April 28, 2013

Setting Professional Goals

"What are your long-term and short-term professional goals?"

This question always seems to come up during job interviews. Fresh out of graduating with my master's degree, my answer was "...to complete my Clinical Fellowship and obtain my ASHA CCCs."

Check! Thankfully I met that goal a couple years ago :)

The education agency I work for has us set personal goals and write an Individual Professional Development Plan every couple years. I have been completing my self-assessment this week and have spent time reflecting on where I am at as a professional and where I'd like to see my career as a speech-pathologist go. It has been challenging for me to figure out what my Long Term goals are as an SLP, but I've come up with a couple things.

As SLPs we are continually expanding our knowledge base. Many people don't realize how broad the SLP scope of practice is. We do way more than just "fix Rs" :) One of my long term goals has become

I love, love, love articulation therapy. Have a tricky R kiddo? Send them my way! Lateral S? No problem! Perhaps articulation will become my specialty area, but working in the schools requires us to be knowledgable in many areas. Unfortunately, I don't have much experience with AAC or fluency. I would really like to expand my knowledge and skills set in those two areas in particular.

I'm a true believer that supervisors can make a world of difference in the overall experience students have. In grad school I was gung-ho set on becoming a medical SLP. All I wanted to do was complete swallow studies. But then I experienced my school practicum and my supervisor was amazing and so helpful and the whole experience was just so. much. fun. From that point on I wanted to work with children.

My clinical fellowship supervisor went the other way. My supervisor had a baby two months after I joined the staff at her private practice. When she came back from maternity leave, her baby came with her and the success of the clinic and her patients no longer seemed to be her priority. It was a stressful time, but I grew a ton as a new SLP during that experience. There's a lot more to the story, and I won't go into details, but my supervisor was what ultimately led me to leave that position. She also inspired me to someday become a supervisor who provides freshly-hatched-out-of-grad-school SLPs with an amazing CF experience.

If all these previous goals come to fruition, I believe it will lead me to become a leader within the community of SLPs I work with at my current job. The education agency employs a couple hundred speech pathologists and a few of those serve as lead SLPs helping advocate and problem-solve for the profession, determine professional development opportunities for the group, and work to train other speech pathologists who are new to the agency. Down the road, I hope my knowledge and skills (see LTG #1) grow to the point where I could feel comfortable serving as a lead SLP.


Now that my long-term goals are written down (and exposed for the world to see!), hopefully I'll be able to come back and update these with checkmarks once completed.

Leave a Comment: Have you set professional goals? What would you like to accomplish?


  1. Good job! I also find that writing down my goals is the easiest way to keep track of it. A lot of people rely so much on just keeping their goals in their mind, which leads them to either losing motivation or completely forgetting them. At least you recognize what you have to do. That's already a start!

    Myron Coo @ Davewilliamson.net

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