Finding A Job That Supports Your Trauma Treatment Niche
Professional development is an important part of career development. Having an employer that encourages your growth through professional development is vital, but that is not the only essential component. The other pieces consist of having clarity about your career path and having conversations with your supervisor to set goals and ask for support.
When I first graduated from graduate school, I remember being happy to secure a job. Being able to practice what I had learned and getting paid for my time and skills was a big accomplishment. I was not concerned with how my job would impact my immediate professional development and my long-term career goals. As I continued to progress in my career, I started to realize that my jobs would be a vital key to what helped me reach my goals and gain the necessary skills I needed. The last couple of jobs I took before going into private practice were positions I sought out for the training and experience I would gain. I believe the experience and training I have received through my jobs have helped me become a better trauma therapist.
You also can be intentional in your job search. Below are three things you can do to ensure that your everyday working environment positively impacts your professional development, which in turn progresses your career development.
- Have a career vision and a mentor. It is important that you take time to think about where you want to be in the next 3, 5, or 10 years. It will be easier to communicate this to your employer if you have clarity for yourself. I also encourage you to consider getting a mentor once you have your vision. Mentors can be helpful in providing guidance and connections to help you along the way. I go over how to create a vision and find a mentor in my blog post called, Finding A Mentor Who Specializes in Trauma, which can be found here.
- Ensuring your employee’s core values align with yours. Making sure that each employer you are considering values trauma treatment and professional development is vital. There is no need for aligning yourself with an employer that doesn’t value the same things you do. You will most likely end up frustrated and feel like you wasted valuable time. Consider coming up with a list of questions to ask the potential employer that will help you identify if your core values align.
- Communicating your needs. Now that you have your career vision and you know that your employer’s core values align with yours, it is time to ask for what you need. This sometimes can be the hardest part. Making sure to have quarterly, bi-annual or annual conversations with your employer to set goals and express your need for support to reach those goals. It may be that you need to ask for financial assistance or educational time off to take a training. Whatever the need is, it is important to communicate it.
Finding a job that supports your trauma treatment niche starts long before the first interview. It starts with you determining where you want to go in your career. Once you clearly identify your vision it is important to interview your potential employer as much as they interview you. You want to make sure that they value the same things you do. When all that is established, having conversations with your employer about your needs and how they can support you in reaching your goals is vital.
Comment below: What would be some questions you could ask a potential employer to know if they are a good fit for you as you develop your trauma treatment niche?