Every year a week in November is identified as Occupational Therapy Week  by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. A time to celebrate and promote the profession. A busy week with all kinds of activities and events taking place across the UK. This year the theme is Securing the Future of the Profession. Members of the profession have been encouraged to make pledges around this theme.

It’s a challenging question to reflect on, what can I, at a personal level, do to help secure the future of the profession? It’s a big question. It a question that asserts that securing the future of the profession is a collective responsibility, not just something to be left to our professional body.

My heart went immediately to – supporting the dreamers, adventurers and mavericks of the profession. When your heart takes you straight to a place you know this is the place to be! So, who are the dreamers, adventurers and makers? These are the people with the courage to step outside of the box, to think differently and who are prepared to challenge the status quo. This feels very resonant space to me and one which, I feel, is fundamental to ensuring the survival of the profession.

The world of health and social care is changing at a fast pace. Who knows what it will look like in five years time. Our thinking about the way in which services are structured and provided is being challenged as are the fundamental building blocks of a state funded system. We need to do more than making adjustments to our current way of doing things. We need radical, innovative thinking.

If we are to survive as a profession we need people with the courage to ask, ‘how can we do things differently’ with the energy to push past the nay sayers and the tenacity to challenge status quo with radical thinking. We need people who are happy to span traditional organisational boundaries. People willing to step out of their comfort zones and who are prepared to make themselves vulnerable. 

I have had the privilege to meet and work with some of these people at different times in my career. I certainly coming across them in my coaching practice. It takes courage to follow a path which is less well trod and to stand out from the crowd . It helps if you have access to people who can cheer you on your way and say ‘go for it, I know you can do it.’ I know this is where I can bring my skills and expertise as a personal coach and therefore this is my pledge as an occupational therapist and personal coach ……..