I have found goal setting to be increasingly difficult as I get older. As I look back on my path to PT school, very little of what I did was planned more than 6 months to a 1 year in advance. For example, in college my career goals extended as far as getting to the next semester. This led me to a co-op at a plastic plant, then an internship at Ford, and finally working at Volvo as sales engineer after graduating. Which then led to personal training. Which then led to physical therapy. Personally, I use goals as rough guidelines to get going in some direction-but I also allow for serendipity because opportunities, connections, and interests seem to spring up that I never could have planned for.
So my tentative goals are (with a tentative plan for each):
1. By June 2020, find an outpatient orthopedic job after graduating that is low-moderate volume, has a staff who I click with, and offers a work-life balance that I align with. When I graduated college I took a job that paid well, however it didn’t align with me in many ways. It was a learning experience, but it was tough to transition out of the job and start on a new path. Hopefully, now with clinical and professional experience I hope to find a job that would fit with me.
a. Start job searching in January online. In addition, I will gently reach out to previous colleagues, classmates, and mentors.
b. Search in the Arlington and Washington, D.C. area mostly, as well as, Richmond.
c. Practice interviewing with classmates, as well as, have my resume critiqued by classmates, mentors, and faculty who are able to help.
2. By June 2021 become certified in medical Spanish interpretation in order to work with Spanish speaking clients. I have a mild obsession with the Spanish language and thoroughly enjoyed interpreting at the CARES clinic. With an ever growing Spanish speaking population (especially in Northern Virginia), interpretation is a valuable tool to differentiate oneself as a PT.
a. Resume daily DuoLingo practice, as well as, find an intermediate Spanish course (wherever I end up after graduating).
b. Learn what are the requirements and process for obtaining a Spanish medical interpretation certification.
3. By September 2022, develop a side business for geriatric clients focusing on strength and conditioning and fall risk reduction for the elderly. I would potentially like to expand this to a full time career. My interest in a business focusing on geriatric clients stems from my Clinical Education II experience at a Skilled Nursing Facility, a summer geriatrics module, and the connection I feel towards that population.
a. Take a training job at a local gym and/or geriatric program (like Silver Sneakers)
b. Shadow practitioners who work with elderly clients and learn their approach
c. Market test for clients and locate a gym where I could practice independently