How do we attract the best and the brightest to work in our field? We’ve kept the excitement, energy and enthusiasm for our work too quiet far too long.

Telling our stories, sharing our experiences isn’t enough. We tell each other, but do we shout it from the rooftops for others?

We are the steady partners for when you “need it.” The extra beauty of our field is for when people “want it.” Life plan communities, I believe, for many of the residents we serve, are the answer to questions they may have never even known existed. Those who live in our communities are enlightened, and they have made an awesome decision for their future.

A question I’ve been struggling with, as are many of us across the country, is how do we find enlightened employees to match the residents we serve? While I certainly don’t have all the answers, I tried to put together a different kind of “advertisement” for work in our field, with hopes it will attract more to our wonderful community.

I wanted to share this “Aspiring Leader” piece with you today and ask that you get it out there … outside of our walls to let prospective employees know our work is a calling and anyone who wants to approach their work as a calling should consider our field.

Julie Thorson’s “Living Leadership” blog was named the 2016 “Best New Department” Bronze Award winner by the American Society of Health Publication Editors. The president and CEO of Friendship Haven, a life plan community in Fort Dodge, IA. Thorson is a coach’s daughter at heart. She is a former part-time nursing home social worker who quickly ascended the leadership ranks. Now a licensed nursing home administrator, she has been a participant in LeadingAge’s Leadership Academy and LeadingAge Iowa’s Mentor of the Year. She is currently a mentor in LeadingAge Iowa’s Emerge leadership program.