How to keep your job.

How do you keep your job or better yet – get a promotion?


Traditionally – the answers are simple:

  • Show up for work.
  • Do a good job.


And yet many times the good, hard-working people are the ones who lose jobs.


There was an (2017, Sept 6) article posted at CNN money that pointed out “Lego slashed 1,400 jobs as sales slump.” Last month (2017, Aug 10), USA Today reported that “As many as 160 Applebee’s and IHOP locations to close.” Last year (2016, Sept 5), The Daily Caller, reported that 83,000 coal jobs were lost and 400 mines shuttered. My brother-in-law and many other family members (here in West Virginia lost their coal mining jobs that supported their families). Many companies closed during the financial crisis (2008 to 2009) like Circuit City. Borders Bookstore closed in 2011.


I feel certain that there were many people, employees at Lego, Applebees, IHOP, Coalminers, Circuit City, Borders bookstore, and many other places who showed up, did their job, and still lost their job.

It isn’t fair, but it happens.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) teaches a skill called, “Radical Acceptance,” to help ease the suffering. You don’t have to like what happened, but you accept the situation for what it is to avoid prolonged suffering and dwelling about something that can’t be changed.


The good news is that that The Economist rated recreational therapy as the least likely profession to be replaced by technological advancement and automation within the next two decade.


But is that is the report at The Economist enough to give you a feeling of career safety?


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(C) Canstockphoto

I often think of  the (1998) movie, Primary Colors when I read or hear about companies closing.  John Travolta plays a Governor from a southern state who is running for President of the United States. In one scene the Governor is speaking to a group of people (mostly men) who had lost their jobs at a factory. Governor (played by Travolta) told them: “No politician can re-open this factory or bring back the shipyard jobs.” He goes on to tell how many of those jobs went to other countries that have cheaper labor. The Governor gives people advice.

He said: “We need to get smarter and learn new skills.”


My brother-in-law, who I spoke about earlier in this blog post (above) had lost his job as a coal-miner. Those jobs aren’t coming back, at least no time soon. He is going back to school to become a nurse. That is a job that is definitely going to be around. He is working at getting smarter and learning new skills.  

My question for you: What are you doing to get smarter and learn new skills?

Here are some ideas for recreation therapists like you:

  • Read the Therapeutic Recreation Journal
  • Read the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) newsletter
  • Attend an ATRA conference (unfortunately the one next week in Orlando, Florida has been postponed due to Hurricane Irma to keep people safe.
  • Attend a conference in a related field: Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Mental Health Counseling, Play Therapy, or others.
  • Read a newly revised textbook in recreation therapy or an allied profession.
  • Take a self-study CEU course at my site: 
  • Take an advanced self-study professional certificate at:
  • Take a graduate level college course. One college course counts for about 45 out of the 50 clock hours of continuing education required for the five-year CTRS recertification cycle. Of course, as a disclaimer, contact NCTRC for official information about that.

How RTs can get more recognition.


  • Rec therapists (some, but not all) have complained to me over the years that they are not respected and recognized as well as their allied professionals.

My Feelings:

  • I strongly believe that our allied professionals may be advancing more often because they require more continuing education.  Unfortunately, many professionals do not independently continue their education. Therefore, agencies (like hospitals), state license boards, national certification boards have all set a minimum level of required continuing education hours per year.

Some Examples of the Difference in Continuing Education

Recreational therapists must earn 50 continuing education hours in five years in order to maintain their certification with the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).

Let’s see what other professionals require:

  • Physical Therapists must earn 24 continuing education hours per year to maintain their state license in my state, West Virginia. That is 120 hours in five years. A physical therapist is getting 70 more hours (beyond the 50 hours that Rec Therapists are required) in a five-year period.
  • Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Therapists in West Virginia are required 20 hours of continuing education per year to maintain their state license. That would be a total of 100 hours in a five year period. That is 50 hours (beyond the 50 that RTs are expected to earn for their national certification) in a five-year period.
  • National Certified Counselors (NCC) must earn 80 continuing education hours in five years. That is 30 more continuing education hours (beyond 50 hours that Rec Therapists are required) in a five-year period.
  • Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) in West Virginia must earn 35 continuing education hours every two years to maintain their license. That is a total of 70 hours every four years. Do you see the difference? A licensed counselor requires 70 hours in four years and a certified rec therapist requires 50 in five years.

I’ve not checked on other professional groups and organizations.

The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) appears to be working to encourage RTs to gain more knowledge and skills. They currently offer the specialty certifications (which require 75 hours of continuing education in a five-year period, among other requirements like a graduate degree or advanced certificate courses).

Here is the good news for you.

There are no limits to your continuing education.

You can make a choice to be a leader in the field.  You can earn well above and beyond the minimum 50 hours required by NCTRC.

I’d argue that it might be safer to go the extra mile on hours – just in case one hour isn’t accepted.

Of course, you’re probably aware that I provide online continuing education courses. However, RTs don’t have to go with my program. My program focuses on mental/ behavioral health. RTs may want to seek out other expertise areas and learn more. I’d be glad to help you in your search for those courses and training too.

Are you ready to take your own career to the next level?

I’d like to invite you to check out the self-study CEU courses that I offer Rec Therapists.

Go here:


Imagine what learning more can do for you in both your personal life and your professional life?

Best wishes and to your success.

Your friend and partner in Rec Therapy,

Danny Pettry.


P.s. here is that link again:

Go here:

Amazing opportunities coming in 2017!

0001awesome online training program is dedicated to professional recreational therapists.

We’re determined and persistent in helping you. And we’re definitely preferred by recreational therapists as the leader in online trainings for recreational therapists.

We’re going to be rolling out some new amazing training programs in early 2017.

We’re not going to pre-announce these training courses quiet yet. – to keep my new direct competition in the dark from copying us.

But here are some things I can tell you. I asked 2,000 recreational therapists what they wanted. We got a good turnout of answers.

  • 92% of my mailing list wanted our main program. – so we’re definitely going to offer this!
  • 57% of my mailing list wanted the second program. – so we’re going to offer this too!
  • 47.9% wanted the third program. – and we’re going to offer this too.


Keep reading emails from my site so you won’t be in the dark about this dynamic programs! If you haven’t done so already – then you can go here to sign-up: