I am a 39 year old profoundly deaf audiologist based in my local hospital which is part of a very large Health Trust. I am considering a change of career direction, possibly in management. I’ll be the first to admit that I am uncertain in which path to take, and would welcome some advice. I first started thinking about this when someone told me about a deaf professionals course run by the local branch of a national charity. It was in sign and not for oral people, but it did pique my interest and I decided to do more research thinking perhaps there is a future outside audiology after all.
Also I was struck by this concept of deaf professionals which had not occurred to me at all. What should I do next?
Join the club! We deaf professionals are many and very varied. I would think as a deaf audiologist you have met and overcome obstacles – when you are considering a change in profession, this would be helpful, as it is not as easy as people think, especially in today’s job climate.
Do you retrain completely and start again at entry level? Do you move sideways in a complementary profession, or do you simply apply for a manager’s job with your own profession?
These are the three main ways forward (the fourth one is to go self employed). Only you know the answer to this – and if you don’t, then now is the time to do lots of research and talk to people, including within your Health Trust, as its large size means plenty of professionals for you to draw inspiration from.
You are young enough to start again. Did you know that most people start rethinking their job situation between 38 to 43 years of age? Whilst you are doing this, get yourself either a mentor who is experienced in the area of career change, or a coach. You’ll need someone to bounce ideas off.
And do think about joining a local deaf professionals group if there is one near you, but do your research first – an e-group may be the best place to start as deaf professionals vary so much in their aspirations and communication needs. Good luck!