A couple of weeks b, a good friend and colleague of mine, Jaime Rose Chambers (www.jaimerosenutrition.com.au), held a seminar for young dietitians, sharing what we have learnt as our repsective careers have progressed. The day was a huge success with 25 young dietitians attending. Here is one of the attendees take away points from the event and we look forward to holding a similar one for new grads this time next year.
Our guest blogger – Katrina Mills
Stepping from university into the big bad world is a daunting prospect for any graduate, including young idealistic dietitians. The dreaded question ‘so what are you going to do now?’ has been asked of myself by my parents, friends, personal trainer and even doctor! I often laugh it off and just say ‘anything and everything’ however I secretly worried I didn’t have a proper answer. The dietetics world, like any other can be a tough business, especially for a new grad. At what I consider perfect timing, a seminar for newbie dietitians looking to enter the industry was offered by Susie Burrell and Jaime Rose Chambers. Two leading Australian dietitians – surely they would have some helpful advice!
Twenty or so fellow dietitians had responded to the invite premised with the secrets to successfully setting up a private practice, marketing yourself and getting your career off to a flying start. Let me tell you, we were not disappointed. The effervescent Susie introduced herself and began by explaining her whirlwind career which now sees her with a private practice busting at the seams, food companies seeking her consult and media asking for her comments on the latest nutrition news. Jaime followed by explaining how she landed her current position as the dietitian at a wellness centre in Sydney’s inner city.
What was apparent throughout the seminar was that these ladies were keeping it real – giving 100% honest advice, which they had accrued through their mistakes and triumphs. Nothing here was sugar coated, hard work and dedication was clearly an underlying factor to both their successes. Hearing the positive and negative aspects of private practice, clinical positions and food industry jobs was helpful in truly assessing where I could see myself heading.
In addition to personal anecdotes the ladies offered some really practical tips for those looking to set themselves up in the community. They covered all the burning and often taboo questions that you want to ask but often feel you can’t, like ‘how much am I allowed to charge?’, ‘how does the EPC system work?’ and ‘is it work investing in a mobile POS terminal?’. It would take me far too long to discuss all the aspects that were covered, but it was safe to say we were all scribbling down their advice on our note pads!
We were treated to a lovely afternoon tea and used this sustenance to delve into some case studies – of patients we will actually be encountering. Having nutrition knowledge is one thing but applying it is always another. Susie especially reminded us of the complexities of some cases and the need to have some ‘go to’ dietitians whom to seek advice from when you feel challenged.
So what did I gain from these three hours you may ask?
1. I realized that there ARE jobs out there– you just need to put yourself up for them or create them yourself.
2. If you want something then stop waiting and make it happen.
3. When opportunities present themselves just say ‘yes!’
***Jaime & I will be planning further seminars in 2015 including a student/new grads seminar in Melbourne in January 2015 if there are the numbers to do so. To register your interest, please email ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’