Are you happy with your current job? Or, like many, did you imagine yourself in a much higher position by this time in your life?
The healthcare industry is one of the most thriving sectors across the country, with attractive salaries and a high demand for trained professionals across the board.
That being said, that doesn’t mean that everyone who works within it is satisfied with the current role.
Whether you are looking to secure your first job in healthcare or you want to climb the corporate career ladder sooner rather than later, the below guide will tell you everything you need to do to get the career in healthcare you want fast.
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While there are many entry-level jobs in the healthcare sector, if you want to be able to command a higher salary and enjoy the prestige that comes with a more managerial role, you will have to pursue a more advanced degree program.
There are many reasons to enroll in a direct entry MSN program, such as you only need a Bachelor’s degree to be eligible, and you can significantly fast track your career into nursing.
This popular degree is also the perfect stepping stone for those who want to become an advanced practice nurse and take on a more leadership role within a healthcare organization.
Although quite an intense degree program, you can qualify in as little as two years and start to practice as a registered nurse right away.
As with most industries, the more education you have under your belt, the more job opportunities you will have available to you.
If you are new to the fast-paced world of healthcare, then it is vital that you start to gain experience as quickly as possible as this will help you to stand out from other potential applicants.
You might want to consider volunteering at your local hospital. It doesn’t matter if it is not within the specific department or area of healthcare that you want to specialize in. Any healthcare experience will look good on your resume.
For those already working in a healthcare facility but not in the area that they aspire to be in, you could ask your supervisor about shadowing opportunities in other departments. This will enable you to gain valuable experience and see if you are suited to the area of healthcare that you are interested in.
Don’t feel that you need to limit yourself to just volunteering at hospitals that are often flooded with students wanting to gain experience. Why not see if there is a local nursing or retirement home that needs help? Or a charity group that brings medical supplies to at-risk areas?
There are so many ways that you can gain experience in healthcare. You just need to think outside the box a little and be willing to be flexible.
You know the saying, “it’s not what you know but who you know?” Well, in the healthcare industry, it’s both. You need to have the skills and know the right people if you want to get your foot in the door or acquire your dream job.
If you don’t have a lot of connections within the industry, then you need to put your best foot forward and start networking. Hard.
Talk to your colleagues, your supervisor, and anyone you know who works in healthcare and ask them about any potential new jobs or shadowing opportunities.
You should also join any relevant industry associations, job boards, and forums so that you can keep informed about what is going on in the sector and find out about any new openings.
If you struggle to network, start online first and gradually work up to talking to people face-to-face. You will find that most people are happy to share their knowledge and experience with you as long as you are courteous of their time and polite.
Don’t forget to also create a LinkedIn profile so that recruiters can easily find out about your skills and experience and what kind of role you are looking for. The more active you can be on this popular platform, the better.
Everyone makes mistakes in their professional life and, in the hectic healthcare industry, errors can happen. However, it’s how you deal with these mistakes that sets you apart from everyone else.
While you may not want to, you need to hold yourself accountable for any mistakes that you make. Not only does this show that you are a responsible person, but it can also enable you to learn from your oversights.
It is also important that you embrace your weaknesses as well as your strengths, as these are part of who you are. In fact, simply by identifying and accepting your flaws, you are already one step closer to being a more effective healthcare professional.
Personal development is crucial in all jobs, but this is especially true in healthcare when you are likely to experience patients who simply do not want to be treated. Even if you do lose your cool or struggle to handle a difficult patient, make sure that you learn from each experience and determine how you can do better in the future.
Act like a leader
If you want to be considered for managerial and leadership roles, then you need to act like a leader. Not once you are hired as one but right now.
Whether you are a registered nurse, a healthcare assistant, or a physician, if you want to progress in your career, you need to showcase yourself as someone who can lead others.
There are many ways that you can display leadership qualities, including:
- Helping your colleagues when needed
- Being confident in your abilities, even when you make a mistake
- Remaining resolute in your morals and core values as a professional
- Treat everyone the same, from interns right up to the head of surgery
- Keep on top of industry trends and new technologies
You will be surprised at just how quickly your colleagues start turning to you for support, advice and help once you start doing the above.
Balance work and life
Many healthcare professionals make the mistake of thinking that you have to dedicate every waking hour of your life to your job if you want to get ahead, but this is simply not true.
Yes, many people are required to work long hours in healthcare, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t also achieve a good work/life balance. In fact, if you want to get to the top of your game of your chosen specialty in healthcare, you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself.
Whether you tend to plow all your energy into work or you let your personal life slip into your professional one, you need to find a way to achieve a healthy work/life balance, or you are likely to experience burnout at some point.
The first thing you should do is speak to your employer about what practices they have in place to safeguard the wellbeing of their employees. For example, do they offer flexible working? Or maybe they provide some form of therapy for employees who struggle with anxiety or depression?
Don’t be afraid to ask for support. It doesn’t show weakness, it shows that you have the strength to admit you need help.
You may also want to try mindful activities such as breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga if you find yourself feeling overly stressed or on the cusp of burnout.
Seek out training
If you are a busy working nurse, the last thing you might want to do is undergo more training. However, if you are serious about career progression, you should embrace every opportunity that you get to expand your knowledge and skillset.
The healthcare industry is not known for helping its employees to progress in their careers, so if you are offered any free training, you need to grab it with both hands.
It’s simple really. The more experience you have, the more positions you will be considered for. Again, it comes back to the importance of personal development and growth. If you want to be a success, you need to be willing to put in the hard work and effort.
10 Popular careers in healthcare in 2022
If you know you want to progress in your healthcare career but you are not sure which direction to take, the below list of popular jobs within the industry may give you some inspiration.
- Nurse Practitioner
- Physician/Physician Assistant
- Registered Nurse
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Nurse Midwife
- Rehabilitation Counselor
Whatever it is that you aspire to be within the healthcare sector, if you set your mind to your goals and are willing to work hard, you will get there eventually.
Start by following the above steps and remember to always be proactive in your approach. No one ever got their dream job by doing nothing.
What other ways can you do to get into the healthcare career fast? Let me know in the comments below!