Guide to Choosing Your Nonclinical PT/OT/SLP/PTA/OTA Career TransitionMay 20, 2022
Guide to Choosing Your Nonclinical PT/OT/SLP/PTA/OTA Career Transition
Are you a burnt out PT, OT, SLP, PTA or OTA/COTA looking for a change? It can be overwhelming and confusing knowing that you want a change in career but not knowing where to even start in your non clinical career search and how to make the right choice. In this article we’ll answer the following questions:
- What are key questions to ask yourself when transitioning to a nonclinical career
- What are some key search terms to find nonclinical job postings
- What are key questions to ask during your nonclinical interview
Alternative Healthcare Careers has helped over 10,000 people over the past 2 years discover their ideal alternative career or business. Using our various job backgrounds in medical sales, public speaking, dementia consulting, self publishing, CEU creation, special education teaching, ergonomics, travel therapy, online marketing, virtual assisting, blogging, and as a geriatric wellness and home health business owner – we’ve been sharing tips and advice from our experience. In addition, we’ve interviewed many therapists and assistants who have gone on to transition into technology roles, informatics, utilization review roles and so many more amazing alternative careers!
What are key questions to ask yourself when transitioning to a nonclinical career?
You are burnt out, frustrated, in physical and or mental pain, and wanting out of clinical care! But, you still want to make sure your next move can keep you happy for the next 10 plus years and be a better day to day experience than your current job.
Here are some questions to help you narrow down what would make you happy in your non clinical career:
- I want you take a moment to close your eyes and picture what your ideal day would look like. Write down some key points from your vision.
- Do you need or want to work remotely? Do you need or want to work fully remote, or would hybrid remote work be a better fit?
- Do you need to work a full time job, part time or just contract?
- Do you need to be paid a salary or are comfortable with a salary plus commission?
- Do you want flexible hours but perhaps have to work evenings or are you better working a straight 8-4:30?
- Do you want interaction with patients/clients?
- Do you want interaction with team members/coworkers/interdisciplinary members?
- Do you want to be on social media and do sales or promotions?
- Would you be comfortable making phone calls?
- Do you like to learn new things, especially technology?
- Are you a self starter or need more structure?
- Do you need/really want upward mobility?
Many of these questions will help you know if you want to search remote roles, part time roles, more sales roles, to name a few ideas. Hopefully from this list, you can then move to our search terms and begin your job hunt!
What are some key search terms and tips to find nonclinical job postings:
- The first tip is to add your professional title to any job you want to search for. We have helped many therapist and assistants who report that they only are finding RN roles – but by adding X role PT or X role OT, then you’ll likely pull in more relevant jobs for any title.
- The next tip is to try many different variations of one title. For example, say you wanted an ergonomics position. Just typing in ergonomics may not pull up relevant positions but instead of giving up, try to type in ergonomic specialist, injury prevention specialist, ergonomic therapist, ergonomic PT (or OT, OTA,COTA, PTA) or write out ergonomic physical therapy or ergonomic occupational therapy.
- When you search, take time to scroll several pages of your search to see if a relevant job comes up.
- When you search, take time to open up the job post – even if it doesn’t say your professional title because often the job post header many not name all titles that are excepted for the position
- Do not limit yourself to roles that directly as for therapists or assistants. If you want a technology or recruiting role, often they will not be technically looking for a therapist or assistant although you would be welcome to apply.
- Common search terms for utilization review positions include therapist reviewer, utilization review -PT (or other respective titles), skilled inpatient care coordinator, home health care coordinator, preservice care coordinator
- Common search terms for ergonomics include ergonomic specialist, injury prevention specialist, ergonomics PT/OT/PTA/COTA/OTA etc, health educator, WHS specialist
- Common technology search terms: clinical educator, CEU creator, customer support specialist, onboarding specialist, customer satisfaction specialist, digital marketing
What are key questions to ask during your nonclinical interview:
- Many non-clinical jobs involve learning entirely new skillsets. As a result, its important to ask about the companies training and onboarding procedures.
- A great question is to ask the interviewer what they love most about the job?
- Another great question is to ask if they can give a break down of a day in the life, or of the work duties of an example day.
- It’s a tricky question, but you can subtly ask about upward mobility if you feel comfortable
- Make sure during or after the interview, you gain an understanding of the pay system and if it will be salary or commission -usually the job post may have this information as well.
In addition to these questions that you would want to ask the interviewer, it’s also important to ask Facebook groups like our own Alternative Careers for Rehabilitation Professionals or other groups to get feedback on how someone liked working for X company or liked working in X role.
I hope this article has helped provide you with a guide as to what questions to ask yourself when you are preparing for your alternative career role and help you then know the next steps to take to find your dream nonclinical career!
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