. It’s worth it and you can do it!

    • Kylie Veale Sotheren on February 5, 2018 at 12:41 pm

      What this PODCAST tells me Peter is that we’re not alone. I’ve just turned 44 and am a 3rd year online Psych student at Deakin Uni. My forward plan means I will *hopefully* be registered by the time I’m 50, after having spent just under 30 years in IT software development management. I agree the pressure is enormous on its own, let alone those of us who need to maintain full-time ‘other’ jobs in addition to partners, children, ageing parents, mortgages, etc ….. and trying to fit in volunteer experience/s to bolster our postgraduate applications. What I have learned is age is less of a barrier in Psychology — in fact the depth and breadth of life and lived experience we ‘older’ grads bring to the table is often celebrated and taken on as a positive. And that we can do all that life requires of us AND do well enough to get into Honours, is a testament to our perseverance and overall abilities 🙂

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