Career Opportunities for OTs at the Occupational Therapy Show
Janet McNulty, Occupational Therapist - Why did I go to the OT Show? Career opportunities!
Janet McNultyJanet McNulty, Independent Occupational Therapist, tells us why she went to the OT Show and the remarkable impact on her career.
In 2012, I had a life changing event that prompted me to reconsider my career plans. At the time I was working for a local authority adult services department on a part time basis. I had also ventured into independent practice as an expert witness with Jacqueline Webb & Co; a highly respected company producing quantum reports for solicitors and the courts. I planned to maintain this arrangement as I felt it provided a well-balanced work life however; my destiny had other plans for me.
I found myself in a position where I needed to be able to work from home autonomously and be very flexible in order to accommodate my personal life. My work with Jacqueline Webb & Co enabled me to do this however, my statutory services role did not and so the search for my 'ideal work’ to compliment my expert witness work began. I looked in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy and the Occupational Therapy News but only found the more traditional employment opportunities with set hours and workplace. A colleague recommended a private independent occupational therapy company who took on associates however; they could not assure me that they would have work in my locality. I then came across adverts for the Occupational Therapy Show and after looking at the website and exhibitor list, I thought there would be the potential to find work opportunities that would suit my circumstances. I registered to attend and was looking forward to seeing what the show had to offer.
The day of the OT show arrived and I was not disappointed! I found numerous company exhibitors promoting occupational therapy services and they were seeking individuals to deliver them. I noted that the job opportunities in the private sector were abundant and whilst some mirrored statutory services, others were emerging roles developing within new businesses. Many companies were positioning themselves to provide a service to address the gaps in service provision created by funding cuts and austerity measures. There were a variety of different types of contracts from self- employed ad-hoc consultancy work to full-time employment.
The opportunities for networking were fantastic. I spoke to various company representatives and noted any occupational therapy roles that I felt had the potential to meet my requirements. One of these companies was Healthcare Therapy Services. I had an in-depth discussion with the Director Caroline Molloy who explained that she was developing a service to offer expert advice on the suitability of independent living aids to the public and businesses by telephone, video or home/workplace consultancy. The service is to be offered seven days a week and appointments can be made in the evenings or at weekends for the convenience of the individual.
Caroline was looking for Occupational Therapy Consultants who could complete the telephone, video and home/workplace assessments. It seemed an ideal match to what I was looking for and so I registered my details with Caroline and later sent her my curriculum vitae; she was happy to offer me a contract. Ironically, the head office for Healthcare Therapy Services is based a mere 20 minute drive from my home however, I would not have come across Healthcare Therapy Services had it not been for the Occupational Therapy Show - Mission accomplished!
The Occupational Therapy Show, taking place on 26th and 27th November 2014 at Birmingham's NEC, aims to inspire, inform and invest in Occupational Therapists.