How’s The View?
Are you viewed as an expert in your community?
Or are you just another worker bee fighting to make it through your daily schedule of patients?
I’m not a big fan of comparing ourselves to other professionals. It’s usually a no-win exercise. However, I believe it’s wise for us to periodically look up from the daily grind to see how the world of therapy has changed.
Hopefully, you haven’t bought into the myth that if keep your head down, work hard and do what expected your job is going to be “safe”.
I wouldn’t count it.
Recently at a hospital in my community, the entire therapy staff was told to reapply for their jobs during a major department restructuring to cut costs. Even the therapists that had been with this hospital for over 25 years were not spared. Unless these seasoned therapists can justify their salaries they will be sent packing.
To succeed in today’s healthcare marketplace it’s of vital importance that you are recognized as an expert and have a community of loyal supporters that follow you wherever you go.
Now, here’s what might surprise you.
The Explosion of Part-Time Therapy Jobs
By 2020, 40 to 50% American workers will be freelancers. (Thomas Fisher “The Contingent Workforce and Public Decision Making”) Imagine what your clinic would look like if half of the employees including therapists were temps or part-time workers.
Most of us will have to work even harder to hold on to the few full-time jobs with benefits.
If you’re one of the therapists who is having their hours reduced or sent home when patient loads are low you know first hand what the new healthcare economy feels like.
My good friend Sarah Lyons has written a great post on the 6 Steps to the Right OT Job that outlines the process in finding the right place to serve.
As the next healthcare economy emerges, what does ‘self-employed’ therapy jobs really mean for you? You might be asking what a freelance healthcare worker looks like or what skills must be mastered to be a freelance therapist.
” The next economy is not next; it’s already here.”
– Thomas Fisher, University of Minnesota
First and foremost, we have to stand out in an area of practice or expertise. We need to have something to offer the marketplace that few others do.
In other words, our knowledge and skills as therapists is just the price of admission. In today’s competitive environment it’s essential you create a professional platform where you’re known as a catagory authority who can be trusted. Without a platform to get noticed we simply are lost in the overabundance of choices that consumers face.
For the majority of us, our therapy degree didn’t prepare us to position our value in the marketplace. This is where physical therapists often burying their heads in the sand, opting instead for the safety of a larger entity run by so-called business and marketing experts.
To their own peril, there are a lot of therapists that are not taking personal responsibility for their professional reputation or brand. Sure, you can take the chance that perhaps all those hours helping patients will be noticed and pay off.
But why risk it?
Why not take the time to think strategically about how you’d like to be recognized then work to make it happen.
You might be confident in your clinical knowledge and skills. Most therapists are and they should be. The problem is they aren’t recognized as such by the people that make the most difference–healthcare consumers. Therapy professionals have relied on physicians and large healthcare organizations to feed them their daily supply of patients.
It’s like the bears at national parks that are fed by tourists. They’ve become dependent on artificial food sources and forget how to feed themselves. When convenient food sources are cut off bears are helpless to fend for themselves and struggle to survive.
For decades therapist’s incomes have been dependent upon others for their weekly supply of clients and payments. As referral sources are controlled, therapists realize they need to generate referrals for themselves to make a living.
Become A Recognized Expert
Dorie Clark, one of my favorite authors, has interviewed hundreds of leading thinkers in fields from technology, business and healthcare. Her research has shown there are consistent and reliable strategies that any professional can follow to become a recognized expert.
Based on her research over the past decade, Dorie has developed a resource called the Recognized Expert Evaluation Toolkit, which you can use right now, for free.
It’s a scored evaluation that will quickly show you where you stand in terms of your brand in the marketplace. The assessment will give you feedback about where you can most effectively focus your efforts to build your professional brand.
It will help you determine…
…what stage of development your public profile is at, compared to your peers…
…how you perform in the three fundamental elements of becoming a Recognized Expert…
…how to get the greatest ROI on your brand-building activities…
…and you can download it all, right now for free:
Recognized Expert Toolkit
The big benefit of following Dorie’s advice is that you are able to build a professional platform that is able to withstand any changes in the healthcare system. No matter the economic framework, consumers will always be searching for experts they trust for the care of their bodies.
If nothing else, stopping to look up will help you think more creatively and take responsibility for your own career. Without a doubt, therapists who approach their careers this way will be increasingly rewarded in the future. Those who don’t will be exposed the whims and politics of policy makers and institutions.
Tell us about how you’ve taken charge of your career by becoming a recognized expert in the comments or on social media.
Paul Potter is a physical therapist and mentor who lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, with his wife, who is also a therapist. They have four daughters. For more than 35 years he successfully managed his own private practice. He now shares his knowledge and experience through teaching and mentoring therapists who want to have their own practice.
He has authored On Fire: Ignite Your Passion with a Cash Therapy Practice and the Cash Practice From Scratch Course. His website PaulPotterpt.com is dedicated to helping therapists achieve professional and financial freedom. Connect with Paul on his website or on LinkedIn paulpotterpt. You can also get more free resources at CashPracticeFromScratch.com