Updated: May 10, 2021
I know that there are a lot of us out there that have been feeling pretty stressed the past several months, so I hope that you guys are taking some time for yourself. I wanted to share my number one piece of advice for other therapists, based on what has happened this year, what I've seen happen to my friends, things that I've been through, and things other PTs that I've met have told me about their jobs. After giving it a lot of thought, this is the number one thing that I would urge you to do.
Physical therapy is a field where there's always going to be a job opportunity out there for you. And I think that there are a lot of us who just feel like this profession and this career is really safe, and that once you have your job, you'll be safe and everything will be fine. But based on what we've seen this year with the pandemic (which is obviously not something that you can plan for) just because you have that job, doesn't mean that you're safe.
So, I want to tell you that one of the best things that you could possibly do this year is to learn how to be scrappy and to learn how to stand on your own two feet. This is not just something for people who want to launch a huge full time brick and mortar business anymore. There are a lot of different ways that you can learn how to make yourself into a business entity and start making money and supporting yourself on your own. You don't have to depend fully on somebody else, or on a corporate healthcare location in order to create an income for yourself.
Learning how to be scrappy is learning how to support yourself and advocate for yourself, especially in your career because nobody's going to do it for you. You can have the greatest coworkers in the world and the greatest management team in the world, but nobody is going to look out for you the way that you can look out for yourself.
So you need to learn how to support yourself, because you can't play by anybody else's rules. You need to play by your own rules, moving forward. With this piece of advice, you need to figure out how to support yourself and stand on your own two feet. It can look like a bunch of different things, but you know that you will always have something to fall back on, even if you do pursue a full time position. But you need to have things in the works on the side so that you have a fallback.
So many therapists have told me the horrible things that they've gone through, whether it's the way that their company is treating them or that they’ve had jobs and lost them this year, especially travel therapists.
But there is so much that you guys can do. You guys are so educated and valuable and helpful, and there's so much that is available for you - even if it looks like you starting your own practice like I did, which is something that I love and I think that anybody can do. I think the cool thing about the way that I teach therapists how to have their own practice is that you can become your own business entity and then see people at home, see people at their houses, see people online. You don't have to have this huge brick and mortar business to help people.
You can create a coaching program or an online course. I know that there are tons of pelvic floor therapists out there who are creating pelvic floor courses for their patients, just because it’s a topic that there needs to be a lot more education on in society. And my boyfriend Kyle made one about acute care physical therapy. You can write a book - my friend Jeremy Sutton helps tons of people with writing books. You have so many skills available to you that you can leverage to create an income for yourself as opposed to just a regular nine to five job.
So again, my number one piece of advice is you need to learn how to be scrappy and support yourself. It's something that you need to do right now because you need to protect yourself, keep yourself healthy, and keep yourself moving forward.
Advocate for yourself because nobody else is going to do it for you. And you can definitely do it.