"What Do You Do? Noble Work!"
Our work is noble. We are making improvements in the lives of our clients and their families. The communication and swallowing therapy that we provide has the capacity to change the course of a person's life, and it's time that we let people know about the great things that we do! It's common to be asked about your profession, from the friendly conversation-starter, "What do you do?" to the more deliberate information seeking, "So, what do you
do for a living?"
Every time we are asked about our careers, we are given an opportunity to increase public awareness and understanding of our field. We are the professionals who represent a legacy of service to improve an individual's ability to communicate. We can pique interest, share stories, make connections and even provide referral and consultation advice simply by how we answer a stranger's query.
Let's try new ways of responding to this common question:
- "I ensure that all children have the ability to develop friendships and interact with their peers. I work as a speech-language pathologist with children with autism spectrum disorder."
- "I provide training to parents and caregivers to help them talk with their children. I work as a speech-language pathologist in early intervention."
- "I help young adults prepare for their future jobs and living settings. I work as a speech-language pathologist in adult community transition."
- "I assist adolescents with organizing their thoughts and ideas to be successful in school. I work as a speech-language pathologist in a middle school."
- "I am proud to help every child have a voice and share their thoughts and ideas. I work as a speech-language pathologist in a school."
- "I provide children with special needs with a meaningful way to communicate. I work as a speech-language pathologist in augmentative and alternative communication."
- "I help children speak clearly and express themselves. I work as a speech-language pathologist in an elementary school."
- "I support reading and literacy development for children with language and learning challenges. I work as a speech-language pathologist in an elementary school."
- "I support adolescents with special needs to become part of their community. I work as a speech-language pathologist in a high school."
Think about your work and how it is different from everyone else's work. Your clinical setting is unique. Your skills and training are specialized and you provide important services. Every exchange is a teaching opportunity. Personal interactions within the community - our neighbors, our distant relatives, friends-of-friends, etc., all of these people need to know that we change lives. Let's start to tell them.