Happy June! The summer solstice is just around the corner, and this is a time of year that marks transition. A fresh cohort of graduates are embarking upon the next phase of their professional lives: launching their careers! As daunting as this is, ITM is here to help.
ITM works hard to prepare students to be ready to enter the profession. We're here to help to guide students in determining what type of massage therapist they’d like to be, such as whether they’d prefer to work in private practice or to work as an employee. We're also here to provide resources needed for graduates to actualize their career paths, such as how to conduct job searches, write résumés, succeed at interviews, or start and grow practices.
At the same time, students need to be
for the changes that accompany being a professional, such as facing the demands of completing all steps necessary to attain licensure, feeling comfortable charging for services or not feeling intimidated by marketing your practice. At times, changes push us all beyond our comfort zones.
While these shifts are sometimes challenging to navigate, these transitions provide invaluable learning opportunities in the continuing education course called "life." As M. Scott Peck writes:
The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."
For many of us, surmounting the emotional hurdles in the transition from a student to a professional
requires developing a routine of self-care practices, and paramount to this is what is often referred to as achieving “work-life balance”.
As you begin a long career in massage therapy, you may want to
reflect on what “Work-Life Balance”
means to you
Many of us feel vibrant and alive at work. When our work is meaningful and fulfilling, “work-life” balance simply does NOT mean “Life is what happens when I’m not working.”
With that said, work has its challenges, and time for rest, renewal and the pursuit of other activities is necessary. Therefore, work-life balance can mean for many of us that we simply have
. Reflect on what work-life balance means to you, and consider what types of boundaries can help you achieve equilibrium, purpose and joy in your life.
As a final reminder: a keyword through any transition is
. One of the keys to having boundaries in life is knowing when to go with the flow. As life proverbially happens, priorities often need to shift. When we are ill, physical health becomes a top priority. If you’re committed to weekly yoga but find an important networking opportunity, perhaps you find you need to skip yoga to instead have a cup of coffee with a colleague.
As you move through uncomfortable zones and strive to impart balance in your life, give yourself some freedom of flexibility to shift priorities as needed, and you’ll be ahead of the curve.