Behavior analysis is not a field you should enter by taking just any job. You’re not a camp counselor watching over children for a couple of months. Behavior analysis is serious work.
I’m being asked to step too close to the ethical edge and I’m afraid as I inch closer I may no longer see where that line is.” Followed by some frantic, ‘what am I going to do’ comments was the ‘how did I get this so wrong’ question.
This story is such a common experience in ABA today. ABA wasn’t like this when I started. Which is a big reason I wrote a cautionary book. There’s an entire chapter devoted to ‘the bait’ that is dangled for prospective employees.
I’d like to consider another way in which bait is dangled. This time, the after-hire-bait.
So, what makes a behavior analyst good? I’m sure there are a lot of opinions on this topic and here’s one more. Along with adherence to our ethics code, here are my top qualities list:
I would also advise you to consider a supervisor with these qualities. Best of luck in your endeavors to change the world.
I can’t even begin to spell out all the ways being respectful of others will pay off for you beginning a career. For me, in addition to being an enthusiastic learner, being respectful will get you face time with me over credentials or accolades any day of the week.
I learn by relating to past experiences and in this case I’m going to relate beginning in your profession to giving birth: Many people research and plan it out, some better than others. Some people get lucky with a good experience despite their lack of planning. Sometimes plans do not pan out no matter how thought through. Changes to the plan are necessary at times for the safety of all involved, though not typically welcomed. There’s one thing in common: everyone has an experience to share. Here’s mine.