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SLP Skills Saturday: Determination

09 August 2014

We've all seen those inspiration posters that deal with perseverance, determination and other skills needed to overcome an obstacle. Well, one of those skills is necessary in speech-language pathology as well. In fact, we need it throughout the entire process of our educational career and our job after graduation. What is it? Determination.



Rather than say why it's important, I'll give you a small anecdote of someone I met recently. Although he isn't a speech-language pathologist (he's actually a massage therapist), you can still learn from his example.

We'll call this guy "Timmy". So, Timmy went through school and got certified in massage therapy, training under one guy who has done work for a sports team. Upon graduation Timmy went out looking for jobs and eventually took one in a regular setting. Although he enjoyed this location, he would constantly think about his work with the sports team and ponder about ways to possibly do this. After some thought, he finally decided to send him resume to a well-known baseball team.

Mind you, there was no massage therapy position. Rather than hire him as an employ of the team, he first began doing personal appointments with the sports players. Over time the therapy team saw that his work was valuable and they had him work part-time as an independent contractor. This ended up giving him a great deal of work on top of his regular job, which he was still doing. As years went on, both the therapy and sports team saw him as a valuable asset and hired him as part of the therapy team.

Now, he is currently a full-time employee of the therapy team for them (and no longer does the other job). On top of that, he gets to travel with them for games, use the team's gym, and even provides services during the off season to the athletes. You can imagine what happens when they go on to the championships!

So, thanks to his determination to work with athletes he managed to not only create his own position, but prove why he is a valuable asset. I encourage all of you to have the same mindset as you... you don't necessarily have to create your own position (although, that'd be great), but just keep in mind that sometimes you have to look at the smaller strokes that eventually create the final picture. If you're stuck somewhere, try to figure out another option-- another stroke-- that can possibly lead to the end result (or perhaps a bigger, better result).