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physical therapy job search know yourself

The Job Search: Knowing Yourself

by Athletico3 Comments

Conducting a job search can be an emotional and time consuming process. You are, after all, making a decision that will impact both your personal and professional life.

Perhaps you want an employer where you will find professional fulfillment, or maybe you’re looking for a growing company where you can gain experience and progress your career. Whatever it is, consider taking some time for self-reflection before you dive into your job search.  The ultimate goal is to find the right fit for you and the best way to do that is to know yourself.

Here are just a few things to consider as you prepare for and embark on your job search. These points can help you decide where to search, what interview questions to ask, which companies to look at and how to negotiate.


Oxford Dictionaries defines “values” as one’s judgment of what is important in life. Knowing your personal values can help guide choices you make about big life decisions, such as career moves and job searches. Consider what is most important – learning, creativity, service, stability, autonomy – and how these can apply to your professional work. Then, keep those values in mind while you research companies, and don’t hesitate to ask questions in interviews that will answer how your values may or may not align with the employer’s. The closer your values align, the less conflict will arise between you and your work.


When it comes to work environment, reflect on the kind of setting and culture in which you work best. This includes the team you’ll work with, supervisor and clients. If you thrive in a collaborative environment, keep this in mind and be on the lookout for companies offering that throughout your search. On the other hand, be prepared to recognize things that are deal breakers for you. When you feel comfortable and successful in your work environment, you will be better positioned for success with your new job.

Work-Life Balance

Think of this not only in the traditional sense of the term, but also when determining your job search locations. Consider how long and far you are willing to commute, how much you may have to travel and how often you will be asked (or expected) to commit to time outside of regular work hours.

Supervisor Style

Think about the supervisors and advisors you’ve had in previous positions and their leadership qualities: What helped you thrive?  What wasn’t so great?  Identify those qualities and formulate questions to ask during interviews that will give you insight into the supervisory style of your potential manager.

Skills and Training

Sometimes, because we are so close to the work that we do, we forget all the experience and skills we have. Take an hour to think about the jobs or internships you’ve held and what you’ve done in those positions. You might surprise yourself! Keep that list of accomplishments and skills handy as you look for jobs and complete applications to make it easier to highlight your unique skills and training.

Your Worth

This will be a factor to consider once you have an offer and are talking compensation. Do your research on the market to know what is competitive and have a realistic number or range in mind when entertaining offers. Don’t hesitate to ask for what you’re worth, but again, be realistic and be able to back your request up. You can utilize the list of your accomplishments and training to highlight why you deserve the amount you have requested.

Although there’s a lot of emphasis placed on impressing the employer so that they choose you (and that is important), remember that your choice should be a good fit for you too! After all, you will be spending a lot of time and energy with the people and in the place you choose. The best way to know if a job, a company and its culture is a good fit is to first know yourself. Being prepared with some self-reflection and knowledge is the first step in conducting a successful and fruitful job search.

If a physical therapy career is the focus of your job search, Athletico has plenty of career opportunities. Click the button below to view all of our physical therapy career opportunities.

Career Opportunities

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  1. Mary Przybylski

    Very interested in working within your company.I have heard many good comments regarding patients I have treated.

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