Work after hours
One of my coworkers recently was talking about how her parents were accustomed to a 'teacher's lifestyle of leisure' where they left work at 3, had summers off, and did not spend time outside of school working on lesson plans or grades. I thought this was ironic because my father is a teacher, yet he spends untold hours reworking lesson plans, adding technology into the classroom, and generally trying to improve his teaching and the environment for the students. It is uncommon for him to have a day, let alone a whole summer, where he is not working to take things to a higher level. To me, this highlights a basic difference in mindset about ones work. Does your job merely require effort from 9-5? I know that there have been lots of days where I come home from work exhausted, and all I can bear to do is try to make it to the couch or defrost something for dinner. If it's been a particularly stressful day at work, I might not want to even think about going back. But I try to spend some time every week working on something, be it reading OT Practice, looking up some diagnoses on the internet. This is what I see as the difference between a job and a professional career. If you see your job as 'just a job,' then there's no problem if you aren't spending extra time working to develop yourself or your position. But when you become a member a of profession, I feel that you have a duty to yourself, the other members of the profession, and those consumers that are affected by the profession. This duty compels you work on improving yourself and your station for the benefit for all involved. This is why continuing education is required of OTs, because it is a professional duty to continue improving yourself. If you just 'turn off' everyday after work because OT is 'just a job,' then you are going to become stagnant and your coworkers and clients will suffer. There's always something to work on for self improvement- learn more about a new diagnosis, learn a new treatment for an old diagnosis, learn about a new practice area. If you have an expertise, then share it and help others improve. If you stop learning, then you will stop growing, and I believe your practice and your person will suffer as an end result.