Learn Career Tips from Animate's BCBA Founder and CEO

The success of ABA therapy relies on the hard and noble work of behavior technicians who deliver therapy directly with clients, helping to make meaningful improvements in their quality of life. With ABA providers and clinical teams in high demand, there is an influx of low quality providers causing a disservice to clients and families along with giving ABA a bad name. We encourage job seekers to read our article on how to identify a high quality practice and land their dream job.
Searching for the right job in ABA can be a challenging and sometimes frustrating experience. It is one of the reasons I started Animate Behavior, to be able to do things the right way, with a focus on ethics, person centered care, and high quality clinical teams. In an effort to give back to our field, disseminate ABA and assist those special people who truly want to change lives for the better, I wrote this guide along with some career tips to land the perfect role! How does one prepare for an interview? How do you ascertain if the agency you’re interviewing with is a good fit for you, your values, and how you work? When we connect with people who are pursing a career in ABA. we weigh both the candidate’s experience in clinical practice along with cultural fit within our organization. We ask, how will this candidate relate to clients, caregivers, and fellow employees? How would they be as a supervisor or supervisee? Can they effectively receive and incorporate valuable feedback? How are their play skills? Are they fun and “Animated?” It’s just as important for the candidate to assess the organization they are applying for. Often times, candidates new to the field don’t know what to ask or what to make a decision based on. Read on for a clear answer from a BCBA and ABA business owner.  Click here now to check out opportunities at Animate Behavior. 
 ABA Career Search Tips from Animate Founder, Yaz Aboul, M.S.,BCBA Short Resumes, No CV's
A great resume fits on one page. This allows for an easy and clear first impression without overwhelming the reader with information. Remember that your resume is likely one of dozens if not hundreds being read daily, so you want to get your resume to stand out in a good way. I recommend being professional, detailed in your job duties and experience, and if you truly want a role for good reason, include a cover letter explaining why.  A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is not meant to obtain a job, whereas a resume is. Your resume should highlight the accomplishments and expertise you’re most proud of, ones that you feel would be of best use to a potential employer, such as certifications, awards, and trainings you’ve completed.
A Resume Should Include the Following:
- Your contact information and city/location
- Your highest level of education including current enrollment if any
- Any relevant training and certifications you hold
- Your relevant work experience
- Relevant personal and professional skills
- References are a plus but not required for a resume
- Good grammar and spelling
Do your homework If you are interested in a company or a position, do your homework. Read their website, learn their values and mission, figure out what you can about the size of the company and the culture. Check what other jobs are posted, look them up on social media, read their reviews on Glassdoor, Indeed and Google. Coming prepared with this knowledge will demonstrate your professionalism and interest in the company and also helps ensure they are a good fit for you.  
Prepare Questions and Prepare to Be Questioned!
A common interview question I like to ask is if you have any questions about the company or position. Try to have at least 1 or 2 thoughtful questions prepared, it helps show genuine interest in the role. Below are some great vetting questions to help you sort out a bad place to work from a good one in the field of ABA (these are from my own personal experience). Ask About Supervision How often is supervision provided and by who? One of the most common complaints and reasons for turnover is a lack of supervision, something that is crucial in the field of ABA and should be frequent and ongoing on all cases.  Ask About Caseload Size, Location and Training It’s very common to be pushed into a position you are not ready for and with a lack of training to boot. An expectation that one will either sink or swim is very common in this field, along with burn out and “drowning”. A good company has a thorough training and gradual fade in of work with clients with the support of a supervisor and fidelity checks and competency assessments to ensure their staff are ready for the role. Location is a huge problem when ABA is often delivered across multiple settings. Long drive times to multiple clients filled with traffic jams can make or a break a position and your happiness at a company. Find out where you will be working and how many clients you might have.  Ask Who Runs the Company This is a big one in our field due to the amount of unqualified or non-clinician run companies in the ABA field. I strongly recommend searching for a clinician owned company, where someone who cares about their clients and staff, along with doing the right thing, is in charge. Poor ethics and bad , if not illegal practices exist in this relatively new field (this comes from both my firsthand experience and input from fellow clinicians).  Ask About Growth A good agency controls their growth and scales appropriately. An agency rapidly growing and focused on revenue will likely struggle in all of the really important areas. Growth is not a bad thing, but rampant expansion can be a worrisome sign. You are looking for reasonable and ethical growth plans and strategy.  These questions will help you to learn more about the agencies you’re applying for. You’ll begin to get an understanding of how the organization runs, what the agency’s values are, and how closely aligned the agency’s mission is to its actual operations. At Animate Behavior, we are open to inquiry and connecting with passionate ABA clinicians as well as those looking to get started in the field. If you have questions about careers with us, or just want to learn more about what the field has to offer you.
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