An Easy Way to Advance Your Occupational Therapy Career | The OT Toolbox

An Easy Way to Advance Your Occupational Therapy Career

For those of us with an occupational therapy career, we know the field of occupational therapy is ever-changing. There are changes and advancements to the OT career that require therapists to stay on their toes when it comes to changes in reimbursement, advances in research, and other changes. To grow as a therapist and develop as an occupational therapist, we need to stay on top of those changes. development and advances. Using self-reflection as a guide can be an easy way to advance in the occupational therapy field. Therapists in the OT field can develop a sense of burnout and setting goals as a therapist can help. Below you will find suggestions to advance in your OT career through professional self-development.

Use these free self-reflection sheets and free printable goal sheets to advance as an occupational therapy professional through end-of-year (or anytime!) reflection and professional development.

Advance your Occupational Therapy Career

...with Past Reflections, New Year, New Goals!

As we reflect on the successes and changes that have occurred over the past year, let us also look forward to the potential of the coming New Year.

As occupational therapy practitioners, we are avid assessors and goal creators for our clients. We set goals so they may get back to a level of functioning that is necessary to return to life as they know it or to gain new skills to make living life a little easier or even better than it was previously. But, have you ever written goals for yourself?

This Occupational Therapists' Monthly Goal Planner can be a helpful tool to advance an occupational therapy career using interests and specific caseload needs.

Goals to help you either get back to your own level of functioning to return to life as you know it or goals to help you gain new skills and well-being to help make living your best life yet?  Think about it this year. 

As you reflect on this past year, don’t just focus on the times you were not successful or did not gain new skills to live your best life, but rather reflect on all of the small steps you took to get to where you are and view your successes (and even failures) as new opportunities to further yourself into the new year.

As healthcare providers, we are not always good at thoughtful self-care, but to be the best you can be for yourself, family, and others, self-care is crucial! Plan to implement self-care as a priority in the New Year so you may live your best life for yourself, family, and others! Use this End of Year Self-Reflections sheet to be deliberate and mindful, but also to learn more about yourself based on the experiences you have had and the lessons you have learned over the past year.

I have included a free copy of the Therapy Self-Reflections worksheet by entering your email address below.

After reflecting on the past, look forward to the New Year with anticipation and excitement regarding the potential it holds for living your best life! Think about setting goals for the New Year based on what you learned and your accomplishments of the past year.

Write SMART goals for YOURSELF!  Be intentional in the process and honest with yourself, write the kind of goals you write for your clients. It is self-care…an action that contributes to your health, well-being, and human development.  Use your OT skills and knowledge in order to better yourself! Remember, self-care is not selfish!

S – Be specific and thoughtful about what you want to accomplish and include what, why, and how.
M – Be sure to measure your progress and include the steps and process of data collection or monitoring.
A – Be sure it is achievable by setting yourself up for success with some challenge, but positively reachable.
R – Be sure it is relevant and realistic and include outcomes. Keep in mind how it will impact your daily life.
T – Be sure it is time-bound and include an aggressive deadline as this will push you forward and keep you focused.

Use this New Year Goal sheet for each goal you want to accomplish. Be deliberate and intentional in your focus for the coming year in order to gain new skills, focused well-being, or get back to a prior level of functioning.

Create SMART goals that will help you live your best life yet and don’t forget to reward yourself! I have included a link box to get your free copy here. Once you enter your email address, you will be emailed a copy of both the Self-Reflection Worksheet and the Goals worksheet.


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    My New Year advice includes taking some self-care time and looking at your past year by viewing it with your OT lens just as you would for your clients. Set goals for the New Year by first reflecting on the past year and grow from those experiences whether good or bad. In this process, seek to learn a few things about yourself. You might be surprised at how much you’ve achieved and excited about the potential opportunities in the future. It’s called personal growth and development! Get some for yourself!