Tips on Transitioning to a New Employment Setting

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August 30, 2018

By Peter Walukiewicz, MS, LAT, ATC

The profession of athletic training continues to grow, expand and evolve. Today, Athletic Trainers (ATs) can be found in more employment settings than ever including clinic, hospital, health industry, fitness industry, industrial, corporate, military, government, law enforcement, professional sports, performing arts, secondary school, university/college, youth sports and others. The expansion of athletic training employment settings available increases the opportunities for ATs. It also allows the profession of athletic training to display value and expertise to a wide variety of professions and the public eye

With the increase in opportunities and settings available, it is not uncommon for an AT to transition to a new setting. Here are a few tips to make a transition to a new employment setting seamless.

Research: Researching the setting can be a beneficial start in this process. The National Athletic Trainers' Association website contains a great deal of information regarding employment settings. Information outlining a specific setting as well as various resources can help you prepare for the transition. These resources may include interviews of an AT within the specific setting, articles published in the NATA News and a list of representatives on the Council on Practice Advancement.

Connect with a Mentor: Connecting with an AT who is currently practicing in the setting you are interested in can be very beneficial. The traditional form of mentorship generally comes from a person with years of experience and the ability to advise a less experienced professional. This type of mentorship can be invaluable. The advice of a more experienced professional can provide you with the pros and cons of a new setting, what that setting may entail in detail and continued guidance as you make the transition.

Network: Establishing a peer group creates a trusted source for feedback and advice and can help open the door to new opportunities. Connecting with peers will provide you with information on how they transitioned to a new setting. Peers can also provide insight on their experience, and advice on the best methods to make the transition. A peer group might even open the door to an opportunity in a new setting.

As I mentioned above, there are several forms of guidance that can be useful to an AT transitioning to a new employment setting. A few of those have been mentioned in this article but there are many more out there. The profession of athletic training is continuously evolving. My advice to those who are seeking to transition into a new setting is to look for the opportunity and go for it.

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