Director of a Girls Scout camp, behavioral services coordinator at a brain injury rehab center, and behavioral coordinator at a specialized nursing facility for dual medical/psychiatrically diagnosed individuals.
Was an administrative assistant for an insurance guy and worked as a staff member at a university while waiting tables as a second job. Granted, I also majored in theater as an undergrad and didn't figure out psychology until about 3 years after I graduated. Thankfully the staff member job gave me free classes and I was able to get into a PhD program after a few years of coursework and volunteer research.
I worked as a recruiter for a company immediately after I graduated from undergrad. I left that job after 4 months, took a GRE prep class at a university, studied, took the GRE and applied to a master's program in cognitive neuroscience. I attended that program, worked as a researcher and as a psychometrist for a nearby medical school until I graduated. After I graduated, I worked as a corporate recruiter during the summer until I moved from Texas to Florida so that my husband could attend pharmacy school. I worked in a private neurology practice here in South Florida as a psychometrist...the money was sporadic, so I also worked in a customer service job for a call center until I applied for a Psy.D. program. I start that program in two days.
The full-time job was flexible, I could work different shifts, either day or night, as well as weekends. And, the lab manager job wasn't a strict time outside of lab meetings, so I could schedule some things around that schedule as well.
I ask because I am a few years out of graduating with a BS in biology (I was pre-med). I worked in a gastrointestinal research lab for 1.5 years and 2nd authored a paper. Once deciding against med school, I went into health consulting to buy some time and now I've landed at wanting to pursue clinical psychology. How can I make myself competitive without an undergrad degree in psych and without specifically psych research? Are there alternatives to going back to working in a lab (but this time a psych lab)? Financially, I'd prefer not to do that. Let me know if you have any creative ideas!! Thank you in advance.
Honestly, I don't know if there are many alternatives to trying to get at least some psychology research experience, even if it's just volunteering while you still work. Alternatively, as you mentioned, there's the option of pursuing a research-oriented master's degree.
The psych degree would be less of a barring factor if you've completed the pre-requisite coursework. If you haven't, there may be no other option than either another bachelor's or a master's.
I should mention that my path was only quasi-non-traditional. It'd probably be more accurately described as protracted and circumlocutious. My undergrad was in psych and I had a couple years' worth of psych research experience across two labs, but that whole process took a little while. And I then worked for a year full-time afterward (in a non-related field) while re-applying.