Things I Wish I Knew Then

Heidi DiGennaro

Heidi DiGennaro

Surviving the Headset

All good things come to an end. Your time in this field will end at some point; what’s your plan for after? Right now, you’re probably dealing with daily living, bills, rising expenses, and a budget that isn’t what you want it to be. Retirement is somewhere down the road, while right now you are thinking, “Retirement? I hope to get through today’s shift and retire to my bed for sleep.” 

              There are several things I wish someone would have told me when I started or throughout my career. I’m going to try and impart some hard-earned wisdom to you regarding your “for after” plan.

  • Paid leave. Every center’s leave accrual and usage policy are different. Check into what happens to your leave if you resign or retire (“I’m Outta Here!”). Some agencies pay money for leave accrued. Some agencies apply your sick leave toward your retirement and count that as time worked, just by saving it and not using it. 
    • If your agency pays out, save it up. Don’t jeopardize your health to do so; just think about how it could benefit you in the long run.  
    • Sick leave—save, save, save. You have no idea what’s going to happen to you or your family members in the future. You don’t want to be unable to take paid time off (or time off in general) because you burned through your sick leave.