À échelle humaine : Professional Crossroads

2016-2017 Issue 1

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At some point in our professional lives, we all come to a crossroad. A point at which we decide if we wish to advance in our current career or make a change, and learn the skills that will enable us to move forward.

This professional crossroad can be a very positive experience. It requires self-reflection, results in enhanced skills, and ensures that you’ll pursue a career that brings you both pride and satisfaction.

In Ivy’s case, her crossroad resulted in a return to the classroom. Her motivation behind her decision? “I don’t want to help a hundred patients,” she says, “ I want to help a thousand.” Currently enrolled in the Professional Development Certificate in Project Management at McGill’s School of Continuing Studies, Ivy believes that with her courses under her belt she will help more people with cognitive and physical limitations attain functional independence than just those whom she sees in her one-on-one sessions. “I want to take functional independence beyond the person and take it to the institutional and organizational level.”

Ivy, who earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from McGill and has been working at the Julius Richardson Rehabilitation Hospital since 2013, initially registered in a single project management course in September. “I was very inspired after taking that class,” she says. By November, she had signed up for the Professional Development Certificate.

She initially felt that a project management course could help provide her with the skills she needed to set up her own practice or work in a management position in the healthcare sector. But since then each course has presented all sorts of possibilities on how she can make a difference now and, in her current job.

It has widened her perspective. “I have an innate ambition to help people,” she says, and adds that personal occupational therapy can do so much. The courses have helped her to see how she can take that concept to a greater level. “I want to be contributing to the big picture.”

Balancing studies and full-time work, of course, bring challenges – there are times when she feels discouraged. But her co-workers are there to quell her doubts and cheer her on, and her husband has always told her to simply “go for it.”

Her time in the classroom has produced some ‘eureka’ moments for Ivy – she experiences them during class when she sees how she can apply her lessons to work situations. And when the challenges of going back to school for an adult learner weigh heavily, she thinks of the seniors whom she works with every day to overcome their limitations. “Coming to rehab is just like studying,” says Ivy. That is the inspiration she uses to continue to move forward and elevate herself.

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