How to Move Up in Your Career in Healthcare
Progressing through a career in healthcare can be difficult without the right guidance. You need to have a plan for quite a while ahead, but at the same time, you should keep it as flexible as possible in case the market takes an unexpected turn. And if your main goal is to move up through the ranks as quickly as possible, that will take some extra effort and planning as well. However, if you’re determined enough, there is definitely a lot you can accomplish in this field.
Did You Start on the Right Track?
It’s important to take a look at the career track you’ve chosen and figure out if it’s right for you. Sometimes, you might realize that you don’t want to spend your time studying specific parts of medicine, but want to focus more on assisting patients, or perhaps getting involved in administrative duties. This will be a completely different career track from that of a regular physician, so you must choose carefully and ensure that your path is right for you. If you have aspirations for administrative duties, for example, you should develop your entire approach around them.
The Importance of Choosing a Specialization Early On
The same goes for those who do want to work as physicians – there are lots of different specializations to pick from in that area as well, and you have to be certain that you’re starting on the right track. It can take a lot of time to re-specialize later in your career, and in some cases, it might be impossible without resetting a large chunk of your progress. Take your time to ensure that you’re starting on the right path in the first place and explore different specializations in as much detail as possible before committing to any particular one.
Improving Your Understanding of Technology
No matter how you look at it, technology plays a major role in healthcare nowadays, and it’s not something you can afford to ignore if your goal is to progress through your career as fast and effortlessly as possible. Everyone can benefit from learning more about how the tools they use work, and there is no shortage of guides on that available for free nowadays. Take your time and put some work into this on the side, and it will pay off in the long run. This is especially true for certain positions like technicians and laboratory specialists, where working with data and crunching large numbers is a regular part of the job. You don’t have to become an expert data scientist but developing some autonomy in the subject will still go a long way.
Is Your Current Education Enough?
Education often plays a major role in moving up your career track, and it can become a limiting factor in cases where it’s not sufficient. The good news is that you can easily augment your own skills with the help of some online courses, and in some cases, you can even earn a whole new degree that way! It’s not as hard as you might assume, and it doesn’t take a lot of extra time on top of what you’re already doing. Taking a course like the executive MHA at uOttawa can provide you with a huge boost to your performance, and it can help you understand many of the specific requirements of that position better than any amount of experience will prepare you. Of course, that’s not to downplay the importance of experience – it will still matter quite a lot.
Not Every Job in Healthcare Involves Working with Patients
We touched on this above, and it’s something very important for every professional in healthcare to understand – including those with aspirations for the field. You don’t necessarily have to directly work with patients in order to have a fulfilling career in healthcare. There are plenty of alternative tracks in the field, and some of them are much better suited for people with a strong aptitude for technology, management, or other fields that are not related to taking care of patients directly. Don’t fall for the trap of assuming that healthcare equals work with patients – there’s a lot more to explore out there.
Playing the Political Game
Unfortunately, no matter how good you may be at your job, you will still have to play the political game if you want to get far. There is no substitute for this, and no way to avoid it. You’ll have to put a lot of effort into networking and ensure that you have a strong group of supporters as you climb up. This will become instrumental in making certain positions open to you. Otherwise, you could be the best at what you do and still get overlooked in favor of someone who simply knew how to navigate the political field better.
Changing Course Later in Your Life
If you’ve been in your position for a while, jumping to another field can seem like a daunting prospect, even if you’re still in healthcare. But it’s not impossible – far from it, in fact. Today’s job market is quite dynamic and has enabled many people to look for alternative opportunities, with many of them ending up happier than they were in their original jobs. Don’t be afraid to explore some options that seem better suited for you, even if you’ve been working on your current career for some time. The long-term fulfillment from working a job you actually enjoy is not to be underestimated.
With all that in mind, if you’re having these kinds of doubts, the best time to get started doing something about them is now. Take some time to do some research, find out what options you have available, and start putting in the work necessary for those transitions. The more you delay this, the more difficult it’s going to become later down the road. And even if you run into problems – which everyone does – you’ll have more time to address them if you start your search earlier as opposed to waiting until later.