Employment Tips for Massage Therapists

By David Kent , LMT, NCTMB

Employment Tips for Massage Therapists

By David Kent , LMT, NCTMB

Therapists often state that their biggest challenge is "finding a job." This article will review some simple but proven techniques to help tilt the scales of successful employment in your favor. Your time and energy are valuable and must be spent efficiently.

Put Yourself Out There

There is a common saying: "You will miss every opportunity you don't take." This might seem obvious, but you need to hit the ground running and not stop until you find a job. You might have had a couple of great interviews; you might think you have the job. But until you're officially employed, nothing is certain. Additionally, contact local massage therapy schools, instructors and associations and ask to be added to their emails announcing job opportunities.

Get Informed

Before meeting any potential employer, do your research. Read the company's ad in the phone book and visit their Web site. Learn the company's history, read the staff bios, learn what services are offered and research any other information that you might need to know for an interview. A common interview question is: "Why do you want to work here?" Researching the company ahead of time will prevent you from being caught off guard, intimidated or unprepared. This ultimately will help you to market your skills, experience, strengths and interests more precisely during an interview.

Arrive Prepared

This may sound like a no-brainer, but a lot goes into preparing for an interview:

  • Look the part. Dress like a professional healthcare provider. Take pride in yourself and your appearance. When you look good, you feel good and you present yourself to the world in a positive way.
  • Act the part. Smile, relax and maintain a positive attitude. Practice making eye contact in front of a mirror or with a friend. When employers look to their pool of applicants, they will select only those who have made a good first impression.
  • Bring the documents. Bring extra copies for your application of essential paperwork like: social security card, picture ID, massage therapy license, proof of liability insurance.
  • Be ready to perform. During one of your interviews, you will inevitably be required to give a massage. Listen to the interviewers complaints, ask questions and administer your massage based on the feedback you receive. (Read "Questions with Direction," MT, September 2008).

Assess your performance

Every interview provides you with a valuable learning opportunity. Regardless of how good or bad you think your interview went, take a few minutes after each encounter to assess your performance. Ask yourself what you might do differently the next time. What changes can you make to improve your performance?

Ask quality questions

Your attitude is determined by your focus and the questions you consistently ask yourself. You must replace negative questions with quality questions that produce positive outcomes for finding employment. Replace "Why can't I find work?" with "Who can I call or visit today that I have not yet contacted? What resources can I use to help direct me toward work? What articles can I read to help me stay motivated or give me more tips? What are three more things I could do to help me find a job?" (Read "The Power of a Minute," MT, June 2007 and "The Power of the List," MT, January 2008).

Stay Immersed

You've heard the saying, "If you don't use it, you will lose it." Keep your skills sharp by practicing. Exchange sessions with other therapists, volunteer to practice on a mentor, who will be happy to give you feedback and guidance.

Reading this article has brought you another step closer to achieving your goal of finding a job, but now you must put your thoughts and words into action. Commit a certain amount of time everyday to finding a job. Take time daily to review your goals and strategies. I wish you all the best in your search. Please let me know which tips you used that helped you find the job of your dreams!