It’s a little crazy in your world right now, isn’t it? I see you with file folders stacked high, post-it notes adorning your computer screen, and a to-do list a mile long. You have more clients and meetings than you have hours in the day. You’re taking work home with you and staying up late. Needless to say, your tank is running a little empty these days. It’s easy to see why.
I know that you’ve been second-guessing your career choice lately. Well, at least your current position. You’re wondering if it’s all worth it and why you do it for such little pay. “Isn’t there a career out there that pays more for so much less worry and work?”, you ask regularly. It is really hard to watch you questioning your passion like this. So, I wanted to write you this little note.
I wanted to remind you of the reason you decided to pursue this degree. Remember that moment when you decided that becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist was what you were meant to do? That felt amazing! You knew that you would be helping people for a living. You knew that lives would be changed and enhanced because you were involved. Your friends seemed to be wandering around aimlessly but you had chosen an interesting path and were so excited. You eagerly attended classes and soaked up each word that came your way. You furiously jotted down notes and studied until the wee hours of the morning. Volunteering and learning as much as possible readied you for this career.
Do you remember your first official “client”? Do you remember the nervous hours spent preparing for that first session and how amazing it felt to finally be DOING what you had studied so long to do? It was awesome. It was REALLY awesome! I bet you can still remember each of your first clients’ names and diagnoses! Each client brought a new challenge and new learning. All on top of classes and research and more! It was a lot but you did it!
How about that first practicum experience? You were moving up in the world and you were so close to graduation that you could taste it! Practicums were so exciting, weren’t they? You rocked those practicums! Don’t get me wrong, they were tough and you learned so much. But, you TOTALLY rocked them! It was exciting and fulfilling. Yes, it was overwhelming… in that completely-overwhelmed-but-loving-every-minute-of-it sort of overwhelming. The weeks flew by and then they were over and you moved on, secretly wishing that you could stay and work there forever!
Before you knew it, you had graduated and accepted your first position and were over the moon! You had made it! See, that’s where I am now… I’m your CFY self. I’m loving my first year as an official SLP! It’s been tough, a lot to learn. But, I’m making a difference… you made a difference. I’m so in awe of you and all you’ve learned. I’m terrified that I won’t figure it out but seeing you comforts me. You’re a total rockstar SLP. Your clients love you, your staff respects you, and you totally know your stuff!
I know that this job isn’t easy. I also know that it’s completely worth it! To each client, you are worth it! You change and enhance lives with your expertise. I can’t wait to grow into who you are now. That must be awesome and so completely rewarding! You see, from my perspective, you are incredible! I know that in the eyes of many others, you are as well. Keep up the amazing work. When it all gets to be a little too much, read this letter from me again. Remember why you decided on this career and the journey that you’ve been on… then get back to work!
You’ll do incredible things… we’ll do incredible things!
Your CFY Self