Any time a person starts a new profession after graduating from a massage therapy school, it is stressful. The safety net of teachers and the school environment are gone, and expectations are set for you to perform at the same level as a veteran. The reality is you still have much to learn. You will make mistakes. School knowledge and book knowledge are two entirely different things. The American Association of Massage Therapists recognizes this and provides a mentoring program to help transition new graduates into the world of massage therapy work.
The mentoring program provides an experienced professional outside your workplace for guidance, support, and friendship. These mentors guide new massage therapists through career development, setting up business practices, and adjustment to their new careers. Mentoring relationships are expected to last anywhere from six months to two years. Some relationships last a lifetime.
To use the mentoring program, new graduates must join AMTA. The new graduates fill out a form and search for a mentor according to location, skills, or work setting. After finding a mentor, the person can be contacted by email. If after the first meeting things are going well, the new graduate and mentor contact AMTA and make the relationship official. Mentors will then offer information, advice, ideas, and general support.
Mentoring is one of the best practices known to maintain high standards, create professionals, and establish career networks. Participating in a professional organizationâ€™s mentoring program puts a new graduate at ease, gives a quicker path to professionalization, and supports the profession. It is an opportunity one should not miss.