Strangers are friends you have yet to meet – Part II

Last week I gave suggestions on the best ways to go about making friends around the workplace as well as outside of work. Today we will expand on that idea and give you a few more ways to help you break the ice with either your new co-workers and those you will encounter outside of work. The most important thing to remember is to be yourself, be comfortable with who you are and show confidence in the way you carry yourself. If you make yourself open and approachable to others, you will have a far better chance at making new friends.

Last week I gave suggestions on the best ways to go about making friends around the workplace as well as outside of work. Today we will expand on that idea and give you a few more ways to help you break the ice with either your new co-workers and those you will encounter outside of work. The most important thing to remember is to be yourself, be comfortable with who you are and show confidence in the way you carry yourself. If you make yourself open and approachable to others, you will have a far better chance at making new friends.

Finding commonality is key in starting a relationship, whether friendly or romantic. Finding those few things you share an interest in can take you a long way. Perhaps your workplace has different groups or clubs you could belong to that appeals to you, such as a biking group or book club. You could volunteer for any of your organizations philanthropy initiatives or start your own group. Finding coworkers with similar interests guarantees that you have something to bond over that’s not just work.

Outside of work you may find it easier to find different groups and clubs to look into to. No matter what city your travel therapy job takes you to, you will certainly find others with common interests. Finding smaller pools of people also allows you to interact with people in a closer, more personal way.

If you’ve tried everything I’ve previously mentioned and nothing is happening… Try taking matters into your own hands. Spread the word around the workplace about meeting after work for some happy hour beverages, organize a pot-luck lunch or try and start your own recurring group activities like a poker night or something to that affect. Any reason to get you and your cohorts away from the job and doing something fun.

If the various social settings are doing nothing for you, there are still other alternatives. Depending on the size of the city your living in while on a short-term therapy contract you can search the internet for local sites, you can even check the tried and true, Craigslist.org. Another good way to meet folks are dating sites, sure it’s more for meeting significant others but can also be a great avenue to make connections.

Sure making friends isn’t as easy as it was when we were growing up, but all you need is just that one friend to get the ball rolling. Remember, most people are just like yourself and may be timid to approach others, but if you make an effort you’ll be surprised at just how friendly people really are.

Here’s a link to first part of the series on ‘Strangers are Friends You Have Yet to Meet.’

Strangers are friends you have yet to meet.

So you’re the new kid in class, or in your case, the new travel therapist in town and you know not a single soul. If you think back to when you were in school you’ll soon realize how simple it was to make friends. You’re all there for the same reason and relatively all around the same age, so finding commonalities and striking up conversations and the like was fairly easy.

So you’re the new kid in class, or in your case, the new travel therapist in town and you know not a single soul. If you think back to when you were in school you’ll soon realize how simple it was to make friends. You’re all there for the same reason and relatively all around the same age, so finding commonalities and striking up conversations and the like was fairly easy. But now you’re out on your own and about to embark on a new career in travel therapy, meeting all kinds of different people, young and old, with all types of different interests besides your occupation. So what can you do to find yourself new friends you can relate to?

Making friends on your next travel therapy assignmentAt work you may find it hard to approach others. The various schedules and taking care of patients can make it difficult to interact with your coworkers. Being the newest staff member it is important to make yourself accessible, and make an effort to show that you are a friendly and approachable person. Try and get yourself in some water-cooler talk and ask others about their weekends or plans they may have for the week. Any reason you can find to engage with your peers will prove to them that you’re willing to make the effort to be their friend.

When you’re outside of work and don’t have a network of friends, think of the entire city full of people as an opportunity at friendship. The easiest thing you can do to help meet others is be open and cordial. Smile as you come upon people passing by. Start a conversation in line at coffee shop or grocery store. The more you seem approachable the more apt others will be to want to connect with you.

You’re going to have to make an effort to make friends, you can’t just keep yourself bottled up. It’s highly unlikely that others will approach you if you put off a closed demeanor. Sure, things may seem awkward at first, but that’s natural. In the beginning, take every opportunity to engage with others. If there’s a group going out to lunch, go. Even if you brought your own lunch. If the gang is going out for some post-work drinks, go. You need to show you’re a team player if you want to be included in their reindeer games.

Outside of the workplace, the same rules apply. If you go to the same places all the time, you’ll eventually just run into the same people. Wherever your travel therapy job is located, you know is full of people so you should branch out. Take a joga class. Try going to different supermarkets. Try going to dinner, catch a flick or grab a drink by yourself. Bartenders are always a good place to start for conversation. If meeting new people makes you a little nervous, start out small and try and just start talking to the one person you see most often, like the coffee shop barista or perhaps a neighbor.

Next week, we’ll expand on the topic of making friends in new places, but until then try these few methods I’ve given you and see for yourself what being an approachable person can do for your social life. If you have any tips for others, please share them in our comments sections.

Athlete 360: New Television Show on Sports Medicine

Here in America sport is our passion. We idolize different men and women from all sports and tend to know more about them than our friends and family. Now you can learn a little bit more about them than ever before, thanks to a new television show that is all about sports medicine and showcases different athletes from NASCAR to the PGA.

Television show on sports medicine for physical therapistsHere in America sport is our passion. We idolize different men and women from all sports and tend to know more about them than our friends and family. Now you can learn a little bit more about them than ever before, thanks to a new television show that is all about sports medicine and showcases different athletes from NASCAR to the PGA. Here’s what the production company, Serious Fun Productions says about their new TV show…

We’re American sports fans. We’re two-parts passion and one-part religion. We live and breathe sports. And now that our athletic heroes have become part of our everyday life, we want to know them, inside and out.

Now, we can. Literally. Dr. Mark Adickes, a Super Bowl-winning NFL offensive lineman turned Harvard-educated orthopedic surgeon is our host. And with his expert help (and state-of-the-art scanning and MRI technology), Athlete 360 gives us a window into our heroes’ past – letting us see the physical effect of their awe-inspiring careers… and the physical toll those acts of heroism exacted.

But this is not just a voyeuristic look at blown ACL’s and Tommy John surgeries. It’s a chance to see how the sports we love have changed, a chance to better understand what today’s athletes go through, and importantly, how to protect our kids from future injuries as they compete.

Dr. Adickes will explain how surgery techniques have improved, interview past and current elite athletes about their bodies, and give weekend warriors and parents alike a true inside look at sports.

So if there happens to be a time on your travel therapy assignment in which you find yourself with nothing to do… You now have an alternative.

What to do inbetween your travel physical therapy assignments

As a traveling therapist you are afforded the freedom many in the workforce will never get to experience. Typically those who work a perm position have to stick to a schedule and use paid time off to enjoy time away from the office. Traveling physical and occupational therapists on the other hand have many choices.

As a traveling therapist you are afforded the freedom many in the workforce will never get to experience. Typically those who work a perm position have to stick to a schedule and use paid time off to enjoy time away from the office. Traveling physical and occupational therapists on the other hand have many choices. As a travel physical therapist you have the option to work year-round and have options to plan on taking some much needed time off between assignments. There are of course times where you may want to keep working if  the location or assignment is what you desire. But if the situation arises, what are some things you can do until you start your next travel therapy job, that is if you choose to continue working as one?

Say you’ve been doing the travel physical therapy thing for a while, and maybe it’s time to settle down for a bit. Lucky you, there is the omnipresent  shortage of therapists all across the country and finding a permanent job shouldn’t be that difficult. Of course, it all matters where you’re living and what the demand may be in your area. Otherwise, you can pick up some temp jobs until you find the position you can tie yourself to.

If you can’t find the next travel therapy job you so desire right away, there are other things you can do to keep yourself busy. Most staffing agencies or at least the major players offer to pay for your continuing education classes to help you keep up to date with your profession. Do your research and see which companies offer these extra benefits.

Maybe you’re a little burnout and a little holiday is the prescription . Hopefully you have built up a little savings to allow you to take the much needed break. You’ve been all over, from big cities to small communities, but maybe you want to the rest of this great planet. Take a cruise, tour Asia, “Im going to Disneyland”, anything else but work! Take the time off and when you’re ready to rejoin the workforce, you’ll hopefully be refreshed and ready to do what you love, all over again.

Some of you though may not be comfortable with the idea of just sitting around doing not much of anything. As a therapist, it’s obvious you have a passion for caring, so why not choose to offer your services toward a worthy cause. As you know the earthquake in Haiti this past January stirred quite a response from the healthcare field and many nurses and other professionals traveled down to assist in any way possible, some were sent to help through organizations and others went on their own accord. Obviously, there is a need for this type of help all around the world and even in your own hometowns. Volunteering is a wonderful way to utilize your skills, expertise and compassion while away from your usual occupations. I’ve listed a few organizations in which you can sign up to volunteer for, either here in the United States or abroad.

Projects Abroad – Projects Abroad is the leading abroad volunteer organization. We offer a diverse range of international service projects, plus the opportunity to become part of one of our volunteer communities abroad.

Hands of Light In Action – a non-profit organization that is very simply focused on assisting people in need. 

Traveling therapists have so many choices when it comes to their vocation. You can work, or you can take advantage of the freedom and do what you want. Either way, being a travel therapsit will never limit you, the only limits those you put on oneself.

Summertime and the job search can be easy.

Wouldn’t it be nice to sit back and relax this summer, soaking up the rays of the sun, gathering with friends and family for BBQ’s and the like? Yeah sure, if you had a job! Life would be much easier during these summer days knowing you’re in a job that is secure. So what do you do if aren’t fortunate enough to be in this position?

Wouldn’t it be nice to sit back and relax this summer, soaking up the rays of the sun, gathering with friends and family for BBQ’s and the like? Yeah sure, if you had a job! Life would be much easier during these summer days knowing you’re in a job that is secure. So what do you do if aren’t fortunate enough to be in this position?

Travel Therapy Job Search
Use your summer to find a job, not seashells.

Some job seekers may think that since it’s summertime, the chance of finding work may be slim due to vacations and breaks from those who make staffing decisions, and in turn will take a break from the job search. The days of long vacations are gone and many companies operate the same, no matter what time of year. Sure, people still take vacations and the application process could take a little longer than normal, but there’s no sense in stopping your search and waiting through the three months of summer. Now is the time! You never know, summer could be the time when facilities are gearing up for the fall and winter, so it’s best to a step forward.

Take advantage of summer activities with friends and family. You can meet so many different people during all the weddings, BBQ’s, get-togethers and so forth, so it’s the perfect time to network. Let it be known that you’re looking for work and who knows, you just might get a lead or two.

Even though it can take a little more work during the summer months to find that job, don’t give up. Be persistent and stay positive. It’s easy to fall into the trap of being lazy, so do what you can and keep to a schedule, even if you take an hour out of your day. Remember to leave polite messages with whomever you call. Everyone at that faciltiy is entitled to a break, even receptionists and on their return, they’ll be more apt to relay a nice message as opposed to one who is obviously annoyed that they haven’t been contacted. Even so, you even might get through to the hard to reach hiring manager since their assistant is away. You could now be a couple steps ahead of your competition as they wait it out through the summer.

Make use of your downtime and make sure you have everything in order from your licenses, resume and other pertinent information. Update your resume if you’ve accomplished anything as of late. Keep up to date with your skills and enroll in a couple classes if you must and while you’re there, network with other classmates. Perhaps they know of opportunities that may be well suited for you but not for them.

It’s summertime and living can be easy… Just take note of the suggestions above and before you know it, you could land that perfect job before fall arrives.

Under the Same Woof: Take Your Pets With On Your Next Travel Therapy Assignment

Traveling to your next travel therapy job without your furry friends would make things seem incomplete. There’s nothing better than coming home from a hard days work and having your four-legged friend meet you at the door, especially if you’re away from home. Having them along with you during your assignment would help give your new routine some semblance to actually being home, and there’s no reason you can’t bring them.

Traveling to your next travel therapy job without your furry friends would make things seem incomplete. There’s nothing better than coming home from a hard days work and having your four-legged friend meet you at the door, especially if you’re away from home. Having them along with you during your assignment would help give your new routine some semblance to actually being home, and there’s no reason you can’t bring them. Most agencies will do what they can to accommodate you and your pets, but double-check with your recruiters and the companies you may be researching to ensure that it is allowed. I can imagine if you work for one that does not permit this, you may want to venture out and find a new agency to work with.

Start by talking with your recruiter, they are the best resource to anything you may have questions about regarding your assignments. Tell them that you want to bring along Fido and let them take care of the rest. In most cases, housing can be found that will allow pets, but you may have to pay a little extra for a pet deposit and so forth. It all depends on the location and the housing available, in larger cities it is fairly easy to find places that welcome pets, but in smaller, more rural locations, you may have difficulty. It all depends.

Take your pets with to your next travel therapy job.
Traveling with pets is easy.

When you have your new therapy job lined up, it’s wise to take a little extra time to carefully plan your trip since you’ll be traveling with your pet(s), especially if you are traveling by car. If you plan on flying, definitely check with the airlines ahead of time – there are sure to be some guidelines you’ll have to follow regarding traveling pets.

If you browse the internet and search for “traveling with pets,” you will find a number of great sites and services out there to assist you, either in mapping out a route that is pet friendly or just best practices. One such site is Pets On the Go, which has listings of  everything from B&B’s to major hotel chains that welcome pets.  You’ll also find great travel tips and links to things you can buy for your pets related to traveling.

Another good site to check out is, SureFit.net. They offer a product called, Auto Friends. It’s a hammock-like slip cover that lays over top of your back seat and prevents your pets from sliding should you hit the brakes quickly. It also protects your upholstery from stains and such and is easy to clean and maintain. The site also released a list of the top 10 destinations for traveling with pets.

1. New York City – Between winding trails, off-leash hours and fenced-in dog parks, NYC’s Central Park is the perfect pet hang-out. Plus, pet daycare can be found in nearly every Big Apple neighborhood.
2. Chicago – Dogs are welcome on canine cruises at Chicago’s Navy Pier, and the Windy City is home to a number of pet resorts and patio restaurants that welcome furry friends.
3. Boston – Pooches are welcome to tour Boston Harbor by boat, and dogs are welcome to take the subway.
4. Houston – Local pet lovers praise Barnaby’s Cafe, where pets aren’t just welcome, they’re given their own cardboard bowl to dine from while their owners grab a bite.
5. San Francisco – The city by the bay offers plenty of pet-friendly dining, off-leash beaches, and outdoor areas. Take your dog for a stroll across the Golden GateBridge — or even bring him along on a cable-car ride!
6. Austin – Besides outdoor cafes and off-leash parks, Austin residents tout the Zilker Botanical Gardens and Congress Street Bats as great places for local dogs (and dog-owners).
7. Washington (and its suburb Alexandria, Va.) – Both areas feature plenty of pet-friendly restaurants and parks.
8. Portland, Ore. – The Lucky Labrador restaurant chain is famously pet-friendly. Pets are also invited to visit the Rose Gardens and Saturday outdoor market.
9. Charleston – Bring your pet along on a walking tour of historic Charleston, whether it’s a daytime stroll through Magnolia Plantation or a nighttime ghost tour of the city’s haunted haunts.
10. Ann Arbor – Pets are welcome to frolic in many of the city’s outdoor spaces, including the Nichols Arboretum, a large botanical garden at the University of Michigan.
So you should be ready now to hit the road with furry friends, don’t forget the treats! Bone voyage!