Follow these tips to become a Registered Dietitian, including how long it takes and my path to becoming an RD.
My path to becoming a Registered Dietitian
I used to work in Advertising Sales for major television networks. Why did I choose that career path? Well, it was really just something that I stumbled upon after college, but I never really loved it or felt fulfilled. I spent two years getting acquainted with the world of advertising, and then I spent the next two years figuring out how I could get out of the world of advertising.
When I was 26, I decided that it was time for a change, but what I wanted to do was still a mystery to me. After doing some soul searching and thinking about what I really enjoyed doing, I came up with a career that would let me think about cooking, food and exercise on a daily basis. I wanted to be a Registered Dietitian.
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After making that decision, there were so many questions to answer– Where do I start? How will this work? What if I can’t do it? If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably had the same thought and have pondered the same questions. I receive a TON of emails from my readers asking me about changing careers.
Rather than write out my entire process, I decided to create this video detailing the schooling and Internship process.
I now work for myself as a media Registered Dietitian. I have written for a variety of national publications, including Runner’s World, SHAPE, Prevention.com, NBC News and many more publications. I work as a paid spokesperson, speaker and recipe developer, and I create content for you guys! In other words, I couldn’t be more thrilled with how my career has progressed!
Advice about changing careers
For those thinking of changing careers, I have some advice. These are things to keep in mind when thinking about taking the leap into a new career:
Be okay with taking risks.
I think two of the most stressful points in my life were waiting for Grad school admission and worrying about finding a job. I convinced myself that there was a possibility that both weren’t going to happen (but it all worked out)! But here’s the thing– even if thing didn’t work out, I would figure out a way to keep going. I always kept in mind that changing careers involves a great deal of risk and worry, but the reward is totally worth it!
Networking is so important in any career, but it’s really important when you leave a career behind to start over. Throughout my schooling, I didn’t go to weird networking events and blindly introduce myself to strangers, but I did get to know many different nutrition professionals. I was interested in people’s jobs and asked them questions, and I always took on as many nutrition related side jobs as possible. I did a ton of things for free, but it paid off in the end when I got into a Dietetic Internship and had a network built when I was done with school.
Don’t listen to what others tell you that you have to do.
Everyone in my life was very supportive of me changing careers. However, when it came time to figure out what I wanted to do within the field of nutrition, many RD’s told me that I had to go where the jobs were, even if that wasn’t my passion. I absolutely refused to believe this. I networked my butt off to make sure that I had as many opportunities as possible. Be determined to do what you want and don’t let people tell you otherwise!
Realize that your life will be very different than your friends.
When I went back to Grad school, my friends all had careers, money, and free time. They were able to go out on dates at night while I was in class or babysitting. I didn’t think about this ahead of time, but I don’t regret my decision. I will eventually have time to do all of those things.
Give it everything you have.
Let’s face it, no one ever got anywhere by half-assing it. If you don’t give your new career your all then you will never fully succeed. Know what you want and work your hardest to make it happen!
In the end, the most important thing I learned was to follow my passion. Now I will “never work a day in my life”. As a matter of fact, I followed my passion on three important decisions and I think those were pivotal moments in my career. Watch this video to see what I mean!