A recipe for career satisfaction

 

If you finished your university studies at the end of last year, you are now probably either in the throes of looking for your first job as a fully fledged physiotherapist or just getting started in one.

Congratulations.

This is an exciting and formative time in your professional life and the decisions you make now about your career will affect you for many years to come.

Finding the right fit between employer and employee is not a one-way street.

The traditional dynamic—that of the job seeker courting the job provider—has changed.

Today’s labour market is excruciatingly tight, unemployment is at record lows and candidates are scarcer than they’ve ever been.

Longer-term shifts in employment loyalty have been perceptible for some time now and we no longer have the expectation that we will work for the same organisation for 30 years.

In fact, the average Australian will change their job three times in a decade.

Interestingly, this trend too is changing.

In 1998 in the US, the average employment tenure was 3.6 years.

In 2014, it rose to 4.6, suggesting that efforts to improve satisfaction, and therefore retention, were beginning to pay off.

While job seekers have always been aware of the need to impress prospective employers, the latter are more conscious than ever of the need to put their best foot forward too.

The employment courtship is indeed a two-way street and that is good for everyone.

It motivates employers to take the job satisfaction and development opportunities of their staff seriously, leading to a more engaged, supported and skilled workforce.

For new graduates and early career physiotherapists, robust clinical guidance, mentorship and opportunities for professional development are at once a necessity for their professional growth and a mechanism to retain and attract promising young talent.

Increasingly, graduates tell us that they’re as selective about their place of employment as their employer is in its recruitment decisions.

Research also shows that millennials value good organisational culture above all else.

For them to be satisfied at work, organisational values must be aligned with their personal values.

This often means that the organisation needs to at least have a stance on social issues and better still actively participate in socially conscious initiatives.

One of the most profound practical ways to improve culture, performance and satisfaction is through mentoring.

Mentoring connects early career physiotherapists with experienced professionals for the benefit of both.

For the mentee, mentoring can be an invaluable source of support and guidance, boosting their skills and confidence.

The mentor gets a unique opportunity to give back to the profession that has enriched their lives and to invest in the new generation.

Last month we proudly launched the APA Mentoring Program.

The feedback and take-up by both mentees and mentors has been fantastic.

I encourage you to check it out if you haven’t already.

Internally at the APA, we’ve committed to gaining recognition as an employer of choice.

We will achieve this by continuing to put our people first.

This is not just warm sentiment—it is a commitment to action, to fiercely guarding our values and culture and giving our people opportunities for development.

In the rough seas of the past two years, this mantra has not only engendered loyalty among our staff, it has supported them to produce great quality work and outcomes.

It’s a win-win for everyone.

 

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