268. Learning from Listening to Patients, Her Eyes Were Opened
As a child growing up in Japan, she was grateful her parents had not pressured her into a particular career, as many children’s parents did, but during her college undergraduate years the options ahead of her were limited to a few traditional occupations for women.
Sachiko Komagata was born and raised in Japan and emigrated to the U.S. after four years of college. With her Master’s degree and license, she practiced Physical Therapy over a decade in a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania suburb. Questions arising from her clinical work experiences led her to pursue research toward a Ph.D. from Temple University. Since 2004, she has been a college professor in Holistic Health Studies and chairs the Department of Holistic Health and Exercise Science at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
As Sachiko was completing college in her native Japan, the nation adopted an equal employment opportunity law, which went into effect in 1986. She had been planning to become a teacher, but suddenly there were ads for jobs traditionally reserved for men. She thought, “Maybe I should try for one of those jobs.” Sales jobs had always been for males only. She applied for and got a sales position at a mid-size printing company, specializing in foreign language publications. “Only four female college grads were hired at the company. I felt the burden to succeed. My language skills were helpful.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
A major turning point came when her husband got a job in New York City. “That’s how I came to the United States. I began to ask myself what kind of work could I do as a foreign citizen.” She volunteered at a hospital to learn about various jobs–especially physical and occupational therapy, and social work—and decided to pursue physical therapy as a profession. She applied to 10 schools and got accepted by five. “I decided on Temple University in Philadelphia. My husband was very supportive. We moved to Trenton, New Jersey so he could commute to New York via Amtrak and I could commute to school in Philadelphia.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
From listening closely to patients as individuals, Sachiko says, “I realized for myself and from my research that I could continue to learn. My eyes were opened beyond a particular physical therapy program. Then, whether through serendipity or from the fact that my eyes are opened now, I found a place on Georgian Court University’s holistic health studies faculty, where I can use what I learned to impact people’s lives.”
Steps to Success from Sachiko Komagata
1. Don’t let outside pressures deter you from exploring and finding your true talents.
2. Try something new, something outside your regular territory. It may help you to see your hidden potential.
3. Think back to the things you loved to do in your childhood and use them as a guide to your adult explorations.
4. Start by making gradual changes to see what you love to do. Don’t wait until you can make wholesale changes.
5. Set aside times to re-evaluate your life.
On Her Bookshelf
Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing (or any other books in the “Fudge” series), by Judy Blume; a child’s book that has lessons for every age
Connecting With Sachiko Komagata
Anyone who would like to receive a free healing intention, Sachiko would be happy to do this with you. Contact her through her Facebook or LinkedIn address above or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to mention this podcast, Discover Your Talent–Do What You Love.
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