Every time I take a CEU class, I end up thinking of a student or client that I’ve had in the past-and wish that I could go back in time and treat them again-with this new information in hand. In that spirit, I am joining with the Frenzied SLPs today to share a letter that I would send to my young SLP self.
Your looking good for your first day. A peach Jones of New York blazer paired with a flowing flowery skirt is the perfect thing to wear on your first day working with children. (but you might want to check out a pair of jeans and some cotton, easily washable tee shirts just in case-and a padded bra would be great too-you just never know where those kids are going to grab.)
A few hints for your first few years:
- Avoid saying, “If I was the parent” at all costs. Trust me-you will cringe later when you have kids.
- Never pick up a suspicious looking lump and smell it. You might think it couldn’t be that-but it is. You don’t want to smell that.
- Choose to work for companies that value your time and expertise, don’t waste 10 years trying to justify what you do to a corporation that doesn’t understand. I know you like the people you work with-but you will find new colleagues and you will like them too. Plus you will gain a ton more clinical experience when you aren’t always trying to justify yourself.
- Start contributing to your 401K right now! I know you think you can’t afford it. Google this: Compound Interest. (What’s Google? It’s kind of like a card catalog on a computer screen-but way better and easier to use. Like if you shouted a question into the Grand Canyon-and it came back with 20 different answers).
- Make sure to stock up when Linguisystems has their 20% off sales. Some day they will be owned by someone else-and the sales will stop.
Most of all, I want you to know that even though your dad was pretty skeptical about your choice of careers-you are going to love this job. With practice you are going to get better and better at sharing information with families. You are going to enjoy figuring out each of the children that you see and how you can motivate them to improve. You will read books at night and you are going to find that speech language pathology is one of your life’s passion.
So take a deep breath-you are going to be great!
What would you tell yourself as a new SLP? I can’t wait to hear about it below! And make sure to click on the links below to see other speech language pathologist’s letters to their younger selves.