The healthcare field is constantly growing and diversifying. Whether you’re well into your career or just starting out, there are many ways to capitalize on this growth and bolster your skills and notoriety among your peers.
Setting goals and developing a plan to accomplish them is the foundation of success in any industry. In the world of healthcare, the importance of these actions is paramount. Planning will not only help you strengthen your credentials, but it will also help you determine the path you want to take to have the career– and life– of your dreams.
Identify What You Want in a Career
There are plenty of different areas of healthcare where you can work, each with unique skill requirements, pros, and cons. What aspects of a job appeal to you? Would you prefer to have a lot of contact with patients or would you rather be working behind the scenes? What activities do you love to do in a work setting? What things fuel your passion and make your job feel less like work? What are you great at doing? What things do you hate to do? Identifying what aspects of a job appeal will help you define your path forward and identify which strengths you should develop.
Investigate Relevant Skills
Say for example, that your goal is to have a long, prolific career in obstetrics and gynecology. To accomplish this, you will have to have skills– both technical and mental– that are relevant to this field. You can start by looking through OB/GYN Jobs and listing what the listings include for credentials, skills, and experience to give you an idea of where your focus should lie. You know that in the world of OB\GYN you will be dealing with women in vulnerable positions, so interpersonal skills like compassion and communication will be a necessity as well.
Be Innovative and Get Noticed
As much as playing politics is dreaded in any industry, sometimes it is a necessary evil to get ahead of the game. While your focus should always be on improving your skills and doing your job well, sometimes it pays to stand out to your superiors. Rather than playing the political game, try and identify a problem in your area and create a solution. Bring the solution to your superiors. Even if they decide that the idea isn’t possible to implement at present, your initiative and dedication to the task will create a memorable mark next to your name.
First Diversify, Then Focus
Rather than following one path from the start of your career, don’t be afraid to branch out into other areas that will give you relevant experience. To continue the OB/GYN analogy, you may start your career delivering babies and focusing on obstetrics. This may lead to an interest in fertility work and helping couples conceive. The two areas are different branches of the same tree, and the experience from one area can help improve your knowledge base in the other.
Once you’ve gained knowledge from various areas, hone in on what you want to do in the long run.
Always Be Learning
Set aside time in your daily routine to review news and research in your line of work. The ever-changing world of science and technology means that best practices and methods are always changing as well. Furthermore, knowing the latest and greatest in your industry will make it easier to answer questions from patients who have only a base understanding of things they’ve read online (whether real or sensationalized).
Your credentials are what make people want to hire you or consult with you about their health problems. They help cultivate trust and notoriety as an expert in your field. Keep striving toward improving your strengths and knowledge base, and you will have a long, rewarding career in healthcare.