My Career Transition to Massage — Toastmasters

My second speech for Toastmasters.

My Career Transition to Massage Therapy from Travis Usinger on Vimeo.

I describe my story of moving from a career in film to massage therapy, and incorporate tips to help you to discover and transition to a career you’re passionate about. The points are: 1. brainstorm all options and see which path feels right 2. Research the training needed  3. Immersion in a training program 4. Find a mentor to learn from and 5. Give your services to the community Last year I was in college for film in a city that I didn’t connect with, working lighting, sound and projection for local events. I was unsure of my purpose, and as I looked forward to working as an editor for production films, I knew I would have to move to Los Angeles, and that I would be working on projects that I wasn’t passionate about. This was frustrating and disappointing to say the least, I hated living in a city, and didn’t want to move to a bigger one. While I was finishing college, I decided to work on time management, and in my free time I would journal about discovering and following a new career path. If you’re interested in making a career change, my story may help you to incorporate the shift in perspective necessary to transition to a new career. The method that I followed in finding a new career was to brainstorm all my options, see which path felt right, research the training needed, immerse myself in a training program, find a mentor to learn from, and give my services to the community. To discover your options I would write about any career paths that you think you could be passionate about. I wrote about everything from creating documentaries or facilitating and creating visual aids for speakers, to completely different careers like organic farming, massage and teaching yoga. After I’ve created this mix of different careers, I would read each one, look within to my heart, and notice how I feel being identified with that career. In order to figure out which career path feels right, I recommend choosing 3 or 4 options, writing a couple hundred words on each one, and envisioning it as already completed. I wrote this one year ago: “I am a role model for physical health. I do yoga daily, eat a healthy vegan diet and receive massage at least once a week. My clients are interested in being healthier and living with more inner peace and fulfillment. I show them yoga streches and give massage. I also hold a donation based yoga and meditation class for friends and clients. I have a blog where I share my goals and experiences in discovering my purpose and improving myself. I join a support group of massage therapists. We discuss how to create a welcoming atmosphere at your studio, how to build a good website, and other topics. I have plenty of time to myself for journaling, meditation, reading, and relaxation.” After reading this I felt joyous, enthusiastic and ready to start my journey. Now what I needed to do in the process was to learn more about the career through research and “testing the waters” to see if I’m truly passionate. I looked online for possible massage schools and training, I read blogs from successful massage therapists and bought books and DVDs so I could learn basic massage techniques. I interviewed successful massage therapists and learned more about their lifestyles and the strengths and hardships of being a massage therapist. I attended a weekend massage course at the Esalen institute in Big Sur a couple months later to discover if this was my true passion. I touched a dozen different bodies and souls and found the meditative style of Esalen massage to complement my introspective nature, and I loved it. The next step was to immerse myself in a complete training program with peer interaction and insightful teachers. That Summer I enrolled in a massage program in Santa Cruz that would allow me to be a licensed massage practitioner in California. I became very close to my classmates in massage school, receiving and giving massage three to five times a week and evaluating each other’s technique. The teachers were very helpful, answering any questions we had, and providing a demo massage session at the beginning of every class. It’s also very important to learn from someone more experienced, who has been successful in your career choice. The massage therapist that first inspired me to massage became my mentor, and I would trade massage with him once a week, showing him what I learned, receiving feedback, and learning new techniques from him. I saw my skills and expertise grow, and I was excited to have return clients and to continue to trade massage and learn more. After the two month training program, having become competent in giving massage, the next step was to give my services to the community to raise awareness of my new found career. I gave my services to seniors at a community center, at pool parties, Aids bike rides, and to friends and family. I shared a massage studio with a friend, and was building a client base while I continued my education in the fall, learning deep tissue and Thai massage techniques. Now this Winter I’m at the point where it’s time to re-evaluate, and discover where my career path will take me next. I will complete the 550 hour massage program in Santa Cruz, and will be nationally certified by next summer. I am starting this career path method over again, feeling inspired to become a yoga teacher. I have brainstormed, and feel the path of a yoga teacher is my next step. I’m now researching what it means to be a yoga teacher by going to yoga classes daily at the studio in Breckenridge, interviewing yoga teachers, and discovering the differences in how they teach. I am open to opportunity, and looking for a yoga teacher training program to immerse myself in for the Fall. After the program I will find an inspiring mentor, and give donation based yoga classes to the community. Maybe you’re in a similar situation whether it’s time to expand your current career options, or maybe you need to change directions completely like I did this last year. Where is your career path taking you? Is it time to re-evaluate and envision a new future?

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