In the wake of the pandemic, life seemingly changed overnight — work-life proving to be no exception. According to a recent survey, the pandemic has caused roughly 24% of Canadians to reconsider their job or career path.
In their renewed search to find vocations that are in demand, many British Columbians have been broadening their options and looking to industries and professions that are thriving. As many consider a career change, the field of registered massage therapy is being recognized for its flexibility and entrepreneurial flair.
For local registered massage therapist (RMT), educator, business owner, and public speaker, Taylor Oomen-Aller, jumpstarting her wellness career was a matter of combining the things she cares about. “I used to struggle with keeping my different passions separate,” she tells us.
Oomen-Aller describes the process of combining her various interests into one career as a lightbulb moment — “it was a natural transition.” Now, on any given day, you can find her juggling her clients in the Lower Mainland, snuggling her rescue dog, volunteering at a local non-profit, and enjoying the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest with her little family.
She credits a large part of her success in achieving her “big heart dreams” towards the years of learning and adventure that transpired during her time at West Coast College of Massage Therapy. “The days were long and the years were short; it was truly a pivotal experience for me,” says Oomen-Aller.
In addition to meeting some of her best friends there, she was able to grasp the important technical and academic skills she’d need to pursue a rewarding career. “I’m so grateful for that time in my life,” she emphasizes. “It taught me about patience, hard work, and that caring about what you do and who you serve should be your guidepost.”
Registered massage therapy is perfect for those wanting a hands-on profession — especially for Vancouverites with backgrounds in human anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. Since it’s a career that allows you to positively impact the health and wellbeing of others, many who have a genuine desire to give back to their community have found themselves gravitating towards massage therapy.
With campuses in New Westminster and Victoria, the school also offers students the flexibility to choose their preferred campus. For those with an interest in healthcare, Oomen-Aller “highly encourages” considering registered massage therapy — a licensed profession in the healthcare industry. “It’s been a decision that has changed the trajectory of my life and allowed for exploration, growth, and room for more.”
As it turns out, no single career as an RMT is quite like another since the profession is so flexible and varied. A far cry from the monotony of working a desk job, RMTs have the ability to work abroad, travel with their clients, own their own businesses, structure their work schedules around their personal lives, and work in many different environments, including medical clinics, spas, and resorts.
In Oomen-Aller‘s own experience, seeing the “varied trajectories” her fellow classmates were taking inspired her to explore the possibilities and forge her own path. “The different settings and environments at my disposal were almost endless,” she says. “Having a business class incorporated into the curriculum also prepared me for those big steps.”
When asked what a typical day-in-the-life as an RMT looks like, Oomen-Aller exclaimed, “there isn’t one!” For her, every day is different. “I have a few days a week where I practice at a clinic, a day to teach at the college, and a day when I take on other pursuits, like consulting, volunteering, or creative work.”
Among the things she enjoys most about her day-to-day are the flexibility, autonomy, and physical work. What she values “most of all is being able to help people,” she says.
Honoured to be entrusted with the health of her patients, she relishes being able to help alleviate the pain of others — whether it means assisting someone in making their pregnancy more comfortable or helping them return to their sport.
Though she also delights in having a career that is physically active and demanding, she does caution that the burnout is real. According to Oomen-Aller, it’s a drawback that can be remedied by actively finding balance. “It’s important to check in with yourself often and know your warning signs for needing a break.”
For those striving to find their calling, Oomen-Aller has some words of wisdom to impart. “Look at your passions like puzzle pieces,” she says. “Find ways to click them together, while also leaving room for your life to shift.”
To learn more about becoming an RMT, you can attend one of West Coast College of Massage Therapy’s monthly information sessions by emailing [email protected].
The next online information session, which is on May 19, will provide an overview of the program and answer frequently asked questions.