Electricians, Actors, Caterers, Mechanics, Administrators, Managers, Computer Programmers, Marketing Coordinators, and Floor Layers: these are some of the first career choices of students starting May 2015. These careers require skill, are well-paying and provide opportunities for growth, so why the switch to RMT?
As part of the admissions team, I wanted to truly understand the answer to this question, so I went to Liz Burdeny, the Admissions Coordinator at WCCMT New West. Liz has the most contact with all incoming students, is consistently asking about professional backgrounds and reviewing motives for choosing RMT as a career.
“I’m always intrigued to hear the reasons people are choosing a career in RMT after having had such a successful career in another field,” she says, “From meetings with prospective students, I can say that some have been inspired by the profession because they’ve experienced some sort of injury, while others always had a desire to be part of the healthcare industry but did not want to be nurses or doctors due to the lengthy schooling or potential exposure to trauma. In addition, some students discovered the benefits of being a RMT through friends/family, while others have chosen it because it coincides with their lifestyles or because of the flexibility and independence it offers.”
I asked Liz if she noticed anything in common with students interested in entering the field of massage therapy.
“Even though they have previously been along these different career paths”, she answered, “they have all described their main reason for choosing RMT as “A chance to express what drives them as a person –to help people”.
What I have learned is that a first career choice is often made based on the earning potential or is an illustration of where a person might be at that time in terms of motives. But, as they are busy working away in their first careers, they gain experience and continue to develop both professionally and personally. Then, each at their own pace, many people realize that their careers are simply work to them, and nothing more. Some come to feel a gap or a sense of longing for something more fulfilling. “Often times, students coming into the RMT program with a previous career are individuals that have been compelled to search for a career that aligns more with who they are and what they truly WANT to do- from the heart,” explains Liz.
From our experience, both Liz and I feel that for these students, the making of a second career choice differs from their first in that it requires more thought, more experience and more passion.
Do you agree with this? What has your experience been when it comes to leaving one career for another? We’d love to hear from you with your story. Please leave your comments on our Facebook page or send your story to [email protected] to be featured on the CCMH/WCCMT blog.