As I mentioned in my last post, I have relocated to a city where dance/movement therapy (DMT) is on the fringes of the healing community. Now that I have settled into my new location, I have started to apply and interview for possible employment opportunities ranging from traditional counseling to a DMT position. My focus on finding meaningful employment has taken its toll on my blog writing and propelled me into the role of a diligent job hunter. I have had a few interviews since moving and each one has been insightful for me as a dance/movement therapist. I’ve had to define DMT, explain methodologies, lead a small movement experience for possible future clients, and I was even asked, ‘but how passionate are you about counseling?”
It wouldn’t be fair to say that I have spent my entire energy on finding DMT employment, as I’ve certainly made time for the beach and bartending at a local brewery. I even have ample time to write blog posts, although I am having trouble writing because I don’t feel entirely connected to my DMT self. Then it dawned on me, as a true believer in the here and now, that I should write about the process of applying and interviewing for DMT positions. Since moving, I’ve tried to do the all the “right” things one should do when unemployed. I created a LinkedIn profile, signed up for Indeed.com, researched local community organizations, reached out to local dance/movement therapists and tried to make meaningful connections with community members (bartending is a great way to do this, by the way). My approach to finding employment has been somewhat successful because I have landed a few interviews. Unfortunately, they have not manifested into a position (not yet anyway), but it still feels like forward progression.
I have to admit that it has been awhile since I’ve had to apply for and interview for positions. After my DMT graduate studies, I quickly found employment where I had formerly been a DMT intern. I still had to interview for the position, but because I had rapport with the program I was much more at ease in the process. Upon getting my first interview after re-locating, I quickly realized I did not even had the proper attire to wear to an interview. In addition to a shopping trip, I also brushed up on my interview skills and definition of DMT, knowing that I’d have to define it to my potential interviewers.
So far what I have found is that my interviewers are interested in my DMT training. I am sure that having a master’s degree and the fact that counseling is tagged at the end of my training (Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling) has helped me get into doors. My interviewers interest is a positive sign, especially since DMT is virtually unheard of in the community. I have had to educate and advocate for DMT in the interview process while also not getting too in depth to over-saturate my interviewer. This is especially true when applying for more traditional counseling positions. I’ve explained to my interviewers that DMT is my lens for the work; it’s how I approach counseling. This occurs on a continuum- it can be as simple as noticing someone’s breath while in conversation to more embodied creative movement interventions. In one of my interviews, the interviewer said, “Your DMT training is great and all, but how passionate are you about counseling?” After stifling my shock and awkward giggle, I answered by saying that I was truly passionate about and competent in counseling. By the end of the interview I think the interviewer had a better understanding of DMT.
While the employment search is not fun there really is no way of getting around it. Not only do I want to be doing the work, I also need to pay my bills. Despite the need to pay my bills, I am trying to be mindful in my search by sifting through potential opportunities. Yes, it is important to find employment but I want to make sure the position honors what I have to offer and jive with my values as a therapist (I realize that I am privileged to have this flexibility). I also have to remind myself that the process takes time. It can’t happen all at once. Some days I am better at this than others. Some days I have to tune-out from the process, knowing that I have to step away to allow for an opportunity to arise. I also know that what needs to happen will happen and I’ll land where I need to land. I just have to keep applying, interviewing and proving my passion for the work.