Eric Leduc, a former Canadian ice hockey player, has recently become a qualified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Florida. The athlete turned medical professional claims he is living proof that your previous career should never prevent you from entering an entirely new industry. Leduc is speaking out to encourage individuals to step out of their comfort zone and accept new and interesting challenges outside of their industries.
“Becoming a professional hockey player had been a lifelong aspiration of mine,” says Leduc, “But it became apparent over the past few years that I wouldn’t be able to make it to the CHL or NHL. I had enjoyed my time in minor league hockey, but I was thirsty for a new challenge.”
Leduc began his ice hockey career in Canada. Leduc would go on to play for three semi-professional teams: the Uxbridge Bruins, Rockland Nationals, and Ottawa West Golden Knights. Despite not receiving a professional contract, Leduc had a successful career in Canada’s lower leagues. He made three deep play-off runs during his five years playing semi-professional hockey. His career came to an end after the 2013/2014 season when he moved to Florida to pursue a career in healthcare. Leduc says he wanted to become an EMT because of a lifelong interest in the healthcare industry.
“Becoming an EMT seemed to be a perfect fit for me,” Leduc says, “I always had a special interest in the healthcare industry, and being an EMT satisfies my desire to have a high intensity, ‘hands on’ job. My first few months working on an ambulance rotation has been one of the most exhilarating periods of my life. Not only do I get to work in the healthcare industry, but I get to be the initial point of contact with patients in traumatic circumstances. The job is extremely rewarding.”
The Canadian national has enjoyed moving South – the change in climate has been a blessing for someone who has spent such considerable time on an ice rink. Jacksonville has become the former Montreal man’s new home. Leduc wants to encourage people who currently feel dissatisfied with their job to seek out alternative employment.
“Most people wouldn’t see a pathway between semi-professional athlete and EMT,” Leduc says, “But during the last few years of my career I was increasingly dissatisfied and complacent, I knew I needed to do something entirely different that still took advantage of my drive and competitive spirit. I looked around the continent for a warm climate and a healthcare related opportunity – I haven’t looked back since. I think people need to begin putting themselves outside their comfort zones when considering a career change. Learning a new skill set and being challenged by a new environment really helps spur personal growth.”
Leduc says he misses the physical rigor of competitive sport, but overall has enjoyed removing the stress of semi-professional hockey from his life. “I owe my new found positivity to my career as an EMT,” says Leduc.