Home » Building a Successful Career in Healthcare and Realizing Your Potential

Building a Successful Career in Healthcare and Realizing Your Potential

by Mark Dylan
Building a Successful Career in Healthcare and Realizing Your Potential

Whether you have recently started a healthcare career or are looking for a change, building a successful career is important. Realizing your true potential can help you be a fantastic healthcare professional and assist you on your career path. To build a successful career, you will need to focus on your future and the path you wish to follow.

Know Where You Want to Make an Impact and How

To realize your potential, you must be the right candidate. You need to know where you want to make an impact and how and why. For instance, do you want to help others in the area of nursing? Would you like to devote more of your efforts to community nursing and healthcare? Or are you looking to make an impact in the lives of younger people/patients?  When you know what you want to do and implement, you will have direction. When this direction is backed up by passion, you will find that you are unstoppable. If you are currently unsure about where you can make an impact, then why not take a step back and evaluate your healthcare career so far? Do you have much tangible experience that can be relevant to future roles? Or, are you starting from the ground up?

What Area of Healthcare Are Your Best Suited To?

The healthcare industry comprises many areas, roles, and positions, and not all of them will be suitable for you. Establishing just what area of healthcare works well for you will help you get what you need and want from your career. Being prepared to try out new areas of the healthcare sector or even taking up voluntary/non-profit roles can help you save valuable time and energy a little further down the line. For example, you may feel wasted if you are currently working in an administration role. Looking at changing to a more hands-on role such as nursing may prove hugely beneficial to you and to your future.

Setting Career Goals

Once you have ascertained where you want to have an impact, you must then start setting carer goals. You are not going to realize your potential or even achieve your goals if you do not set career goals. When you are setting career goals for any healthcare role, it is important to make sure you have a bit of flexibility and movement. Things can quickly change, and unexpected situations can arise. So, it is important that you factor this in. Making sure that your career goals are achievable and workable is crucial. If goals are realistic within the next few years, you are more likely to stick to them and realize them. When you are laying out goals, you need to ensure they are related to your role or your job. For example, do you want to introduce more teamwork within your career, or would you like to become a better team player?

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Career Planning is Key

To build that successful career you deserve, you are going to need to focus on career planning. See what you want to get out of your career (and see where you would like to end your career). When you have these two key areas to think about, you can begin working backward and realizing your ambitions. Career planning can give you the direction and focus that you need for your healthcare role. It can set out what you need to start doing and by when. At times, you will find this push and direction extra useful.

Positively Looking Forward to the Future

Working in any type of healthcare role or position can be draining at times. You can also find that it can be mentally and physically exhausting. It is important to always focus on a positive mindset throughout these tough periods. It is also crucial that you start positively looking forward to the future as soon as you can. To make the leaps and moves you want, you will need to remain positive. Yes, there will be challenges and obstacles in your way. However, with the right approach, you will be able to tackle anything.

Investing in Your Education

Once you have adopted the right approach and mindset to your future, you will see that it is now time to start investing in your education. When you invest in your education, you can advance your knowledge and awareness. You can become more aware of your role and impact on others. When you are investing in your education, you must always think about what you want to get out of the role. For example, if you want to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, you will start to look at post masters FNP online programs as these will help you land the position. If you do not invest in your education regularly and with a plan, you will find your time and efforts will be wasted.

Taking Responsibility

Ultimately, to realize your potential and build a successful healthcare career, you are going to have to take responsibility for your actions. Making sure you are dedicating your full time and effort to the care and treatment of others is crucial. If your career is not (or does not) go in the direction you want it to, then you need to step up and take responsibility. Realize that you have missed out on something, and realize that you need to take positive steps sooner rather than later. If you do not take responsibility and always blame others, how will you learn and grow as a healthcare professional?

Looking at Leadership

To get ahead with your healthcare career, you may find that you end up pursuing a role in leadership. Being in charge of operations and line managing other professionals may be something that you enjoy and relish. When you look at a leadership role, you see your direct impact at all levels. You may attribute success to how high up n the career ladder you go. Or, you may realize your potential as a true and valued leader. If you are getting frustrated and annoyed with taking orders from others, and from saying what you feel and think, then it may be time to look at leadership. To be an effective leader, you are going to need to look at your leadership style. You are also going to have a look at the attributes and qualities that you can lend to the position.

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Evaluating Your Skills and Performance

There will be skills you have that no other professional has. Knowing what skills you have to bring to a role (and offer to a position) is crucial. If you do not know where your skillset’s strength lies, how can you push forwards positively? Taking time to evaluate your skills and even look at your recent performance daily will be eye-opening. When you do the same thing routinely, you may not notice that standards within your performance have been lacking. However, when you take a step back, you may see where development and growth opportunities exist. As you embark on this period of evaluation, you will see that there are skills you need to improve upon. You will also find that performance needs to be consistent if you are to get recognized and move on with your career.

Build Your Skillset

After undergoing this evaluation process, it is then time to start improving your performance and skillset. Your skill set is going to help you become a well-rounded professional. For instance, your skills in effective listening and communication will be used within your new everyday role and future career plans. Building your skill set is going to help you stand out from other candidates. It will also help you mold yourself into a resilient and forward-thinking healthcare professional. Learning new skills by yourself can be challenging at times. Joining up with other professionals through the power of networking may be rewarding. Learning to embrace change positively and take on board why skills and skill sets are important is going to prove invaluable.

Continual professional development is a term that you will hear about a lot in your career as a healthcare professional, and this means that you are always looking at ways to build on your skillset and knowledge base, like attending conferences, adding extra qualifications and certificates to your portfolio, and some professional bodies require this as standard to maintain your membership.

Make Yourself Sustainable

When you first think about sustainability, you may think about conserving energy or water at work. However, employment sustainability means ensuring you are at the top of your game and cannot be easily replaced. To build and maintain a career in healthcare, you are going to have to be sustainable in as many ways as possible. To be sustainable, you need to focus on your skills, your education, and your learning – all simultaneously. Improving yourself as a professional means reaching out to others for support (when you need it). It also means filling in any gaps you encounter in your education and skill set. If you are not progressing within the industry or the role, you will find that you will be easily replaced.

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Stay Up to Date With Changes and Developments

The healthcare industry is continuously evolving and changing. This means that more changes and developments are happening that you need to adhere to. Staying up to date with changes and developments in the industry can be consuming and exhausting at times – however, it is an essential part of your role. You may wish to do this by joining local unions or by joining action groups within your place of work. When you stay up to date with any changes in the industry you can be sure that you adapt to meet the industry’s needs and requirements as soon as possible. If you are not staying up to date, you will find that you will be one of those employees who is always lagging behind the rest. This can, of course, has an adverse effect n your career and your professional development.

Gathering Feedback and Listening to It

As you progress with your healthcare career, you will need to listen to feedback if you want to grow. Getting feedback and then taking it on board can be challenging, especially if you are not receptive to this way of thinking. Learning to gather your own feedback and also learning to listen to feedback is crucial as it will help you change, learn and grow as a professional. If you are not listening to feedback, you may find that you are stuck. You may also find that you do not get treated with the same professionalism as others do. You can gather feedback by asking for regular reviews or by asking those directly you work with. Accepting feedback and criticism and learning to grow are imperative to career success.

Gaining Experience

You may have a lot of ambition and passion for your role and for the healthcare industry. However, you need experience. Voluntary and paid experience in roles that are relevant to you and your future is essential. You can spend a lot of tie learning and growing as an individual, but if you do not put this into practice by gaining experience, you could find it is all time wasted. When you are gaining experience, you need to look at the local healthcare sector. You must also look at other healthcare sectors and roles (in addition to the one you are working in). This wide variety and depth of experience will help you grow n many levels.

Enjoy Your Role and Position

You must enjoy your role and position to get the most out of your healthcare career. If you do not enjoy your role and position, then you will never thrive. You will simply survive. If you are not enjoying your work, a sustainable and long-lasting career will not be achievable. Find a role and position you enjoy working within, and start building your career.

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