Developing a career is not an easy feat, especially when there is so much economic uncertainty and thousands of people competing for one job position. But in all this uncertainty, there is one industry that shows no prospect of slowing down anything soon: the healthcare industry.
More than twenty million employees are currently working in the US healthcare system and social assistance. Despite this, the need for more professionals is constantly increasing due to changes in healthcare systems and novel viruses hovering over the earth’s surface. With an aging population, the need for patient care services increases exponentially; healthcare requires thousands of new professionals on a war footing.
As a result, there has never been a better time to get into this industry. Those already associated with nursing praise it for offering them a stable career, a lucrative paycheck at the turn of every month, and countless career development opportunities. Interestingly, nursing is also one of those careers where every new degree and certification represents a point on their career development ladder.
While the career path for healthcare professionals, such as nurses, is smooth and clearly outlined, it is not the case with those associated with a non-clinical role. For instance, those with degrees such as health systems engineering and entrusted with developing the healthcare systems and ensuring their viability may not have a clear idea to boost their career prospects.
Others associated with non-clinical roles also find themselves in the same fix. So, if you also feel that your career is stagnating over time, take the following steps to increase your career potential.
- Develop your network
Some people think networking is just for job seekers, but this is not true. Networking is your chance to get in touch with professionals in your field. This activity gives an excellent opportunity to connect with like-minded people, make connections and discuss mutually beneficial goals. When you meet gurus from your field, you don’t need a resume to let them know about yourself. Your presence, maturity of ideas, and the ways of presenting them are enough to set you apart and bring you in their focus.
Networking is not limited to face-to-face meet-ups, seminars, and conferences only; social media is a giant platform for making connections, becoming part of professional groups, and presenting your ideas. In those groups, many recruiters sit quietly, monitor the activity, and look for people with the same ideas set. Other ways of networking include luncheons, official visits to represent your organization, and volunteer groups.
- Develop a mentor-mentee relationship
Even if you think you have learned enough in the classroom or have ample experience from the job, you cannot swap anything for a mentor. They are people with years of exposure in your field and know all the troughs and curves of the development path. Finding a mentor can be quite challenging; you need someone comfortable talking to, sharing your ideas and goals without fear of being judged. The relationship between a mentor and mentee needs some time to develop. You need a few sessions and spend some time together. Once you have established a comfortable relationship with your mentor, discuss your career goals and options open to you.
Since they have more experience in your field, it is better to capitalize on their experience and avoid mistakes that can delay your career development. However, always remember that a mentor is not a sponsor; they can give you the right advice, help identify the opportunity and motivate you to move forward in your career but cannot offer you a job. Therefore, you must get the most out of them, identify the gaps in your knowledge, and see your mistakes causing your career to stagnate. Mentors often introduce their mentees to the right networking groups to boost their chances of moving ahead in their careers.
- Invest in your education
Investing in your education and getting a new degree is one of the easiest ways to improve your career prospects. A higher degree helps you apply for better and high-level jobs, accept complicated job responsibilities, and present a chance to compete for a better salary. Relevant education that enhances your skills and competency level can land you on the path of a growth trajectory. However, the benefit of a degree program depends on the demand and scope of the degree. You must question: do healthcare need professionals with your chosen qualification? How well regarded is this qualification among the recruiters and selectors? If your next qualification is well-regarded in the industry and offers practical value to your career, going for it is an investment in time and money that will pay you back in the future.
- Be flexible and prepared to learn
Healthcare is a challenging field, but these difficulties offer countless learning opportunities. If you are motivated to boost your career in healthcare, you must be prepared to learn, take up challenging roles, and leave your comfort zone.
Showing your bosses and colleagues your willingness to take on challenging roles and solve problems can take you long in your career. These skills are particularly needed if you aspire to boost your career in management positions that are mired with countless challenges at every step of the way.
Healthcare presents various opportunities for development to those associated with it. However, identifying those prospects and striving to implement them depends on you. You must know who to ask and discuss when you see a career development opportunity, dare to take demanding roles, and be ready to learn both on and off the field. These traits can land you on the right growth trajectory and increase your visibility among those with the potential to boost your career.