What is your current Position?
I am an Outreach Specialist at Center for Change Eating Disorder Programs. We are a full service treatment center providing evidence-based treatment for individuals seeking recovery from an eating disorder.
How did you get started in your career?
I didn’t even know this was a career path 21 years ago when I was job hunting. I was a middle/high school teacher who had moved to Arizona and was naively looking for a teaching position in late August (when school had already started). I wasn’t yet AZ state licensed but was licensed in another state. I found a job posting for a teacher at a treatment center and applied. I had no idea it was an eating disorder program. I was hired and entered through a door that changed my life. I worked for 7 years in an inpatient setting, met my husband and best friends, and then gradually was asked to speak in settings with educators and attend some education conferences. Eventually I moved into a marketing/outreach role and began exhibiting at conferences, traveling around the country meeting eating disorder professionals and acting as a liaison when their clients were in treatment. Being of service in the eating disorder world is an honor and a true calling for me. As someone who has recovered from an eating disorder, I consider it a privilege to do this work.
What advice would you give someone new to the field?
Be a student. Learn as much as you can. No one expects you to be an expert especially when you’re starting out. Look at your role as relationship building. No one in this field appreciates a sales pitch or aggressive tactics. Also, be respectful of other programs and reps. Understand that people get help in a lot of different ways and in different settings, and work to establish relationships with others who do your same job. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to treatment and sometimes the best referral is to a program other than the one you represent. People will trust and respect you if you make appropriate and well thought out referrals.