Healthcare can be an extremely competitive sector and it can often be difficult to know how to progress or move on from your existing position. If you’re looking to further your healthcare career, there are a variety of steps you can take that will help you stand out from the crowd and give you a head start when going for a promotion or applying for a new job. With this in mind we take a look at eight ways you can enhance your healthcare career.
Change your perceptions
If you’re looking to enhance your healthcare career, it’s a good idea to rid yourself of any preconceptions you may have relating to the divide between the private and public healthcare sectors and those people working in them. Many of our preconceptions are based on myth, misunderstanding and misrepresentation and a growing number of healthcare professionals work in both sectors. Consequently, if you want to make the right decision and take the right career step, you first need to set aside stereotypes and preconceptions, do some proper research and try to approach the issue from a position of neutrality.
Give yourself a chance to shine
In the private sector, employee performance is often judged on a more individual basis, giving you a chance to enhance your healthcare career by excelling and proving your worth. For some, this is a golden opportunity is be grabbed with both hands. In such a system, your strengths and weaknesses are more closely monitored and better understood and management are able to reward and assist you accordingly.
Take your training into your own hands
If you’re hoping to enhance your career, it’s important that you take responsibility for your progress and that you are able to push for further training in those particular disciplines in which you feel ill-prepared or in which you take a real pride and pleasure. Working in the private healthcare sector, there is ample opportunity to develop your own abilities in whatever direction you deem fit. However, if you’re to better yourself, you first need to know where you can improve. Identifying gaps in your own skill set allows you to focus your attentions on these areas and develop your talents, making you a more rounded healthcare professional and an attractive candidate for promotion.
Don’t be afraid to take a sideways step
Sometimes, we can be so pre-occupied by climbing the career ladder that we don’t recognise the benefit in taking a sideways step. Not every move has to be upwards and, if you’re to really progress your career as far as is possible, you need to know when a lateral move might benefit you more in the long run. Jumping from one role in the public sector to an identical position in the private sector may not feel like a particularly progressive step at the time, but it can open up greater possibilities in the future.
Understand the direction you’re heading in
In order to progress in a meaningful way, it’s important to understand what direction you’re heading in and what your destination is. It’s all too easy to follow a prescribed path all the way through your career, but this often results in employees ending up in a position they don’t enjoy or find rewarding. However, by this stage, they’re unable to change as they’ve invested too much time, effort and resources in getting there. Knowing where you’re going will ensure that you work towards your destination efficiently and have the best possible chance of ending up at a satisfactory end point.
Make the most of your current position
Although it’s healthy to look to the future and dream big, it’s also necessary to stay rooted in the present and make the most of existing opportunities. Each position in the healthcare system can teach you a great deal and it’s important you don’t pass up the opportunity to learn vital lessons because you’re too focused on the future.
Reach the targets set for you
Healthcare is often very target-driven, with individuals measuring their success against management expectations. If you’re looking to enhance your reputation, and in the process your career prospects, it’s essential that you begin to hit or exceed your targets on a routine basis.
Develop outside of the professional setting
If you’re applying for a new position or an entirely new job, your potential employer is not going to be interested in just your professional achievements. They’ll also want to know what you do outside of the workplace and how participation in hobbies, sports or social clubs contributes to your ability to work in their organisation. Many of the skills used can be applied in healthcare settings too, especially those related to communication and management.