Massage & Bodywork

January/February 2010

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VISIT THE DIGITAL VERSION OF ABMP'S SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS HANDBOOK, AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS AT ABMP.COM, FOR AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT RESUME WRITING. the other hand, the person who asks, "I'm Susan Smith, a licensed massage therapist who has just moved into town, and I'm wondering if I could come by to drop off a resume?" is much more likely to get an interview. I sometimes interview therapists when I don't need anyone at the moment; I don't want to waste their time, so I will tell them up front that I'm not hiring today, but I'll keep their resume on file for future consideration. My Ideal Job Checklist 3 Do I prefer an intimate setting or being part of a crowd? 3 Do I want to travel? 3 Do I want to work with a certain population, such as children, elders, or those who are ill? 3 What benefits are important to me? 3 What days and hours do I want to work? 3 What's my ideal work environment? 3 What salary do I wish to earn? 3 What type of massage do I prefer to perform? MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION As you know, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Whether you're just dropping off your resume or appearing for your interview, dress professionally. If you have an actual appointment, arrive on time. Answer all questions honestly. It's much better to say, "No, I don't know how to do a salt scrub, but I learn quickly, and I'll be happy to learn your menu of spa services," than to misrepresent your skills. The most important thing to the majority of employers is a positive attitude. Any manager wants people who are positive and upbeat and give the impression of being committed to customer service. Regardless of the venue you choose to work in, providing massage is performing a service, and it's important to appear enthusiastic and interested in your work and dedicated to providing a good experience for the client. FEATHER YOUR NEST When you're someone's employee, you may not have any say-so regarding the decor of your work setting. Even then, there are still a few things you can probably do to personalize your space and enhance the client's experience. For example, adding a waffle pad and/ or a fleece pad and table warmer to your massage table makes it nice and cozy. Offering each client a neck warmer, an herbal eye pillow, or even just a hot towel over the face to open the sinuses are personal touches clients appreciate. If you are allowed to decorate your room, keep it clean and simple. A cluttered space is not conducive to a relaxing experience. A picture or two, and perhaps a soothing fountain and a green plant are plenty. BE PROFESSIONAL Once you've landed the job, be professional. Dress professionally, even though you may not be required to wear a uniform. Be on time. Keep your space clean. Strive to give every client a great experience. Observe boundaries (yours and theirs). If you're having a bad day, keep it to yourself and save the meltdown for after work. If a more attractive opportunity comes your way, give your employer a notice instead of just walking out the door. Building a reputation for yourself as a talented massage therapist who is also a good employee will serve you well for the rest of your career. Happy job hunting! Guide to Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Examinations (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009) and One Year to a Successful Massage Therapy Practice (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008). A third book, A Massage Therapist's Guide to Business, will be published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Allen is the owner of THERA-SSAGE, an alternative wellness clinic of over a dozen practitioners of different disciplines, and continuing education facility, in Rutherfordton, North Carolina. Visit her website at www.thera-ssage.com. Laura Allen is the author of Plain & Simple connect with your colleagues on massageprofessionals.com 25

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