Nicola McMullen-Klein: Tips From An Independent OT

May 29th, 2014

Why did you decide to start working as an independent OT?

I have been working as a locum OT for many years. I came back to the profession after a few years out to raise a family and the idea of being a locum and an independent practitioner appealed due to the flexibility.

Have you found a benefit from social media marketing (twitter, facebook, google plus, etc)?

Yes, Twitter in particular. There is a great network of OTs out there, who are really enthusiastic and willing to offer help and support to each other.

How long did it take to achieve a steady flow of work?

2 years on and I still find it difficult to have a steady flow of clients, but locum work fills the gap when necessary. You need to have quite a lot of time to devote to marketing yourself and making sure people know you/your service exists.

What is the best thing about being an independent OT?

  • You can choose your own clients and client load to suit you.
  • The work can vary tremendously.
  • The kind of clients and type of assessments you do can go off in any direction and new opportunities can pop up expectedly.

What are some tips that you could give to OT practitioners considering starting a business or working for themselves?

  • If you are already in a job, it might be an idea to reduce your hours whilst starting to pick up private work alongside it. This way, you will still have an income whilst trying to build up your own clients.
  • Keep in touch with existing OT colleagues as it is good to have a support network if you are in independent OT
  • Collect any useful OT forms that you come across, as these might be very helpful when designing your own.

Nicola is an independent Occupational Therapist covering the Lincolnshire and Midlands areas and is also the creator of the OT Expert. To find out more about Nicola's experience and background please contact us here.