If you have made the decision to go it alone as an Occupational Therapist, you’ll know it’s not an easy one. Leaving behind a regular salary with holidays and sick pay for the great-unknown world of self-employment can be a scary prospect. While the possibility of choosing your own hours and developing your practise around the areas you enjoy are certainly appealing, the lack of security and the uncertainty around whether you’ll find enough clients make it a challenging step.
We talk with a lot of independent OTs and almost all of them say they are glad they made the choice. The great thing about being an OT is that you have a ready-made and helpful network of people in the same situation, and the OTs we speak to all tell us is that the key to their success is making the most of their community. Accessing forums to talk through issues and attending regular conferences and CPD sessions can help eliminate the feeling of being ‘out there alone’ that many self-employed people can experience.
Besides support on the practical elements of the job, OTs tell us that they get a lot of great business advice from their community too. Not everyone is a natural at spread sheets and accounting, but these elements can be learned, and shouldn’t be a barrier if you feel that independent practise is a path you’d like to choose.
With that in mind, we wanted to highlight two great courses being run by the College of Occupational Therapists this month to help independent OTs at different stages of their careers. For those considering whether ‘going it alone’ is right for them, the Look Before You Leap Course in Sheffield on the 9th June, will make sure you have all the essentials covered. For those a little further down the road on independent practice, a Business Development course in London on the 21st June helps students refine their business skills and maximise their business’s potential.
Thinking of going it alone? This guide by inclusion.me is a great first step.