How time flies when you’re having fun!
A lot has been happening in my professional life recently and I have not allowed myself enough reflection time to gather my thoughts on all of this. What better way to gather all of these thoughts than to share them and welcome any support or feedback from my fellow OT peers and colleagues. So where do I begin… From a very young age I have always wanted to start up my own business. Of course at the age of 10 those thoughts generally centred around owning my own shop or restaurant. 17 years later here I am setting up my own OT company and I am absolutely terrified! I started off my OT carer as a Locum therapist working within a community rehabilitation team. I quickly progressed and have had numerous roles in helping to develop my professional profile. Some of these roles included working with amputees, stroke and hand therapy. My permanent positions involved me being an assistive technology specialist where I had the opportunity to complete a literature review for the learning disabilities team on increasing independence through AT and was welcomed to discuss this at Oxford Brookes University. My longest standing position was as a senior OT and line manager within social services. I loved the diversity of this work and the ability to assist others with their own reflection and professional development. The complexity of the cases allowed me to maintain and expand on my own creativity, but the restrictions on this creativity have pushed me to start up my own Occupational Therapy Company.
In August 2014 I started Inklusion Occupational Therapy Limited. The day I received the confirmation that I officially had a company was the most terrifying and exciting day of my professional career. I quickly got my logo developed and registered with ICO [information commissioner’s office] to ensure that I am covered to keep patients confidential files safe and secure. I am now in the process of getting my indemnity insurance and getting an accountant! To ensure that I still have an income every week I am locuming 4 days a week with a community team in Hertfordshire. This allows me a day a week, during working hours, to organise any company dealings. The idea is to work for Inklusion Occupational Therapy limited full time, however I felt to begin with it was a more sound decision to have a steady weekly income whilst I set everything up.
I have been very lucky and have an incredibly supportive partner and family. They have supported me from the beginning and all believe that I will make a success of my company. I have, however, had numerous reactions from people about starting up on my own. Some have been just as supportive reporting “aren’t you brave” “I think it’s a great idea”. Others report “But you’ll have no pension” “You won’t have any steady income” “You won’t have any job security”. Now I always take everyone’s opinions on board, however I soon realised that those things that worry other people just are not a worry for me. I am an incredibly positive person and I will not fail. There is always a market out there for OT’s. The future of my own success is my own positivity. I would really appreciate any thoughts, feedback or support from anyone out there that has been through this process, would like to set up their own business or has any advice or information they would like to share. I am quite happy also to share what I have learned and what I continue to learn from this process with anyone who is interested. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!