Joanne currently works across three organisations: at a multidisciplinary Autism clinic, a language and literacy clinic and a paediatric feeding and early communication clinic.
Tell me about your current role and your professional and educational background? How long have you worked in your current role?
I completed my Bachelor of Health Sciences in 2013 and majored in Rehabilitation Counselling. I then completed my Masters in Speech Pathology in 2015. Following this, I was lucky enough to land my first role at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Here, I worked in paediatric feeding and communication where I saw children from 0-18 with a variety of acute illnesses and disorders. I learned a great deal and found my passion for paediatric feeding.
Currently, I work at a full-time capacity in roles across three organisations, each with very different case-loads.
My first role is in a multidisciplinary Autism clinic where I work predominantly with children experiencing speech, language and pragmatic difficulties. I’m also undertaking sensory feeding training to conduct therapy with fussy eaters and feeding disordered children.
The second role is at a language and literacy clinic. Here, I work with children who often present with dyslexia. As part of this role, I also travel to football teams in Melbourne to provide language and literacy support to AFL and VFL players. Lastly, I recently joined a small team in a paediatric feeding and early communication clinic.
How did you go about finding your job? What techniques, websites, contacts, networks did you use to get your job?
I used a mix of traditional and unconventional networks to acquire my various positions. I found my job at the Autism clinic via job seeking websites. My position at the language and literacy centre was initially advertised as a role in a school on a University of Melbourne Speech Pathology social page. After meeting with my employer, I was appointed to a role that was better suited to myself and the clinic. Lastly, I learned of the paediatric feeding position when I called to enquire about a professional development opportunity that was being run through the clinic.
What do you like most about working at your organisation?
I enjoy the immense variety of clients that I see throughout my week. I am never bored and feel that I’m rapidly growing my skill set. I am very grateful that I work for organisations where my employers value my work and are supportive of all of my professional endeavours.
I also treasure each and every one of my clients and find great joy in seeing them achieve their goals.
What is one thing you wish you knew before you started your professional career?
As a graduate, I was lead to believe that if you didn’t have a full-time role within six months of graduating then you hadn’t ‘made’ it. However, discovering part time roles has opened up many doors for me. Job hunting can be disheartening but if I could go back, I would have liked to put more trust in the process and been more open about the jobs that I applied for.
What is one piece of advice you would give to students who are graduating soon and are looking to work in Speech Pathology?
The employer and employee relationship can be more important than the work itself. I have explored areas that I previously had less interest in because I had passionate employers that believed in my skill set. As a result, I am motivated and learning more everyday. My advice would ber to take risks and apply for things you ordinarily wouldn’t because you might meet your future employer in an interview and realise that they’re someone who can help you drive your career forward.