Massage & Bodywork


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READY TO DIVE IN: NEW GRADUATES You've graduated, passed the MBLEx, and are state-licensed and ready to practice! Now what do you do? Something to consider: do you want to be an employee, a sole proprietor, or a combination of the two? Think about your experiences in school, clinic, internships, and practice sessions: which modalities, clients, and environments did you enjoy most? Find ways to incorporate those elements into your career choices. Still not sure? Try a few different experiences to see what fits your skills and what doesn't. The goal is to make thoughtful decisions about what you want to do so you can take control of your career. Following are the questions we get most often from therapists who are just starting out. Q. I KNOW I PROBABLY WON'T BE ABLE TO HAVE A FULL PRIVATE PRACTICE ON DAY ONE. HOW DO I BUILD MY PRACTICE, BUT STILL PAY THE BILLS? Les Sweeney: This is a very common concern among new graduates (or soon-to-be new graduates): "How do I make ends meet while starting up?" There is no one set answer. Ideally, you have a rich uncle who lets you live in his mansion for a while (note: this is not a common occurrence). For those of us without rich uncles, a common step is to start your own part-time practice while maintaining your current employment (assuming you are currently working). Before you make this commitment, however, you need to think about where and how you want to work. At a clinic? In your own space? And how busy do you want to be? What does "full" mean to you? Establishing a full private practice can take some time. If you are currently employed, perhaps the best approach is to set a target date by which you can reduce your current employment hours, with the expectation that your practice will fill in the hours you give up at your job. It is probably reasonable to expect to take 6–12 months to transition from your old job to your new career. Q. HOW DO I ACE MY JOB INTERVIEW? Kristin Coverly: In the massage and bodywork field, you need to prepare for both verbal and hands-on interviews. Practice answering interview questions beforehand so you're more comfortable talking about yourself and are able to dazzle the interviewer with strong answers. Then, when you're scheduling the interview, ask about a hands- on assessment. Try to get as much information as you can in advance so you know what to expect, but also be ready for impromptu scenarios, too. For example, a spa interview might include a 50-minute full-body session, but a chiropractor might ask you to perform shorter sessions that include several injury-based scenarios for you to adapt to. Research each potential employer and come prepared with questions to ask them about the expectations, client base, schedule, pay structure, etc. Remember that you're choosing them as much as they're choosing you! F r e e S O A P n o t e s w i t h M a s s a g e B o o k f o r A B M P m e m b e r s : a b m p . u s / M a s s a g e b o o k 25 visit Q. WHAT DO I NEED TO LOOK FOR IN AN OFFICE SPACE LEASE? LS: According to Dan Weil of, the main things you'll want to focus on are: • Appropriate length of term (how long are you willing to sign for); • Rental rate and any rate escalator included (ask for what you think is fair, remember every number is negotiable, and don't agree to more than 1–3 percent annual rate increases); • What's included in rent and what other costs are there? Who handles snow removal, trash, maintenance, and repairs? • Confidence and trust in your landlord. They're investigating you—you should do the same. Talk to other tenants; perhaps even do a credit check. KC: A few more things to keep in mind when leasing office space (that my friends and I have learned the hard way) involve heat, noise, and access. Do you have control over the temperature in your space and does the building's heat and air operate on the weekends? What's the noise level like during the times you'll be in the space—loud office neighbors, vacuuming cleaning crews, lawn mowing service outside your window, fire house next door, etc.? If you're renting in a traditional office building, often the outside doors automatically lock at a certain time, making it pretty tough for your evening clients to get to you. All of these aspects factor into your day- to-day happiness in an office space.

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