So you have finished or, are near to finishing your Speech and Language therapy (SLT) degree! Finally, all that hard work on placement, and tears and sweat for your final year project is over. Then, if like me back in September, reality hits; it’s time to find a job. Which for many, not just SLT’s is a daunting prospect at this time.
Now, we have all been advised that ideally recently qualified practitioners shouldn’t work in independent practice or independent organisations, etc. However, although working in independent practice may not be ideal; especially as many positions may not offer the appropriate support we need. I think we need to be inventive, and proactive. For me that does not mean working on a long term voluntary basis or, as a Teaching Assistant. After all, that is not we have trained for. So I took the approach of ‘getting out there’, and approaching SLT’s in independent practice for voluntary/ paid work. I am so pleased I did, I am now working for a fantastic company doing the job I love. I am also very lucky as I work with a lovely team; and a fantastic supervisor.
I am aware that there are other newly qualified SLT’s out there that, like me have taken ‘the plunge’ into independent practice. This is not only daunting, but can also be quite a ‘lonely’ way of working; as you don’t always have regular opportunities to discuss ideas with others; or share recent publications and resources etc. With this in mind, I have set up a Facebook page for Newly Qualified SLT’s working in Independent Practice. This is only in its early stages with only a few members, it’s a informal group where you can discuss your concerns or ideas, or share any reading materials or resources. So if you are interested in joining us, please comment below. I am open to any ideas on how to take this group forward.