Your Career Compass – Which Way Next?

Posted By: Andy Barker

If you feel you are not making the career progress you think you should be, then this blog post is for you.

So many New Grad’s, like you, speak to me and tell me the same thing all the time.

It usually sounds something like this…

‘I was happy the first few months after I graduated, finally getting paid for working, getting to grips with working in the NHS, private practice or even sport and feel as though I am picking up new things most days.’

BUT, after a short while it sounds something like this…

‘I feel frustrated, demotivated and have stopped learning at the rate I once did and added to that, that next career opportunity doesn’t feel any closer, in fact, it feels like it is getting further away.’
And that next promotion can move further away, unless you know how to get yourself and your career back on the right track.

This blog will show you how.

Specifically you will discover…

  • How Being Able To Get BETTER PATIENT RESULTS Is The Most Simple & Quickest Way To Your Next Promotion
  • How Having The Ability To Work Well With Other Members Of The MDT Will Open Up More Job Opportunities
  • How To Avoid The Common Career Pitfalls New Grad Physio’s Fall Into When Applying For A Job & What You Actually Need To Know To Avoid These

Back in my early days as a New Grad, within a couple of months of graduating I had a clear plan about HOW I was going to navigate my way to my dream job and become the Head Physio at the Leeds Rhinos.

A meeting with my mentor at the time only added fuel to this fire as he told me…

‘In 2 Years-Time You Should Be A Head Physio In Professional Sport.’

At the time I didn’t really realise how helpful this advice was.

He wasn’t trying to blow smoke up my arse or make some unrealistic goal that I wouldn’t achieve.

He was giving me direction about where my career was heading, but more important than that, we spoke further about HOW I was going to achieve this.

There were so many challenges and problems that I might have faced, but his guidance and mentorship meant I was able to dodge most of these common New Grad pitfalls, so once my opportunity came, I was ready.

Me at Wembley Stadium, the day before the 2010 Challenge Cup Final & Only Weeks After Finishing University
This help was instrumental in helping me to achieve my dream job.

And I was able to do this in less than 2 years (15 months to be exact).

The reason I’m telling you this is NOT to impress you but to impress upon you, that without clear direction and a plan its unlikely you will EVER achieve your dream job.

So, what can you do to stand out, get ahead of your peers and climb the promotion ladder faster than anyone thought possible?

Keep reading to find out…

Better Patient Results = Successful Career Progression

A successful career for any therapist is built on how successful you are as a therapist.

Remember, this is WHAT you do.

You help your patients out of pain and back to the sports, activities, jobs and hobbies those patients want to do.

Have you ever seen or heard of a therapist, operating at the very top of their field that isn’t any good?

Sure, some therapists might operate ‘above their paygrade’ for periods of their career, but if they are unable to get consistent positive patient results, this is unlikely to last long.

We are judged by the patients we treat, regardless on the environment we work.

Sport is often termed a ‘Results Based Industry’ but so is the NHS and private practice.

The end goal for your patient might be different to a sports setting but ultimately, it’s the same outcome you are after – to get your patient out of pain and back to full fitness, safely, quickly and without their symptoms reoccurring.

That’s it…

The better results you get with your patients the more valuable an ASSETT you are.

This doesn’t matter what environment you work in.

Put yourself in an employer’s shoes…

Would you employ a therapist that gets ‘ok’ patient results or a therapist that gets ‘great’ patient results?

Or put another way…

Would you employ a therapist that helps you;

Cut the departments waiting list…

Helps get that player back sooner for so he is available for the next game or

Brings more money into the clinic because of continued ‘word of mouth’ referrals from previous patients that were very happy with their treatment results.

Or a therapist that gets average results and none of these benefits?

Pretty simple, but, makes obvious sense.

That is why your competency in your clinical skills is so important.

Not only does this allow you to serve the patients you work with in the best possible way, but it also helps you climb the promotion ladder faster than anyone thought possible.

How Better Communication = Better Job Recommendations

When it comes to gaining that next promotion having someone to recommend or act as a great reference is one easy way to get a head start on your peers.

Giving someone a recommendation speaks volumes about that person, as that fellow therapist or another professional, is putting their neck on the line by recommending you for that job.

If it doesn’t work out, its not only you that will be disappointed, the person that gave you that glowing recommendation might look a bit foolish and their integrity and judgement brought into question.

The relationships you have with other therapists and other members of the MDT can help you in this area and when the time comes, be a great resource for you to call upon to get a great job recommendation or reference.

The natural thought when you apply for a role as a therapist is to get a reference from another therapist.

But why?

Whilst they will be able to give a potential employer an insight to your clinical skills as a therapist, other professionals might be in a better position to give a more rounded summary about how you operate.


How you communicate your clinical message to members of the MDT…
How you act around patients and other staff…
How you integrate with the wider MDT…
How easy you are to work with…

These are ALL questions that can be answered by a non-therapist and in most cases should be.

Why You Need Better Job Skills SPECIFIC To Your Profession

If your sink is leaking, you ring a plumber…

If your car breaks down, you ring a garage…

If you’ve got an injury you speak to a physio…

So why is it that when you are applying for a therapy job, you use non-therapy resources to prepare your therapy

CV and interview?

Pulling a CV template from a recruitment website or googling common interview questions is NOT SPECIFIC to your profession and is a BIG ERROR New Grad’s make when applying for jobs and when preparing to enter the interview room.

What you do a therapist is a specialist profession, so anything you produce hoping to progress your career, should reflect this.

It needs to be SPECIFIC to your profession and SPECIFIC to the role you are applying for.

No cookie cutter CV template or sample questions is going to achieve this.

You need a therapy specific CV and need to prepare for a therapy interview, practicing your responses to possible questions you might actually get asked.

I know how important these skills and that is why I devote a section of my New Grad Physio Membership just to the development of these skills.

You could be a great therapist but if you lack the competency in your CV writing you might never get into the interview room.

If you lack competency and fail to prepare fully for a ‘therapy’ interview, you could be the best candidate for the role, but your inability to perform well in the interview room might cost you that opportunity.

A successful career as a physiotherapist, sports therapist or sports rehabilitator is built on your ability to get consistent positive patient results and your ability to communicate your message well, with both your patients and other members of the MDT.

But without the necessary job skills, specific to your profession as a therapist, these skills will only take you so far.

Key Take-Aways

  • Getting consistent positive patient results is the foundation to a successful career as a therapist
  • Your ability to work well with other members of the MDT can offer you a great option for a positive job recommendation or reference and open more doors for your continued career progress
  • You need job skills that are specific to your profession as without these, this may limit your progress up the promotion ladder, regardless of how ‘great’ a therapist you are

If you feel like you are not making the career progress you should consider which way your career compass is pointing.

Put into action the advice given in this blog and also feel free to get in touch with me at and Ill do everything I can to help you out.

If you enjoyed reading this blog, you need to grab a copy of my ‘New Grad Physio Survival Guide.’

In this FREE guide I will show you how to make improve your clinical COMPETENCY so you can make sense of your patient assessments, then provide hands-on treatments and prescribe rehab exercises that actually take away patient’s pain and help get them back to full function.

You will also learn how to improve your CONFIDENCE so you can build great rapport with your patient’s, gain the respect and recognition you deserve as a qualified therapist and communicate your clinical message well so patients believe what you are saying and adhere to your treatment plan.

In addition, you will learn how to become COMPETITIVE so you can stand out from the crowd, get ahead of your peers to fly up the promotion ladder faster than anyone thought possible.

You can get this guide completely FREE right here.