The best way to learn how to swim is to just jump in the water.
You wouldn’t throw caution to the wind when learning how to swim, so why would you do that for your career? And yet…
Nowhere is the “just jump in the deep end” method more common than in travel therapy.
You subscribe to half-a-dozen “travel therapy” blogs and Facebook pages, drown in the endless comments and opinions about things you SHOULD be doing, schedule calls with a few recruiting companies.
You jump into the deep end that is travel therapy.
Did you end up drowning or nearly just surviving as you treaded water?
Or are you comfortably floating with your swimmies and shades on, sipping on a pina colada, waiting for your chiseled swim instructor to hand you another? 😉
I know which one I would take.
After all the time and money you invest in your education and career, you owe it to yourself to AVOID the “learn how to swim by jumping in” method, when it comes to your career.
Here’s the deal:
Only about 60% of new travelers continue past their first contract (for a variety of reasons), but perhaps mostly because the “baptism by fire” method was not their style.
And it shouldn’t be yours either.
This year, you’ll either be PREPARED and know exactly how to thrive as a new confident traveling therapist…or you’ll be treading water with every other new grad, with the learn-as-you-go, baptism-by-fire, trial and error mentality.
And that mentality has it’s limitations, to say the least. (Trust me- been there. Done that.)
But there’s good news-
This is something you can prepare for if you just do the work: Below, I’ve got 10 questions for you. Your task is to be able to answer these questions with a “HECK YES!” But if you can’t yet, you know what you need to learn more about.
So, exactly what do you need to prepare for so that you are not jumping in the deep end of traveling therapy without your swimmies inflated?
Let’s do this.
I’ve got ya covered- below are…
10 Questions to PREPARE for your Career and THRIVE as a New Traveling Therapist
1. Do you know why you want to travel?
Do you want to explore new places? Try new settings? Or just make as much money you can so you can pay off those hefty student loans? Understanding and prioritizing what’s important to you is key to becoming a successful traveling therapist.
2. Do you have a perfect resume that grabs the attention of a director of rehab?
In a stack of other resumes for a job submission, you want to make sure yours stands out from the crowd so you can get the interview and job offer first. Your resume is your first impression and first chance at nailing down your dream job – so it should reflect that.
3. Do you know how to find a trusty recruiter (or two) and red flags to look out for?
A recruiter and good company can make a world of difference! They are your intermediary to a rewarding career and kick- ass experience. So, how do you know who to trust and what to look out for? There are a lot of companies and recruiters out there and unfortunately different ways they could take advantage of you; we have heard of some unfortunate circumstances. Educate yourself on the good, the bad, and the ugly. and don’t just go with just any recruiter. Get a recommended recruiter HERE.
4. Do you have a tax home and adhere to the IRS regulations?
There are certain IRS requirements that travelers MUST adhere to in order to collect tax-free money. It is important for you to understand and adhere to these rules and regulations set forth by the government (because not all recruiting companies do). Read the FAQs here for more information.
5. Do you need health insurance?
Some (lucky) new grads are still on their parent’s plan, some travelers carry their own health insurance, while some accept the insurance provided by their recruiting company. There are many options out there, so it’s important to explore them all and understand which one works best for you and your situation.
6. Do you know where and how to get licensed?
Picking states for licensure can be both exciting and daunting as you make a decision. The key here is to pick STATES (yes, more than one or two) that both interest you AND have a market need.
7. Do you know how to find the right job for you?
Travel or perm, not every job is the right job for you. The key is to find the ones that are by asking the right questions on the interview (next question).
8. Do you know what questions to ask on the interview, and more importantly, what the answers actually mean?
The interview is the MOST CRITICAL key to success as a new traveler. Asking the right questions on the interview should paint a picture of what the job will entail, and from that, you can determine if it is right for you or not.
>>Get a downloadable PDF of important interview questions HERE. <<
9. Do you understand the contract and pay package?
In the excitement of it all and seeing all those dollar signs, it’s easy to glaze over the logistics and just sign on the dotted line. This can get you in trouble. READ THE FINE PRINT and understand what it means. ‘nuf said.
10. Do you know how to find housing and stay organized as a traveler?
There are so many different ways to search for housing. Finding housing has never been easier with all the apps and websites that have been developed. But with each option, consider crime, lease agreements, commute time, and any other factors that may be important to you. In addition, staying organized as you move between assignments is a MUST as a traveler. HINT: Start making excel sheets. Lots of them.
Take ACTION as an Aspiring Traveler:
Go through and answer each of these questions. Can you answer “yes” to them? If you have questions don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments below or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BUT if you want to join me to tackle some of these questions and get you started in the process of understanding the travel therapy process…
OR if you would prefer I hold your hand and take you step-by-step through all 10 of these questions, and then some — if you want 1-on-1 support and mentorship to prepare + thrive as a new traveling therapist, then join us NOW for READY, SET, TRAVEL: The Ultimate Online Course and Mentorship Program for the New Traveling Therapist. Enrollment is now open.
But if not-
Take a study break and grab a craft brew, and start working through these questions!
Answering any of these questions is one step closer to your dream career as a new traveler.
And it sure beats jumping in the deep end (sans swimmies).
If this article helped you to feel more prepared about becoming a traveling therapist, please share it with other friends who also may benefit from it.