Building a career often amounts to playing the long game, and with so many areas of speech therapy to explore, newer SLPs may find themselves taken off course. That’s why our most recent guest on The Missing Link for SLPs podcast recommends reverse engineering the life and career you want. A physical therapist who owns his own private practice and coaches other aspiring business owners, Jamey Schrier, Founder of PRACTICEFREEDOMU believes in taking a long-term approach when planning your career.

Part of that long-term process is determining where you want to wind up, then working backwards from your imagined end. By doing this, newer SLPs can prevent taking too many detours from their desired endgame — and they can stay on top of the detours they do take to make sure they don’t stray from their path for too long. 

Once SLPs have an idea of where they’re headed, it becomes easier to create a roadmap for how to get there. Even when challenges rear their ugly heads, SLPs who know what they want and why will be better equipped to pivot, overcome those obstacles, and return to their plan. 

So, how can newer SLPs get started with reverse engineering their dreams?

Be Specific About Your Vision or Goal

When envisioning your career somewhere down the line, get as specific as you can. This means deciding on the population you want to work with, the type of environment you’d thrive in, and anything else you’d like included in your dream life. If there’s a certain level of flexibility you hope to obtain or a specific number of practices you wish to open, make your gameplan with those details in mind.

The more specific your vision for yourself is, the less likely you are to diverge from it or wander without purpose.

Break Your Smaller Goals and Milestones Into Chunks

Once you’ve decided on a detailed vision for your career, come up with milestones to help you get there. Then, break those smaller achievements into chunks. Not only will this make the jump from Point A to Point B seem less overwhelming, but it will lay out objectives you’ll need to meet in order to turn your vision into a reality.

Be Prepared for Setbacks

Just because you create a roadmap to reach your desired outcome doesn’t mean you won’t face setbacks along the way. Those are a regular part of life, and burgeoning SLPs should expect them. 

The great thing about having a long-term vision, however, is that, even with obstacles in the way, you can pivot and make your way back to the road you’ve laid out for yourself. That’s what makes reverse engineering such an effective career strategy: You’ll always have a North Star to steer you back on track.

Want to learn more about Jamey and his journey to becoming a physical therapist, private practice owner, and career coach? Listen to him and Mattie chat on The Missing Link for SLPs Podcast.

Did you know Mattie provides coaching to SLPs? Learn more here.

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