The Changing Roles of SLPs
At one time or another, we have all considered breaking free of our traditional roles and doing something different. Starting a business or working freelance as an independent contractor come to mind, and many people grab the bull by the horns and sally forth into the unknown. Okay, so as professional SLPs, it’s not that risky. The demand is so great that we can always find a great job. What would you do if you could just pick up and change everything? Here are some options to consider.
Telehealth positions are becoming increasingly popular as a cost-effective measure, especially in rural areas where patients might be separated by a lot of distance. There are a number of advantages, including working from home or from a quiet office, servicing patients who are in comfortable and familiar surroundings, so less time is spent trying to get the attention of young ones or see to the comfort of older ones before you can even begin the session. This is an area that is destined for explosive growth in the near future as schools and insurance companies struggle to control costs. To prepare for a career in SLP telecommuting, learn to use the essential technology, tools, and apps that will allow you to deliver the same quality care as a face-to-face interaction…that you can look forward to doing in your bunny slippers, perhaps with a nice cup of chai tea at hand.
While you may not have considered a traveling position, there are an astounding number to be had. Search any travel staffing job board to find positions all over the U.S. And even abroad. There is plenty of appeal to travel work, including exciting new experiences: New places to explore, people to meet (and expand your network), different cultures (even within the U.S.) and different cuisines to tickle your taste buds. The possibilities are endless, and the key is to choose areas that offer new experiences. A travel lifestyle isn’t for everyone…it can feel a bit rootless. But for a newly divorced SLP who wants to start anew, it can be a great way to sample different places with an eye to settling down, or just a great way to meet new people who won’t ask those awkward questions. For the older SLP, whose kids are grown and whose spouse is retired, it’s a great way to do that traveling you’ve always talked about…without dipping into your savings. And for the young person who isn’t yet tied down, it’s a fantastic opportunity to strike out on your own and find an environment that suits you, where you can see yourself spending your life, building a business, and making your career happen. It’s great experience on a resume, and a great way to work excitement into your life while still being responsible. You can follow the sun, find the fresh powder if winter sports is your thing, or just take a coast-to-coast approach and choose your assignments at random for a few weeks of…different.
Whatever approach you take will ratchet your career into high gear, adding experience and padding your resume with impressive accomplishments. Breaking out of the box can be both exhilarating and lucrative. And all you have to do is believe in yourself.