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Laureates in Conversation: Perspectives from a PhD student

At the 12th APS Industrial and Organisational Psychology Conference in Sydney, I was privileged to attend a Keynote Conversation with ARC Laureate Fellows Professors Sharon Parker and Alex Haslam. Each speaker was asked questions regarding their current work and the various routes they have taken to ensure their work has impact in the field. Listening to their thoughts and was a refreshing, motivating and downright inspiring experience for an emerging professional in the field of I/O psychology.

Throughout the conversation was an underlying message eloquently articulated by Sharon: I/O psychologists have the unique capacity to “understand and proactively shape the forces guiding the future of work.” We understand organisations at the individual, team and organisational level, and we need to better show the world what we can do with this understanding.

Our profession has a bigger role than ever to play in today’s society because of the rapidly changing nature of the workforce and we need to ensure we have a say in guiding this change. We have to be creative about how we market ourselves and reach out to other disciplines so that they know what we can contribute, and how valuable that contribution is.

Whenever I speak to others outside our field and tell them about my studies in organisational psychology, the two most common things I hear are “that is so relevant in today’s world” or “wow, organisational psychologists are really needed!” However, many of these people never really knew that I/O psychology existed and how valuable it is until I told them.

As a PhD student and emerging I/O psychologist, the Keynote Conversation inspired me to take up the challenge of ensuring I am a part of the conversations and processes that are shaping the future of work.

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