IO Psychology

Repost: May the Fourth of Networking Be With You

This is a repost from my old Psychology of Work blog. I thought it was relevant because this is Women’s history month and this post is tangentially related to issues of networking ,opportunity, and inclusion. The recent news about Catherine Hardwicke being blackballed even though she’s the most successful director in Hollywood history also reminded me of this post.

Last week the Star Wars fan community celebrated May the 4th which is Star Wars Day  As a long time Star Wars fan I am very excited about the upcoming Star Wars sequels. However, this past Star Wars Day revealed a situation in Hollywood that I found fascinating in light of diversity issues.

Josh Trank (director of Chronicle and the upcoming Fantastic Four) recently left the production of a Boba Fett (YES!) Star Wars prequel. Over at Birth.Movies.Death  there was a suggestion made by Devin Faraci that the next director of the film should be a woman.

While there’s some data suggesting that female directors get short shrift in Hollywood and a lawsuit filed by the ACLU about the lack of female directors in Hollywood I’m not interested in lobbying for a particular director for a Boba Fett prequel (Michelle McLaren!) I’m more interested in something else that Faraci highlights in his piece. Specifically how people get jobs as a director on a particular film through networking and referrals. Faraci’s example comes from the tweet embedded below where director Brad Bird (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol) recommended director Colin Trevorrow for the film Jurassic World.


Brad Bird got Colin Trevorrow that JURASSIC WORLD gig by saying, "There is this guy that reminds me of me" http://t.co/RYJSTS0X9r

— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) April 28, 2015


…which may inadvertently reveal why women and minority filmmakers have such a hard time: White guys hire guys who remind them of themselves

— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) April 28, 2015



The diagram below indicates how most people think of the hiring process:

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However, there’s an entire networking process that can occur even before someone submits their application. The Brad Bird-Colin Trevorrow anecdotes seems to indicate that  directors that are similar on some demographic characteristics tend to network with one another and eventually recruit others into actual jobs.  Research (Howard & Ferris, 1996) indicates that interviewer-interviewee similarity has an impact on hiring in the interview process. This ‘similar to me’ effect has also been studied in the work of Forrett & Dougherty (2004). Their research indicated that women were shut out of some networking opportunities that men had. In other words perhaps there was an “old boys club” that networked and produced opportunities for those who were part of the club (in this case men). They also discovered that there was a negative relationship between networking activities and compensation for women. Which seemed to indicate that women weren’t reaping the benefits of networking behavior. Perhaps there are hidden costs or limitations for women who attempt to access established job networks.

In a recent study by van den Brink and Benschop (2014) we might have a solution. Their study focused on the role of gatekeepers in the networking process. These researchers looked at networking behavior and the role of gatekeepers in academia. Academia is as far from Hollywood as we might imagine unless you’re talking about Annie Hall  however both industries have a gatekeeper issue. Van den Brink & Benschop highlighted the fact that even though hiring of women might be favored the networking process excluded women from that procedure. Overall, the study highlights a dismal lack of access to gatekeepers in academia.

These quantitative results and qualitative evidence of networking seem to highlight the importance of rules such as the Rooney Rule. The Rooney Rule requires that NFL teams interview at least one minority candidate before making a final decision. The Rooney Rule introduced black head coaching candidates to white owners. In other words it created an opportunity where these individuals could network effectively as well as interview for these positions.  Diversity initiatives need more than just statements of support for minority candidates. These types of initiatives need to give minority candidates real access to gatekeepers. The Rooney Rule is a case study in success that could be replicated in other industries. When minority candidates receive access to networking as well as interviewing opportunities, they can develop the confidence necessary to move forward through the hiring process. Minority candidates get the opportunity to meet and impress gatekeepers in their industry and those who are part of the established network gain an increased awareness of minority talent.

While I doubt that the Hollywood director hiring process could sustain a Rooney Rule, most industries could create more opportunities for minority candidates to access the interview process and the hidden networks in their respective industries. This type of access could create real change in numerous industries from the tech industry to the manufacturing industry. Finding ways to give people the opportunity to meet with gatekeepers can change the perceptions of gatekeepers, give salient experience to applicants, and ultimately create a more level playing field for applicants.

Do you, dear reader, have any suggestions for how to improve access to gatekeepers for minority candidates? Is networking the problem or are there other diversity initiatives that we should be paying attention to? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. I’ll be interested to see how the ACLU lawsuit plays out and whether that actually results in more female directors in Hollywood.

Thanks for reading everyone and as always……

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Building Wakanda for #TeamSIOP

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We've been a little quiet here at the Talent Metrics blog. As a boutique consulting firm we've been more focused on delivering to clients over the past few months. I had promised myself that I'd write about my experience with I-O Shaken and Stirred  (I plan to write about the experience and provide a Joel Lefkowitz reading list that I had promised to Beth Melilo.). However, teaching, consulting, and life have gotten in the way. 

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After #SIOP18 and the I-O Shaken and Stirred experience I was awestruck by the level of engagement in the #IOPsych community. I was able to receive feedback from many of you regarding my talk about values in I-O Psychology. We ran a caption contest based on a fantastic picture that Ben Hawkes took of one of my furtive glances. Lisa Kath won the caption contest but I couldn't believe how much engagement that one tweet received. It left me with an indelible sense of the intelligence and power of the #IOPsych community. At the very least I realized that the IO psych tweeps appreciate making jokes about my nervous glances. Since there's no end to oddball pictures of the Talent Metrics team, we've got a few more caption contests coming up!

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My S&S talk was about the dream of Wakanda and why it had struck such a chord with the general audience  beyond Marvel movie fans. But it was also about building the science that we wished for in the future and in turn offering a vision of the world of work to people outside of our community. Each of the S&S talks highlighted a different element of I-O psychology's values whether it was the need for open access science, civility in the workplace, utilizing neurodiverse talent, valuing the feminine, or becoming an I-O entrepreneur . Each of these speakers spoke about what they cared about. I would recommend checking out the Shaken and Stirred YouTube Channel to see the level of innovation and intelligence on display in each of the S&S talks. 

But if we're serious about the dream of an #IOpsych Wakanda it can't just be S&S speakers that express the values in their hearts. We need all of you to participate. Which brings me to the beauty of Talya Bauer's Presidential call to action She gave some clear action steps about how to get involved in SIOP the organization. I want to support those remarks and ask each of you to take your IO Advocacy (#IOadvocacy anyone?) and bring your whole selves to SIOP whether its through submitting a poster, a panel, an IGNITE session, or an alternative session. Try to submit something this year that you truly care about. Maybe it isn't something that you think will be a slam dunk to get accepted but something that's true to who you are.

Submissions aren't the only way to affect SIOP. You can express your I-O Psych values as a SIOP reviewer. The conference has grown enormously and its important for all of us to not only submit but to review and participate in the content curation of our conference. Beyond the conference, there are many activities that we wish SIOP could take on. If you want SIOP to take on a project or see an opportunity for SIOP in an area that you're passionate about, join the organization, volunteer on a committee or just advocate for the science. 

Finally, I ask everyone to participate beyond SIOP. Whether that's by participating in other conferences (APS, APA, AOM) or bringing some new initiative to your workplace that's rooted in the science of I-O Psychology, or even talking about I-O psychology with a new audience (i.e. a high school class). You can even get involved in a Global Organization for Humanitarian Work Psychology project  It's up to us to express our pride for our field. By advocating for what we believe in I-O Psychology we can get true workplace science out into the world. If I can get my IO tweeps to create such funny, amusing jokes based on 1 silly photo then I hope I can encourage you to represent #TeamSIOP in a new setting where you can advocate for a Smarter Workplace. Let's build the community we dream of starting with SIOP but not stopping there.

With only a few days left before the SIOP submission deadline, there's no better time than now to get involved. Good luck with your submissions, your reviews, and your advocacy! 

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Everyone who participated in the caption contest was a winner (Though technically Lisa's tweet is the winner, so Dr. Lisa Kath is the winner) 

Everyone who participated in the caption contest was a winner (Though technically Lisa's tweet is the winner, so Dr. Lisa Kath is the winner) 

The Unexpected, Unplanned Magical Mystery Tour

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We have been quiet here on the Talent Metrics blog, but not for lack of trying. With SIOP submissions, some recent manuscript submissions and client projects we have been busy. We just haven't had time to post on the blog. The blog is a key part of what we're about at Talent Metrics because part of our company mission is to advocate for evidence-based data driven management and people practices. A large piece of that mission is being a part of local organizations. Each of the principal consultants at Talent Metrics is involved in some local organization related to human resources, talent management and I-O Psychology. Our advocacy comes in multiple forms whether its poster presentations at SIOP or the Association for Psychological Science  or writing research articles. This has expanded to participating in podcasts and speaking engagements. 

The very cool Department 12 podcast logo! 

The very cool Department 12 podcast logo! 

 

Recently Mike and I were on the Department 12 Podcast with our pal Dr. Ben Butina. Give the podcast a listen. Ben does a wonderful job interviewing some great names in I-O and talent management, you can learn a lot. Check out Mike and I discussing Text Analytics here

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Over the next two weeks Mike and I will be participating in a series of speaking engagements. On November 9th I'll be speaking with the Moxxie Mentoring Network Moxxie is a terrific "women's business community of high-achievers that provides resources, connections and experiential knowledge to peers" The organization provides young women the opportunity to connect, network, and learn from other women in business. I'll be discussing talent management strategy and employer branding. 

 

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On November 16th Mike and I will be presenting at the Association for Talent Development NYC I have been a member of ATD for quite a while and I currently serve on the ATD Long Island board (my local chapter!) Mike and I will facilitate a Conversation Hour about People Analytics. You can register for the event here or reach out to us by email if you have specific questions. 

Finally, on November 18th I'l be participating on a Diversity and Inclusion panel at NYU as part of a NY Organizational Psychology Student Association event. Check out the flier below for more information.

 

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We'd like to see you at any of these events. If you can't attend one of the above events and would like us to present feel free to reach out to us. We're always happy to visit! 

YouTuber: Career or Fad?

by Darla Van Govan

Note from Sy: We're lucky to be running our first guest post by one of our interns Darla Van Govan. Enjoy! Be sure to follow her at @IO_Psych101 

The Rise of YouTubers

Over the last 12 years, YouTube has become a daily destination for content. Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has transitioned from a video sharing platform to a content creating space. There has been an influx of individuals creating content on YouTube in recent years. Many of these individuals do it as weekend entertainment or as a secondary source of income. However, there has been a growing population of individuals who become full-time YouTubers. With the incorporation of AdSense and third party sponsorships, it has become possible to make a modest income. These individuals leave their more traditional occupations to devote time to their YouTube channels. Their goal in becoming full-time YouTubers is to grow their channel and their influence on other social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

In recent years, advancements in technology and science have created demands for jobs that did not exist a few decades ago. It can be said that being a YouTuber is one of the newer career choices available to individuals, particularly millennials. However, since it is a relatively new platform, it is often debated whether if being a YouTuber can even be a viable long-term career choice. This question has a complex answer that is both yes and no.  

There is a perception that being on YouTube is not a job, that it does not require or develop any useful skills typically found in “normal” jobs. A common complaint is that the typical YouTuber stays home all day, sits in front of the camera to talk about a topic (or themselves) or to demonstrate something. This is not the case at all.

Careful consideration must be taken with how a YouTuber is labeled. It is important to acknowledge that “YouTuber” is not a job title. For example, engineers at Google do not call themselves Googlers. Chemists at L’Oreal do not call themselves L’Orealers. Similarly, a YouTuber is not simply a YouTuber. This is extremely limiting and does not communicate YouTubers’ varied skills. Rather, it is more accurate to call them content creators. YouTube is a not a career or a job title, it is a platform for content creation.

 

Myth 1: Anyone Can Do YouTube

Content creators on YouTube have skills rooted in multiple disciplines. Three things are required for a successful YouTube channel: personality, niche content, and quality control. That is not to argue that having these three things will guarantee an aspiring Youtuber fame and fortune. It is unwise to make such promises. However, they are three important ingredients to success as a content creator on YouTube.

  • ·      Personality: This is a no brainer. An interesting and engaging personality will attract more views and subscribers. Everyone has a favorite YouTuber or two. We watch these favorites religiously. We watch them because we like them as a person and we like the content that they produce. The biggest and the most popular YouTubers are ones with recognizable personalities - PewDiePie, JennaMarbles, iJustine, Phillip DeFranco, and KSI to name a few. An opinionated personality makes a YouTuber easy to connect with; it makes them more than a face on a computer screen.      

  • ·         Niche Content: No doubt there are strong communities,, even industries in the YouTube space. A quick search on YouTube and you can easily find the heavy hitters in the Beauty Guru community and the experts in the Tech community. Other genres include Gaming, Lifestyle, and Pranks/Comedy. Having a defined channel ensures that the target audience is reached. It also makes it possible to network and collaborate with other YouTubers within the same genre. It also gives the YouTubers the ability to build camaraderie among the subscribers. Building a community with viewers is extremely vital to creating a loyal fanbase. Some fans are devoted enough to claim that they know their favorite YouTubers better than friends and family. Some even claim their favorite YouTubers are major influencers in their lives.

  • ·         Quality Control: It takes both time and money to create professional-level quality videos on YouTube. Many YouTubers invest in high-end microphone and camera set-ups as their viewership increases. There is also the need to learn how to use professional-grade editing software. Some of the larger channels, such as Unbox Therapy, even invest in separate filming studios. As many of these content creators rely on YouTube as either a primary or secondary source of income, producing quality content is regarded as extremely important.       

 

The purpose here is not to dissuade future aspirants from pursuing YouTube. It is imperative to remember that becoming a YouTuber in the comforts of one’s own home is not a get rich quick scheme. It requires unwavering dedication, time, and even money to truly have a chance at becoming successful on the platform. Those who start Youtube channels with the intention of becoming the next PewDiePie or IISuperwomanII will find themselves burnt out and discouraged when they realize their growth is not moving as quickly as they had hoped.   

 

Myth 2: I Can Do YouTube Forever

YouTubers can make an income, even at small amounts, from uploading videos to YouTube. But is it a career? Or even a job? Not quite so. The relationship between YouTubers and YouTube is not equal. Content creators are not employees of YouTube or Google. YouTube, in the end, does not owe content creators anything. There is no salary; there is no employer-employee contract vetted by a HR professional. The income YouTubers make is dependant on ad revenue and sponsorships, not a wage determined by YouTube. Rather than an employee, content creators are users of a service. That is all.  

This unilateral relationship was apparent in the recent YouTube policy changes termed “Adpocalypse” by many Youtubers. This began when the Wall Street Journal targeted PewDiePie after couple videos were deemed controversial. They ran with a sensational “PewDiePie is a Nazi” story. Further investigations led to the discovery that there are more controversial content on YouTube with ads enabled. This instigated a massive exodus of YouTube advertisers.

Another incident was when YouTube tried to be more transparent with their ad revenue policies. The new policy stated that if videos are demonetized by YouTube from that point onward, the content creators would be notified. This, of course, meant that prior to this new transparency policy, YouTube did not notify content creators when videos were demonetized. How ironic!  

This, as one can imagine, caused a ripple throughout the entire YouTube community as many well-known YouTubers’ earnings have dwindled; some by 60-80%. Many content creators have looked far and wide for other sources of income. These include Patreon and other donation set-ups, merchandise stores, moving onto other platforms or creating their own, and seeking sponsorships. A handful have already decided to leave content creation permanently. The moral of these recent events show that YouTubers may not always be able to stay YouTubers full-time. YouTube may not always exist as a viable source of income.

Another concern is the longevity of being a YouTube content creator. Using the trajectory of an educator’s career as an example, we can map out roughly the career path, from a student teacher to associate teacher to senior teacher. Some may enter the administrative side by becoming principals, joining school district administrations, or even, ahem, vying for the position of Secretary of Education. The changes in roles and responsibilities keep things relatively fresh over the course of a career. Variety is the spice of life. The same can be said about work life.

However, a YouTuber is always a YouTuber. The only way YouTubers can grow professionally is by finding new opportunities - which may not be readily available to a beginner YouTuber - and creating a variety of content. Making videos may get monotonous over time. Switching niches may be risky. A tech expert who wants to suddenly make videos about the vegan lifestyle may alienate a portion of their viewership. A career as a YouTube content creator can be inflexible as they are locked inside a bubble. This has been seen many times with content creators from BuzzFeed. In the last couple years, many BuzzFeed content creators have gone rogue in order to create their own unaffiliated content. However, their new content is similar to their BuzzFeed portfolio. Being known for one style of content or for a specific niche effectively typecasts content creators into that bubble.         

 

Myth 3: #YouTubeIsDying

Given what is discussed above, it may come across as a surprise that the Twitter hashtag is presented as a myth. Being an industrial-organizational psychologist is not just about identifying problems, it is also about figuring how to address them. Creating content for YouTube is not entirely a waste of time, especially for the younger individuals who are still identifying personal strengths and weaknesses. YouTubers develop skills that are relevant to and are valued in other careers. YouTubers are masters of content creation. This particular set of skills is valued in the digital marketing and branding spaces, for example. Another skill everyone must develop is verbal communication, regardless of industry. Learning to use editing software or a new piece of equipment can be accomplished over time. However, verbal communication is the first skill YouTubers need to master.

Soft skills should also be acknowledged. This includes time management, ability to be a self-starter, and manage a project or product development from start to finish. These skills are extremely needed in a variety of jobs. YouTube can be used to learn skills which are useful outside the video sharing platform. If YouTube does cease to exist one day, with careful personal re-branding and portfolio building, a YouTuber could easily find a job that fit their content creation skills.       

 

The Future of Youtube

What it means to be a YouTuber has already begun to see a transformation. In its humble beginnings, YouTube was used to share content for entertainment. Then it progressed into an income generating platform for content creators. Many YouTubers consider producing content a full-time occupation. Now, society is experiencing the age of influencers, which is a new tactic employed by marketing teams.    

Many YouTubers are already involved in large scale marketing campaigns. More and more YouTubers are becoming “Influencers.” Impacted by their internet celebritydom, YouTubers and other individuals with large social media followings are often targeted as brand and marketing tools. In the beauty industry,  there are many makeup, skin- and hair-care brands who are exclusively YouTube or Instagram-famous. One such brand famously known for YouTube affiliates is Morphe. Among the non-niche content creators, sponsorships, such as those from Crunchroll, LootCrate, SquareSpace, and GlassesUSA, are commonplace. In a political twist, Hillary Clinton sought out endorsements from influential YouTubers during the campaign trail. This does not mean that YouTubers are no longer trustworthy in their opinions and in their content. Most of them continue to create trustworthy content that are enjoyable. This only reveals a growing trend in how online marketing is achieved today.

     So what is the “TL;DR” short answer to the question of whether if YouTubing is a viable career choice? Being a content creator on a video-sharing platform is not a lifelong career move. There is no guarantee that income generating, video-sharing platforms will still be present in 15-20, or even 30 years. However, the skills one develops as a content creator may open up opportunities elsewhere.

One such opportunist is Michelle Phan, one of the original beauty gurus on YouTube. Once she gained large enough of a following, she was able to pursue business ventures. On a smaller scale, other beauty gurus often collaborate in makeup collections with established brands. Philip DeFranco, who creates daily news show content, is in the process of establishing his own independent news network. Casey Neistat, another well known giant on YouTube, controversially sells his company to CNN for $25 million. Neistat’s fans now joke that CNN now stands for Casey Neistat Network.   

All of these examples show that even now, YouTubers are smartly reaching for opportunities that go beyond making videos on YouTube. They acknowledge that in order to survive with a social media-driven career, they must become entrepreneurs and create opportunities for themselves, just as the Kardashians famously (or infamously, depending on your views) did in their rise to fame. Just as how Kylie Jenner is now on her way to $1 billion from her cosmetics line.    

Post-SIOP 2016 Reflection

 

I had almost forgotten to write my post SIOP 2016 thoughts until I came across this set of pictures from the 2016 conference. SIOP 2016 still feels like a whirlwind and while I made it to many sessions, I did not attend as many as I would have liked.  Here are my thoughts after experiencing IO psychology’s biggest annual conference:

1)      Data science- Data science was one of the prominent themes at this year’s SIOP conference. I attended a number of sessions about machine learning, big data, deep learning and related topics. There seemed to be much concern among session attendees that IO psychology was falling behind in the area of statistics and data science.  However, as David Morgan from Facebook stated it will take data scientists much longer to learn psychology then it will for IO psychologists to learn data science. Ultimately, big data, deep learning, and machine learning are newer techniques that IO psychology practitioners and academics are in a unique position to take advantage of.  IO practitioners are poised to take the lead in workplace research. We just need to learn how to leverage these new tools and techniques to generate new insights.

2)      Translators- Many of the sessions I attended and many of the conversations that I had with friends, colleagues, and students were around the increased attention on our field. Whether that attention has come from the work of Lazlo Bock, Adam Grant, or the Re:Work initiative. This increased interest in our field means that we have a unique opportunity to effectively communicate the fundamental ideas of IO psychology to our students, clients, and stakeholders. Whether it was a panel on survey design, situational judgment tests, or data analytics, speakers focused on the importance of IO psychology practitioners’ ability to communicate to those outside of our field. There was great excitement about new journals such as Bowling Green’s Personnel Assessment and Decisions. This journal's primary objective is to bridge the gap between science, practitioners, and business stakeholders. The message from SIOP 2016 was clearer than ever: we must all advocate for evidence-based management.

3)      Technology- There were many panels on technological innovations that were shaping the way we have done traditional IO work. Whether it was mobile pulse surveys, web-based simulations or e-learning we are finding new ways of using our methods and assessments. You couldn't walk around the SIOP exhibition hall without seeing new and exciting tools for simulations or assessment centers. This is an exciting time to be in the field because we are able to collect data using these technologies which will ultimately help us develop even more robust tools and statistical techniques. 

4)      ‘Classic' Methodology- Even though we are seeing innovations in the amount of data, technology, and demand for IO services there was a sense at this year’s SIOP that we have to stay true to ourselves. That we need to remain true to what we know about selection, training, performance management, and organizational development. None of the technological innovations are changing what constitutes good science. Nor does it change our goals as IO psychology practitioners but the technology does expand our tool box and may help us become more efficient.

5)      Teaming up- If it’s good enough for the Avengers then its good enough for SIOP! It was wonderful to see that SHRM was a sponsor of this year’s conference. It was also exciting to hear about the many wonderful local IO groups that have been recently formed around the country. My local IO group, Metro, had a strong presence at the conference this year and I learned from some of my co-panelists about local IO groups in Dallas, DC, and Minnesota. These partnerships and organizations (at the local and national level) will only help to strengthen the field of IO psychology and help us make an even greater impact in the workplace. It’s great to see SIOP take such a leading role at recognizing the benefits of partnership and collaboration.

6)      The expanding scope of IO Psychology- When I first started studying IO psychology in 2007 I initially felt that our science’s only application could be found in corporate America. Over the years, I have learned otherwise. IO psychology’s principles of methodological rigor paired with evidence-based decision making can be found in the worlds of market research, program evaluation, healthcare (just to name a few applications). One of the most exciting areas is the work of the Global Organization for Humanitarian Work Psychology. The GOHWP is a coalition of individuals from low- to high-income countries devoted to the field of humanitarian work psychology “whose purpose is to further the synthesis of organizational, industrial, work, and other areas of psychology with deliberate and organized efforts to enhance human welfare”.  The GOHWP provides our field an opportunity to extend our science into unforeseen areas of practice. IO psychology has much to offer non-profit and governmental organizations. The work of the GOHWP includes expanding research into areas involving different samples (i.e. Nicaraguan garment workers) working in varied organizations (businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations) and using research science to tackle real-world issues (i.e. employability, poverty). Talent Metrics proudly offers its services to local non-profit organizations in NY and Florida. GOHWP is a wonderful endeavor and it continues to grow year after year. Ashlee Hoffman, Dr. Stuart Carr, and Laura Sywulak of GOHWP lead a lively discussion at the GOHWP SIOP party. There are exciting Humanitarian Work Psychology initiatives happening at organizations like the  UN (and other non-profit organizations) that will allow IO practitioners to expand their skillset. If you are a student looking for an opportunity to practice what you learned in class, a practitioner looking to try your hand at a new challenge, or  an academic looking to conduct research in an exciting new area, humanitarian work psychology may have something to offer to you. Reach out to GOHPW on Twitter or at their website  to get involved!

These are my takeaways from SIOP, but I would love to hear yours! The time period right after the conference is when I’m most energized and excited about the field. Please post them in the comments below or send me a message on Twitter at @IOSyIslam