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2018 DOP Conference Occupational Psychologists are Human Too

2018 DOP Annual Conference: Occupational Psychologists are human too

When I was asked to present a paper at the 2018 DOP Conference (Division of Occupational Psychologist), I was more nervous than excited. Although I provide professional support and advice to clients, it doesn’t make me immune to the normal range of emotions. Occupational Psychologists are human to. It went well, better than I had worked myself up for and everyone around me. I left with a feeling of achievement and excitement. When’s the next one?


Start at the Beginning

The DOP Conference is the UK conference choice for Occupational Psychologists. Under the banner of the British Psychological Society (BPS), the three-day event brought together members of the division and other relevant professionals to engage in personal and professional development by gaining insight into current ideas and research through presentations, workshops and other learning approaches. Not to forget, celebrating the value that we offer as occ psychs through social dinners with a dance and drink or two.

Evolution or Revolution

This year’s theme was ‘Evolution +/or Revolution’, this fitted nicely with my own research of ‘the development of a competency framework for the role of an occupational psychologist’. I felt both proud and honoured to be able to get the chance to share my work with my peers, along with the wide range of academics and professionals from across the world of occupational psychology. However, this account is reflective of my feelings after the presentation, leading up to the presentation, I was no more than a complete nervous wreck.

Having to present information to some form of audience is nothing new to me, however, presenting my own research to an audience of very knowledgeable and experienced professionals within the Occ Psych world was. On the day of my presentation I had a long wait as my spot was the last of the day. My worries throughout the day were ‘my research isn’t good enough’, ‘what if others don’t that see the value in my work’ and ‘I just want to get this over with’. For those who I expressed this worry too endlessly, I apologise, I now see you were completely right in saying ‘it will be fine’, ‘you will do great’, ‘don’t worry about it’. All things that before the presentation I didn’t believe. To you guys, my supporters, colleagues and friends I owe you a big thank you.

The Final Presentation

Let’s move on to a happier time. When I finished my presentation and the audience applauded I felt all the things everyone had been telling me all day. ‘What on earth was I worrying about?’, ‘that was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be’ and ‘when does the gala dinner start?’. My presentation even opened new doors for my research with a possible collaboration, bonus!

With all that stress, let’s not forget the perks… What better way is there to celebrate the achievements of our profession other than a three-course gala dinner, an award ceremony, wine and live music. A wonderful conference and great people to share the experience with.

Jessica Bird

Trainee Occupational Psychologist

Psyence – part of the Dove Nest Group