If you are looking for an exciting new occupation that allows you to give back to society, a career in healthcare could be ideal. As there are hundreds of jobs to choose from across many facilities, you are likely to find a vocation that complements your personality, experience and qualifications, so you can make a positive impact on your community each day. Of course, the biggest challenge you could face might be getting your foot in the door, especially if you have no medical experience or an advanced education at present. If so, find out how to break into a healthcare career with this guide:
Before you apply for a position or embark on extensive training, attempt to gain experience in healthcare through volunteering at a local medical practice or hospital. Depending on the career you choose, you might need to contend with a multitude of critical tasks and patients each day, which can take its toll on both your physical and mental health. Volunteering can therefore help you decide if you are up to the challenge, which can make you feel more confident or passionate when working your way towards a healthcare career. Volunteering will not only give you a taste of what is to come, but it will also help you to gain valuable experience you can add onto a resume. As a result, you might be more likely to secure your dream role.
Assess Your Existing Skills
It is likely you possess a variety of transferable skills from your current career that you can apply into the healthcare field. For example, many medical establishments require talented marketers, information technology (IT) experts, accountants, human resource professionals, and administrators and secretaries, who can each contribute to the smooth running of a practice or hospital. Never disregard entry-level roles, either, as it will provide you with an opportunity to prove your hard work ethic and passion for healthcare, which could lead to you receiving on-the-job training for other careers in the medical industry.
Carefully Research Careers
Of course, different healthcare careers will require different educational requirements and offer various salaries, which you must seriously consider before applying for a role or working your way towards a degree.
For example, when considering a healthcare career, you should research:
- Educational requirements (high school diploma, degree, experience, training courses, etc.)
- Average salary
- Growth and demand projections
Remember, a lack of career demand can lead to a shortage of roles, which could make it difficult to secure a position in that role.
Gain an Online Degree
Thanks to the internet, it is now possible to gain a degree alongside your part- or full-time career and/or family responsibilities. For example, if your dream is to become a family practitioner nurse, you could embark on a convenient, flexible, and accredited MSN FNP online program, which you can complete in as little as 32 months. An online healthcare program could therefore help you to enjoy a rewarding career, which could transform many patients’ quality of life.
Whatever career you are working hard towards, you might come to find it is not what you know but who you know when exceling in a field. For this reason, you should strive to connect with as many professionals in the medical industry as possible. For example, you could reach out to people via LinkedIn, join a healthcare professional association, or volunteer at different medical facilities to connect with different people. Get to know a professional on a deeper level by asking them for a coffee or drinks, which will allow you to build a friendly relationship and potentially pick their brain about how to enter or grow in the industry.
Find a Mentor
Every aspiring healthcare professional should aim to secure a mentor, who could help them to quickly and easily advance in their career. More often than not, people will find a mentor once they start working in a medical facility or a hospital. If you have started your career in an entry-level job, always demonstrate your willingness to learn from your superiors and state your goal of growing into a higher-level position. As a result, they might be willing to provide advice to help you gain additional knowledge or experience in healthcare or could put you in touch with another professional who can help you on the path to success.
Target a Resume to a Healthcare Provider
It is likely you will be going up against many candidates when applying for a role. Ensure your resume stands out from the crowd by targeting it towards a healthcare provider.
For example, tweak your resume when writing your:
- Summary/objective (state you are interested in a healthcare career and why)
- Experience (If you are a marketer, discuss any healthcare campaigns you have worked on, and highlight valuable skills for the industry, such as great interpersonal skills)
- Education (diplomas, degrees, on-the-job training, extracurricular activities)
Regularly Research the Industry
It is crucial to stay on top of the latest industry news and trends when attempting to break into healthcare. Thankfully, there are many healthcare publications and websites that can help you stay abreast of the latest industry news, regulations and changes. Not only could you identify the companies who are hiring near you, but it can also increase your knowledge in a field. As a result, you will be able to articulately discuss your medical field during an important interview or when networking with other medical professionals. The greater your knowledge, the more passion and expertise you will evoke, which could increase an employer’s confidence in your ability.
Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries in America, which offers many varied, rewarding roles to suit different personalities and levels of experience, so it makes perfect sense that you are considering a position in the industry. However, healthcare careers can be both demanding and competitive, which is why you must make an informed choice before embarking on a career. Thoroughly research a career, review demand and growth, and aim to connect with professionals in the industry, which could help you to secure your dream role or climb the career ladder.