5 Reasons I am "GRATEFUL" to be an SLP
This time of year always makes me reflect on all of the things I am grateful for. When counting my blessings, I consider my career to be one of my biggest. Years ago in grad school (okay, don't ask how many 🤪) I would constantly ask myself "ugh will all this be worth it?" I watched all of my friends leave college to land amazing, high paying jobs while I toiled away in grad school with barely enough money to make rent in expensive NYC! Years later, I am comfortable in my career and confident that I made the right decision. Below is just 5 of the many reasons for why I am thankful for my job and the students I get the pleasure of working with every day!
1. Flexibility: One thing that cannot be denied about becoming a speech pathologist is the job flexibility! With a variety of facilities that need speech pathologists (schools, clinics, hospitals, private practices) along with differing age populations (pre-k, elementary, higher education, adults, etc) you never feel "stuck" working in a place or with a population that you don't enjoy! I have worked in a variety of settings with a variety of populations and I have enjoyed each one, but knowing that I can change it up at anytime is a huge plus as many other jobs don't offer the same flexibility!
2. What we do Matters: I love that every day I come home and feel like I made a difference in the lives of my students. Sure there are days that could have gone better and not every session goes as well as we originally planned! Despite all this though, I beam with pride when a student achieves a goal or a parent declares during the IEP meeting that "speech therapy has made a huge difference" in their child's life. In a world full of tons of different jobs, it's nice to know that no matter how big or small, my efforts are being used to help a child/patient/client succeed.
3. Job Security: While our "dream" job position might not always be available, speech pathologists are in high demand! According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 25 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations." Now that's good news! So while I may not have always wanted to work in a particular setting at a particular time, at the end of the day, I was employed!
4. Quality of Life: This part of my job is one that I have appreciated more as I got older. I currently work in a school and love the hours and summers off. But any of the other variety of settings that SLP's work in allow for a great quality of life as well! Despite the occasional report writing or data tracking, I can enjoy my weekends and rarely have to "work late" to stay on top of my job! When I became a mother, this perk became even more invaluable!
5. My Job is Fun!: I love that I get to use my creativity at my job! I love coming up with new therapy ideas or fun crafts/activities that my students will enjoy! It keeps my job exciting as there is always something new to look forward to. What other job allows you to play with toys all day?
For all of these reasons and more, I am glad that I pursued this career. Wishing you a your family a wonderful and warm Thanksgiving!