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At a cross road...career wise


Sean

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Ok, so I am a graduate student at a school, studying to get my masters in Occupational Therapy. It's a great field, that pays well ($50,000 is starting salary), good health coverage, and you can get this job anywhere in the world. However, I don't know if it's the job for me. It requires you to be an extroverted person, to always have a smile on your face and congratulate your patient on the smallest of successes. I'm sorry, but I am not that person. 1. I am very introverted 2. I don't always have a smile on my face and I don't do the whole fake smile thing, and 3. I can't do the whole fake "oh so proud of you" thing either. If you can't tell by now, I am a cynic.

 

However, what other options do I have? My choices are either finish OT school, go to a job that I'll hate....but I can do, or drop out, and struggle to find a job because well, our economy sucks right now. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree, which as I have found out, is worth alittle bit less than toilet paper. No one is impressed that you have a B.A. as your undergrad degree.

 

I know I keep hearing about all the wonderful things you can do with a B.A. but honestly, I'm not seeing any of it. I've tried to get hire with a B.A. but no luck, I'm either overqualified or underqualified.

 

Things I am passionate about and that I think I can turn into a career is aviation and writing. I've thought about seeing if I could be a journalist, but I think someone with a degree in journalism would get hired over me.

 

Thoughts?

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I wouldn't write off Occupational Therapy so quick. Personally if I needed OT, I would rather have a more low-key Occupational Therapist than someone I thought was being fake. You can be supportive and a good therapist without overdoing it. And if the majority of your work is one on one with a patient that seems to fit the bill of an introverted person if you develop personal relatinships with your patients.

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Don't write off OT just yet.

 

Have you been out into the various settings, experiencing the different job settings?

 

Don't rule it out.

I worked 1.5 years in a hospital setting, in the therapy department, and not everyone was a happy go lucky, extrovert people person. I am not a happy go lucky extrovert person and I was running recreation classes with 5-10 patients with physical disabilities and holding down court pretty well. My bonds and interaction with patients worked, I brought a quiet timid presense to the team, and was often approached y many patients who felt intimadated by the loud, outspoken extroverted therapist.

 

And the OT's weren't all rainbow and butterfly people. In fact there was one whom I never saw smile the entire time I was there. She was great at her job, she got * * * * done, and that what her position and role within the team.

 

You do have to have some sort of interest or passion to work with people. To make a difference, its VERY rewarding..but don't rule it out because you think you need to be a certain type of personality.

 

I'd say get out there and volunteer and put yourself in the places, if you haven't already.

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