Recovering from an injury means…back to school?

Monday, Oct. 2, 2017
Man contemplating

Suffering and recovering from a significant injury can affect your life in a multitude of ways. In addition to the physical toll, the emotional and mental impact can be even more considerable. 

So, it’s not surprising that when we’re recovering from injury, we take the time to evaluate our lives, and start to think about possible change. This might include thinking that it might be time to change careers.

While in the downtime from injury recovery, it’s not unusual to start questioning your current employment situation and wonder, maybe this job isn’t what I really want to be doing long-term. Can I still be happy in my role, five, ten years down the road? Then there is the concern of whether you are actually stagnating in your job, or if your injury is making you question things, you normally wouldn’t.

 If you find yourself at a crossroads like this following an injury, here are two ways to look at these questions, that might help you better sort out your emotions.  

1. Often we get anxious and instantly begin to worry.  This job and career path is what I know. It might be all I know. I am not trained in anything else. I’ll have to start at the bottom again. I don’t have the money to retrain.


2. You can really allow yourself to imagine life with a new career.  A vocational rehabilitation specialist can help you with this. Determining transferrable skills and past experiences will help.  Pinpointing what it is that you enjoyed about certain aspects of a job can also help. The vocational rehabilitation specialist will ask you questions about your interests outside your current role. This can help trigger an idea for a new and exciting career path you hadn’t previously considered.

woman stretching

As a career advisor for youth for many years, I used to often hear, “But I love hockey, I just want to play hockey!”

My advice to them, as it would be to anybody considering a new career, is that you don’t need to give up on your dreams. Continue to work hard and keep an open mind.  

If sports, or health and wellness has always been a passion, perhaps becoming a kinesiologist, physiotherapist, massage therapist or a personal trainer are options. If you like to write, maybe becoming a sports writer could be possible, even if it is a freelance or blog writing role. Sports coordination for a local organization could be a path to a career that combines previous skills with a personal passion. 

Some professions need educational training, and some roles do not.  The important thing is to take some time to consider all of your options. Start thinking about it and talking about it. It could be really exciting! And it might make recovering from an injury the starting point to a new chapter in your life.