One of my longtime friends (I am not going to say how long (because that might put an undue large number of years on both of us) recently wrote a book...Move your Æ Ashe: Know, Grow, Show Your Career Value. I immediately purchased it because a) I wanted to support my friend and b) you never know what you will learn when you pick up something not typically in your wheelhouse.
Paul draws on his years in the business world as an employee and as a leader to share with us his ideas on how we should demonstrate our career value so that we can have the job satisfaction that we want. He uses a lot of real life examples (I love the ones of his children, whom I have known since they were babies!) and business concepts to demonstrate his ideas. Some of his conversation is around maintaining job skills and relevance as the world speeds up around us. One of the best things he does, is his synopsis and application questions at the end of each chapter...a great way to apply the knowledge that he shares.
I will leave it to Paul to explain to you why he chose Æ. Here are some key takeaways:
1. Know your career value: As physical therapists, many of us know our career value. We are highly sought after, and if we continue to keep up our A-game and be up to date, that one is not so hard to maintain. Paul asks a great question...if a recruiter called you and asked, what are your the 3 things you want them to know about your Æ (career value)? I haven't pondered this one lately but it does put things into perspective.
2. Grow your career value: Growing our career value is much more difficult. As a new therapist, we are working to acquire the experiences that will help us to be good at what we do, which will grow our value. We all are required to attend continuing education to maintain our licenses...but spending the time to go to the quality continuing education that may not be local, spending the money on APTA/APedPT membership so that we can get the journals and have access to their resources, that is a stretch for some of us. Maintaining our level of knowledge consistent with the evidence, applying them skillfully (which may include technology, apps and other ways of doing we aren't familiar with), and continuing to grow in the process is a lot of work and time as well. This begs the question, what are you doing to grow your career value?
3. Show your career value: Some of us work in places where we are highly visible, and so we can easily show our career value. GoBabyGo comes to mind, a highly visible, tangible program that directly helps kids. Because many of us work for institutions (hospitals, schools, government), showing our value is a bit more challenging. Some of us can use social media for these purposes, create projects that can be showcased, or volunteer with professional associations/community groups where our work is seen and evident. But much of what we do is seen on a much smaller scope and felt on a much more individual basis. I would even venture so far as to say showing value within an institution is not really encouraged. So the question is, how are you showing your career value? What steps can you take to do this?
I would recommend this book if you are looking for thoughts on how to improve your career value, whether you are starting your career or a seasoned therapist, if you are looking to instill some new life and meaning into your work, or striving to make some changes. We can all use a little help from our friends!