online therapy job search

4 Ways to Revitalize Your Stalled Online Therapy Job Search

You are frustrated, maybe even a bit burned out. There are too many applications and emails to count, but still no online therapy job. Or perhaps you had interviews, only to suffer the disappointment of being knocked out at the end. Beginning to sound familiar? Maybe you are wondering if there is a way to revitalize that job search and start to feel alive again. Keep reading.

1. Outreach - Call an Old Supervisor?

Did you ever consider meeting with a former supervisor or boss (if you are still on good speaking terms)? Reconnecting with past employers can be a great tactic to "get you back in the game." Supervisors talk to other supervisors, and business owners talk to other business owners. Even if you wouldn’t consider returning to your previous boss, he or she could still be of help. He or she could provide a letter of recommendation or even avail you of his or her network to land a new online therapy job.

2. Podcast - Are you stagnating?

The next time you are in the car why not listen to a podcast instead of listening to that song again for the hundredth time? There are so many podcasts out there that could help you with advancing your career, such as Monster's Jobsessed podcast series. Who said that just because you don’t have a job that you can’t continue to learn and grow?

3. Resume - Your Black Hole?

Did you know that most recruiters will scan your resume for less than 10 seconds to decide whether or not you are worthy of an interview? While you may be certain that your resume is now perfect after your many hours of editing, you will only know for sure after you submit it for independent evaluation. This could be either by a professional or any competent adult who is willing to scan for less than 30 seconds and give you a candid, specific critique.

However, there may be another serious problem with your resume. In what language did you write it? If you wrote, "A dedicated professional driven and focused on the bottom-line results," you haven’t said very much, and you can be sure it will be discarded. Make it human and distinguish yourself. Something like, "I’m a Salesperson with a penchant for developing strong and sincere customer relationships that reach beyond any particular sale"––that stands out!

4. Cover Letter - Will it Land You the Online Therapy Job?

Since we are all creatures of habit, after we have seen something once it's hard to give it our full attention afterward. What about if we have seen it hundreds of times?  Now you know how the hiring manager looks at your cover letter. Don’t expect a busy hiring manager to pay attention to anything you say in the letter, because the format itself is lifeless.

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But there is another way. You can write a Pain Letter to any manager at any time, even before he posts the job. A Pain Letter addresses Business Pain and provides an excellent segue for you to get face time with the manager.

What is Business Pain? It comes in many forms. The common denominator is that any problem that stymies an owner, supervisor, or manager from realizing the goals of his job is Business Pain. It could be losing market share or employees, or the business having trouble scaling its product or service. Just look around, and you will find Business Pain everywhere!

When you write your letter to land that online therapy job, the recruiter doesn’t care about your knowledge, credentials or experience unless it is relevant to relieving his pain. If you can articulate a hypothesis as to why he is suffering that pain with sensitivity and insight, and then briefly share a story illustrating how you solved that pain in the past, you have his attention.

People who are in pain have a limited focus. Essentially they are only interested in relief, whether it’s morphine, a hug, a loan, or the plumber showing up to fix the leak.  So the next time you sit down to pen that letter, think carefully beforehand.

What you write may make all the difference!

online therapy jobs interview

Online Therapy Jobs: Difficult Interview Questions (and Answers)

Photo courtesy of http://www.blueskyinterviews.co.uk

What is the interview, anyway?

You want the job.  You’ve perfected the resume.  And you’re all set for the interview to land an online therapy job.  Or are you?  What if the interviewer throws you some tough questions and you don’t have the answers.  You may not realize that some believe the objective of the interview is to eliminate; to weed out the unworthy!  Below are five “toughies” that may come your way.

1. What salary do you think this online therapy job deserves?

It is well known that the first person to state the salary loses.  For example, if you give a number, it may be less than the employer’s offer. It is preferred to wait for the company to give a range, and, when he/she does, choose a salary that is above the median provided. It will be helpful to check online tools and resources to discover what is reasonable to expect.

Better yet, try to avoid talking about salary on the first interview. When the question is posed, ask for more information:  Say something like, “That is an excellent question. However, I would be unable to adequately respond before I am clearer about the position’s responsibilities and the benefits package.” You can add, “Knowing your reputation, I’m confident it will be competitive.”

2. Where do you see yourself in three to five years?

This is a hard question to answer since it requires predicting the future, which is, of course, impossible.  At all costs be sure not to shoot yourself in the foot by responding, “I have no idea” or “I haven’t thought much about it.”  Although that may be true, you are essentially admitting that “I don’t know what I am doing with my life or how long I’ll remain with this company.”

It would be better try an answer something like, “Through introspection and self-assessment, I’ve come to realize that which is vital to me.  As a result, I am committed to an online therapy job career, and I see your company as the place to do it.”

3. Tell me about your biggest weakness

You should be wary of such questions as they may be a trap.  In other words, the interviewer may be baiting you to admit a weakness which would justify him “showing you the door.” You should anticipate this question and identify a weakness (if you have one, as many of the rest of us do).

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The truth is that this is your opportunity to take the lemons and make lemonade!  An insightful, thoughtful answer is your opportunity to demonstrate problem-solving acumen.  For example, you might say, “Being very ambitious, I have a tendency to over-commit myself.”  Then give an example of how you have set limits for yourself, become more organized, and prioritize better.

4. What didn’t you like about your last job?

This question may not be as innocent as it appears. The interviewer may be making yet another attempt to trick you into admitting a weakness to eliminate you. Tread carefully. Don’t speak disparagingly about your current employer, as it may be construed as to how you feel about employers generally, or undermine yourself if criticizing your job reflects negatively on you.

You could say, "I am quite satisfied with my current position, but have begun to look for opportunities to grow in my field. While I could stay where I am, the right opportunity would be a reason to move on.” Alternatively, you might respond, “I am looking for a position with greater responsibility and opportunity.”  This will give the new employer the confidence to challenge you.

5. Tell me a little about yourself

Make your answer short and sweet, and ask for clarification. “Anything, in particular, you want to hear about? My education? Experience?”  You should connect your answer with a professional attribute that shows why you should be hired. For example: "I work well with others," or "My strong organizational skills often catapults me into a leadership role," or "I give it 200 percent.”

Get Ready For the Transformation

Understanding how to respond to difficult questions when interviewing for online therapy jobs can transform a stressful experience into the opportunity that will get you the job. While an interview may include many questions, you need mainly to be concerned with the uncomfortable ones and be prepared to answer them. Turn those tough questions into softballs, and land the job!

children-inrural schools need therapy too

Solving the Rural Area Therapy Shortage

Not Enough Therapists

Although it is heartbreaking, it is true. Without online therapy, there simply aren’t enough therapists to meet the needs of Rural America. The shortages exist in Speech, Occupational and Mental Health Therapy alike. Take mental health for example. Although shortages exist everywhere, 85% of them are found in rural communities.

Even worse, most counties in Rural America function without any mental health professional residing there–be it a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker!  Consequently, those in need must travel quite a ways to get the required help.  Not only does this postpone badly needed intervention, but at times it also eliminates it with potentially fatal consequences.

Frustration

Over 75% of SLPs said higher caseloads were the biggest problem. It is easy to understand how clients suffer from their therapists being overburdened. Most of the time there is an inverse relationship between the therapist’s caseload and the quality of the therapy. However, you might think that heavy workloads only impact the clients.

Unfortunately, the client’s loss is only half of the problem. Attempting to satisfy a substantial caseload causes the therapist to feel overburdened, pressured, and just plain exhausted. This results in more frequent therapist burnout and isn’t a recipe for stability. While therapists want to work hard, they want a normal life like everyone else.

Isolation

And if the frustration wasn’t enough, there is another serious problem. The loneliness engendered by having so few colleagues around them takes its toll as well. Therapists in rural communities feel isolated, missing other clinicians with whom to share their experiences. If this true in the professional sphere, it is even more so felt socially.

Professionals in Rural America face another problem too. Since rural areas are often far from urban cultural centers and universities, therapists are restricted from participating in training and development programs that would enhance them professionally. They feel "left behind" and unable to learn new teaching strategies.

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Where’s the Money?

And what about money? A Rural Special Ed Director recently lamented that rural schools couldn't afford to have their own Speech Language Pathologists. The situation isn’t better for Occupational or Mental Health Therapists. It’s not only the budget cuts due to low tax revenues.  Small districts spend more per student than their urban counterparts. In other words, it’s a structural flaw, seemingly impossible to correct.

The financial strain is even more complicated. Rural districts must pay a higher premium to staff agencies to find a therapist that is willing to spend time traveling and the district must pay the additional transportation expenses in addition to that. After all of these extra expenses, what is left for the therapist?  There is no way that rural salaries could be competitive. The result? Therapist in rural schools lack much needed financial incentives.

Attrition

It is certainly no wonder why many therapists don’t just "stick it out." One study found the turnover of teachers in rural districts was over 20% (over twice the national average). Over 70% of those who didn’t return said that they took jobs in larger school districts. It is no surprise many said they resigned due to social and cultural isolation.

Online Therapy to the Rescue!

The future would certainly look bleak but for the advent of Online Therapy. With Online Therapy, geographical constraints with all of their attendant problems; heavy caseloads, isolation, and non-existent financial incentives cease to exist!  The result? Happier therapists and more fortunate children are receiving the quality therapy they deserve!

teletherapy rural schools

Can Teletherapy for Rural Schools Help Prevent Suicide?

Is Teletherapy for Rural Schools and Suicide Connected?

While most of us automatically associate stress and tension with living in a big city, the surprising truth is that the youth suicide rate is significantly higher in Rural America according to a troubling new report published in Jama Pediatrics. And it’s climbing!

The research shows that the adolescent and young-adult suicide rate in the U.S. 1996-2010 was double in rural areas as compared to urban areas. Investigators, analyzing 67,000 deaths, found the rate of suicide for both males and females alike living in rural areas was about double the rate in cities.

Guns?

Perhaps blame can be assigned to the preponderance of gun ownership in rural areas. That over 50% of the deaths were with guns, coupled with the higher percentage of gun ownership in rural areas, may suggest that guns are the culprit. Maybe educating parents how to “keep the guns safe” could stem and possibly reverse the tide.

But it’s not so simple!

Lack of Awareness

Since the understanding of mental health issues in rural areas is subpar, many potential dangerous conditions such as depression tend to be under-diagnosed.  Consequently, parents and teachers often miss the warning signs that could prevent tragedy. Creating greater awareness and understanding is an imperative.

Self-Reliance

Interestingly, the “Rural Personality,” which is based upon strength and self-reliance, a source of pride, may be preventing those in need from seeking help for their mental health problems.  The stigma of “weakness” may serve as a hurdle too difficult to surmount, even when qualified therapists are available.

Privacy

And then there is the lack of anonymity which is part and parcel of living in a small town.The close-knit community, with all that it has to offer, actually may be undermining its constituency from finding the help they so desperately need due to the shame it would entail.

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Isolation

But let’s get to the core of the problem: how are the youth in Rural America are unique?  Since those in rural areas tend to live much further apart, their wholesome face-to-face interaction with others and participation in social networks is more limited. Social isolation can often foster loneliness and depression, sometimes with fatal consequences.

What’s more, although it was nearly a century ago, the Great Recession took its most significant toll on Rural America. As a result, even today, those living in rural communities are more likely to have lower incomes in general, and adequate health insurance that provides mental health services in particular.

Unfortunately, a weaker economy providing fewer jobs means that a greater percentage of the youth who were raised in Rural America leave their communities for higher ground, seeking employment in metropolitan areas where there are greater opportunities.  This, of course, only serves to heighten the loneliness of their peers whom they leave behind.

Unavailable

Perhaps the most tragic problem (and most solvable with teletherapy for rural schools) is the lack of mental health professionals. In fact, more than 85% of the mental health professional shortage is in rural areas. Over half of rural counties don’t have any mental health professional at all.

Consequently, those in rural communities seeking professional mental health care must drive far distances to find it when teletherapy for rural schools is unavailable. This can be a serious deterrent, delaying necessary care, or worse, postponing professional intervention until the problem has become exacerbated, and perhaps out of control.

Teletherapy for Rural Schools to the Rescue

Teletherapy for rural schools: the innovative model of connecting a client to a therapist through video conferencing through GoToMeeting or Skype holds great promise to help relieve this deplorable situation.  Hopefully, as teletherapy continues to grow, relief for the suffering youth will be more available, and we’ll see those suicide rates plummet quickly!