Do you feel better or worse about your PT employer since the COVID-19 pandemic?

“It’s been pretty good,” she said, sounding optimistic.

Her answer threw me off.  She was the third PT I had asked that day about how things were going since COVID started.  She was the first one with a positive response.  She had a lot of great things to say about how her employer was handling the situation.  She described that they were in it together, that they were figuring out telehealth, and that they were all offering ways to stay engaged with patients.  Her pay hadn’t changed although her caseload had decreased substantially.

Her feeling of camaraderie was a polar opposite to others I had spoken to who felt isolated and overlooked by their employer.  We are fortunate to be able to coach a variety of physical therapists around the world and we have gotten to hear how people have fared through COVID-19. It has been interesting to hear the extremes of how employers have treated employees during this time and how PTs have fared doing it on their own.

I have heard from some that they and their employer pivoted together during this time and figured out ways to make the best of the situation. Sometimes this involved adding telehealth or doing other jobs for the organization. Other times it involved working together to decrease hours in a way that kept everyone working . For others, it was working in a different part of the hospital or doing other work that was needed. I heard of owners not taking salaries so that they could keep as many employees paid as long as possible.

Unfortunately, I also heard some very sad stories of people “seeing the true colors” of their employer. They were kept in the dark of the financial situation so most decisions appeared as if money, not people were priority. They were asked to do things that put their own health in danger.

As an employer myself, I am particularly sensitive to balancing the financial needs of the business and team members. I realize it sometimes boils down to either keeping the doors open and decreasing hours of some team members or closing the business permanently. But it still comes back to how the employer’s motives and spirit are expressed in the process.

So the question is, how do you feel about your employer when they were in crisis? No employer makes all the right decisions all the time, especially in never before seen situations. But do you feel your employer had everyone’s best interests at heart? Certainly painful decisions had to be made, but what spirit were they made in? Did it seem like everything was based on the bottom line and you were just a number? Or was their true commitment to make the best of the situation for everyone?

I ask this not to bring up painful circumstances, but rather to give hope. Unfortunately, people don’t recognize all of the things you can do with your physical therapy degree. No I am not simply talking about alternative physical therapy careers like pharmaceutical or medical device sales. Many physical therapists believe that they either have to put up with their current circumstance or leave physical therapy all together. 

We are here at the Rebellion to tell you that you can have your ideal career. We have seen it over and over again. There are several ways this can be done

1) Convert your Current Job 

Maybe you like your current employer but don’t love what you are currently doing. Sometimes it is as simple as getting a different caseload or different hours. Frequently this involves negotiation and many of us are not very skilled at that. That is why we created the free No-Fear Negotiation Master Class to help you in that process

2) Change Jobs

Sometimes you don’t like your employer or the culture of your current workplace. This can be challenging to change. You may need a new job. Check out our Is It Time To Leave Checklist to see whether you should stay or go. If you decide to go, be sure to use our Ideal PT Candidate Formula to set yourself up to be the best candidate for the new job.

3) Create New

Maybe you need to do your own thing? Maybe you have no idea what you want to do? Maybe you know what you want but don’t know how to get it? This is why we created the Bulletproof Career Rebellion. A 6 week course designed to provide you the clarity and community to achieve your ideal career.

 4) Change Careers

This can involve shifting gears in physical therapy to become a professor, researcher, or business owner. Or it might be getting out of physical therapy altogether and doing something different. The key thing in this situation is knowing what you want and being sure to have a solid foundation to get there. The Bulletproof Career Rebellion provides you with that foundation so that you don’t mistakenly change careers when you only needed to change jobs or change roles.

If you are in the percentage of people who feel COVID has exposed their employer’s “true colors” in a negative way, this is not necessarily a bad thing.  Now is the starting point to figuring out how to create something better.  We specialize in helping PTs figure out how to create their ideal career and determining which path (1-4) is right for them.  If you aren’t happy right now, it is the first step in figuring out how to be.

My challenge to you: What are you going to do today to take the steps needed to love your career? Hear what Nicole Woodard did in this interview.



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