As a healthcare professional, it can become incredibly easy to fall into a comfortable stage in your career and feel as if you are in a vicious cycle with no progression. With the heavy ongoing strain and demand on the healthcare industry, it can often become somewhat tricky for those working in the midst of it to gain opportunities that will advance your career.
With this in mind, it has become more important than ever for healthcare professionals to make active lifestyle changes to encourage both development and new opportunities.
Tips To Advance Your Career
Your chosen career alone will consume a considerable percentage of your adult life and is often a large contributing factor towards the lifestyle you live. A well thought out work-life balance is key in promoting a happy, healthy life and unfortunately, it is only you that can make this happen.
It can be easy to fall into the routine of coasting through your role, which although may make you feel reassured at first, eventually will make you feel as if you are stuck in a rut. Luckily, this is more common than you think, particularly when working in a fast-paced, demanding industry such as healthcare. At some point, you will need to step out of your comfort zone and actively begin to push yourself to not only advance your career, but also to bring that excitement and sense of achievement back to your role.
Luckily, there are many personal and professional lifestyle changes, some big and others small, that will prove to become increasingly beneficial in progressing in your career.
1. Find A Mentor
Networking with experienced professionals who, at some in their career, have experienced the same position as you will give you a real insight into how you can strive to achieve your goals. It does take time to develop a strong working relationship with a mentor, so it is imperative to remain patient and allow time.
A mentor must be an individual who is willing to guide you in the path of success, so spend time pinpointing a mentor who you aspire to be like. Understand their work ethics and knowledge, along with their connections. Although it is not the most important quality of a mentor, their ability to network and connect with other professionals will also help you to follow in the same steps. The best mentors are those who are happy to not only focus on your strengths, but also to give critical advice from an outsider’s perspective. It allows you to highlight areas that you may want to consider working on improving to promote future growth.
2. Never Stop Learning
No matter the industry you specialise in, never allow yourself to get into the position where you feel as if you have all of the knowledge you need; never stop learning. Take advantage of any on-site or cross training opportunities you are given, every training course you take opens more doors for career development.
Healthcare employers are always seeking new talent, and the industry is continuously evolving, which means that you must make a conscious effort also to evolve. You must be capable of meeting the ever-changing dynamics as ultimately; the more educated you are, the higher the salary you can strive for. Any training course that you opt for taking, works towards enhancing your skills and adds to your professional portfolio.
3. Become A Leader
Just because you do not have the official role of a leader does not mean that you cannot use your initiative and stand out from the crowd. Taking the lead during trickier situations means that your peers will begin to see you as a guideline on how a healthcare professional should strive for success.
Maintaining the mentality of a leader will force you to step out of your comfort zone and tackle challenges with a positive approach. Becoming too comfortable in a role and fading into the backgrounds will limit your advancement. Although it can be daunting at first to take the lead on any obstacles your team faces, it is necessary to progress in your career. If you are able to prove that you can tackle challenges at a high level, you will be recognised for your efforts which will gradually help you to climb up the leadership ladder.
When making the decision to push for a leadership role, you must also be prepared to accept any failures and use it as a learning curve.
4. Establish Goals
You cannot progress without goals. To create customised goals, it is important first to conduct a self-assessment. A self-assessment is key for helping you to understand both your personal and professional strengths and weaknesses. 123 Test allows you to carry out free psychological tests to give you an insight into your career personality.
Once you have completed a self-assessment, you can begin to construct your set of goals. Begin by writing down everything that you hope to achieve, both short-term and long-term. Achievements do not need to necessarily be associated with your current role; they can be future plans that you hope to achieve once you have progressed. Spend time determining whether you are at the stage of your career that you had hoped to reach and if you are not, what resources you need to get to that stage.
Sort your goals into order, with those you are most passionate about at the top. Starting with goals that you are most passionate about will make the idea of achieving then more enjoyable and encourage you to remain more focused.
5. Don’t Forget The Basics
As you progress, deadlines will become shorter, you will be given more responsibility and time will be limited. However, this doesn’t mean that you can let the small basics slide. Even as you advance to higher roles, equal effort should be given to everything that you do, no matter how small or big the task is. Do not begin to slack in small, tedious jobs that may be seen as less relevant. They are the foundation of your role, skills and experience and without them, the rest will begin to crumble.
Always ensure that you arrive on time to work every day, look presentable and do not take extended breaks that you do not necessarily need. Build strong soft skills, and you will be seen as trustworthy and reliable.
6. Expand Your Network
The saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” in many cases, is accurate, which means that you should always endeavour to expand your network. Aim to connect with like-minded individuals and branch out further than just the people that you work alongside every day.
With the majority of networking opportunities moving over to the internet, it means that they are free for everyone to explore. Utilise social media to your advantage, in particular, LinkedIn. LinkedIn is ideal for building professional connections, which continue to remain high in priority throughout your career, not just in the initial stages. Assume every person that you meet is a valuable connection that has the potential to refer you for a role or provide support. You can also use LinkedIn to track healthcare related events and conferences that may be of interest, along with any upcoming career opportunities.
7. Meet With Your Manager
Always keep in mind that your superior will not always know your goals and aspirations unless you voice them. Particularly in the healthcare industry, there will be a tremendous amount of pressure on those who must take charge and delegate tasks, so it is unlikely that they would have had the opportunity to assess your future plans. Spending time exploring opportunities with your manager will help your plans to imprint in their memory, increasing the likelihood of you being their first choice when it comes to a promotion.
Allocate time every quarter to meet with your manager, even if it is just a brief meeting, to brainstorm ideas. As they would have additional experience and their own path they took to progress, they can advise you on how to develop. It will help you to begin to connect their advice with your goals to create a plan of action.
Meeting with your manager will give you a clearer indication of whether the healthcare organisation that you are working in can realistically align with your goals. You can then decide whether you may have more success looking elsewhere.
8. Be Prepared To Take Risks
Last, but most definitely not least, always be prepared to take risks at some point in your working life. Advancing in your career is not going to be easy, and in many cases, you will be faced with tough decisions; it is important always to trust your gut and takes risks that you believe will benefit you.
At some point, you may have to leave a role you are comfortable in to explore options and test your instincts. Never stay in a role if you are unhappy as not only will it affect your productivity, but also your work ethic.
Advance Your Healthcare Career Today!
Advancing your healthcare career will take a considerable amount of hard work, dedication and commitment; it will not be a leap that can be achieved overnight. Use your connections, resources, mentors and superiors to your advantage to gather as much information, knowledge and experience as possible.
As a locum doctor recruitment agency, we are always happy to provide ongoing support to healthcare professionals who are hoping to take the next step in their career. Our team combine their expertise to advise the best route moving forward taking into consideration your goals and requirements. For more information on any of our medical recruitment services, please feel free to contact Medical-Locums Group today!