Audiology is a very small profession, as we all know. In no time at all, you’ll begin to feel like you know most audiologists in your area, and potentially, nationwide. As you become an active member of the audiology community, you will begin (or have already begun) to recognize more names and faces than you thought you ever would know. You’ll begin volunteering on committees with well-known audiologists. You yourself will become a well-known audiologist!
Since audiology is such a small profession, it’s important to remember that our actions, both positive and negative, can follow us for a long time. Reputations tend to stick when everyone knows someone. With such a small community, so many positives are often overlooked.
- Networking. As many of us have heard over the years, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Although this is not always true, there is truth in the saying. Having a large network may help your name make it past HR in a pile of resumes, or even help when running to serve on the Academy Board of Directors! With a small field like ours, try to treat interactions with colleagues similar to an interview.
- Impact. In a profession as small as audiology, there are SO many opportunities to make a lasting impact. Get involved in your state audiology organization, or start one if a similar organization does not yet exist in your state! Actively volunteer with the American Academy of Audiology! Start a fundraiser or scholarship for individuals with hearing loss! The opportunities are truly limitless.
- Lift each other up. This is by far my favorite perk of being part of a small profession. We have SO many opportunities to lift each other up. If you see a post on social media that belittles someone for negotiating, politely stand up for your colleague! If you see someone being treated inappropriately in the workplace or on a conference call, say something! Every time we do that, we have a long-lasting impact on our profession.
Just remember, a small profession does not mean a small impact. We are all making a huge difference in people’s lives every day.
Good luck as you continue navigating your professional career, and please reach out with any questions or concerns.
Ashley Hughes, AuD, SAA Advisory Committee (SAAAC) Chair
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