The last eighteen months have taught society many lessons. With one of them perhaps being one of the most important: we’re nothing without quality healthcare service. It’s saved millions of lives and made countless others just that much easier to bear.
Thus, it is no surprise that many people have felt inspired to start a career in the healthcare industry. Healthcare is rewarding work and can be financially fruitful as well. And in light of the current global circumstances, most countries will probably look to expand their healthcare provision for citizens.
If you’re interested in joining one of the many healthcare professions, here are a few tips to help you get started. There is a caveat, however: this isn’t going to be a cakewalk. Building up a career in the healthcare industry can be extremely challenging, and it isn’t for everyone. But if you’re committed, ready for the rigorous demands of this career, and are prepared to stumble along the way, there’s a very rewarding profession waiting for you.
Look at Recruitment Ads
As a preliminary step: check out what recruitment agencies are posting. They’ll tell you exactly what they expect from you, whether it’s a degree, experience, or just a willingness to learn on the job.
It gives you that tick box of things you need to do on a plate. This is also a very realistic approach, as it may help you acknowledge that certain pipe dreams are just not worth pursuing.
Job specs can also help shatter certain quixotic notions. A specific job may initially sound glamorous and rewarding, but you ultimately come to appreciate that it is not the appropriate career fit. A window into the prospective day-to-day can change your perspective entirely.
Check Out Healthcare Websites
An extension of the previous section; online research is an essential part of starting a career in the industry. Having a look at the service pages of healthcare websites can give you an insight into the types of jobs that are available.
An example from a local Canadian dental practice helps make the point a little clearer. You’ll see a wide array of services available on their site, as well as on the market. From there, you can identify and research those that you would like to pursue to start your career.
And if you really want to work in dentistry, some aspects of this profession won’t require as extensive schooling and training. For example, 3D dentistry is a new and exciting field that requires software developers and those savvy with computers and programming. Likewise, dentists need assistants for procedures, and certified hygienists can do teeth whitening (something you don’t need to spend years in school to receive the applicable qualification).
Take (Short) Courses
Many jobs in the healthcare sector require some educational background. Medical doctors, nurses, and dentists, for instance, all ask for university degrees that require a grueling number of years to complete.
But don’t worry, many jobs in the healthcare sector don’t require you to have a medical diploma. If you’re not quite sure, look for short courses in the medical field.
The Institute of Continuing Education at Cambridge is a good place to get some inspiration. It offers a range of certificates, including a Certificate in Infectious Diseases. These courses can be used both to explore your interests and to build up your CV.
What are Your Transferable Skills?
No matter your background, you have a transferable skill. Don’t be shy: what are you good at? What experience from your previous or current job can you take with you into your new career?
This is a good starting point as it gives an idea of what you can do, but also what you enjoy. You may also be able to carry your existing profession over to the healthcare industry.
For example, if you’re an IT consultant, the UK’s National Health Service is in serious need of experts to deliver quality solutions for its vaccination campaigns. If you work in human resources, you can help clinics and hospitals find the best staff for their needs.
Being shy won’t get you anywhere. If you want to start a career in the healthcare industry, you need to be prepared to ask questions. It’s difficult, it can feel like the most unnatural thing in the world, but it’s easier than you think.
For example, if you want to get involved in public health, get on LinkedIn and find a professional in the field. Politely—be as polite as you can—send over an email and ask away. You’ll be surprised just how willing healthcare professionals can be to help.
Of course, don’t ask the basic questions that can be found with a quick Google search. People don’t want you to waste their time. But if you have a genuine interest in the job, you’ll get a positive response (most of the time!).
It’s Worth Trying (and Failing!)
Hopefully, this article has provided some insight into establishing a path toward a healthcare career. Interested? Go for it. Don’t waste another minute and follow your passion. The main thing is to really give it everything you’ve got.
Look, we’ll be honest: it may not work, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Careers in the healthcare industry are not always easy to develop, and they’re not for everyone. But if there’s one thing that life teaches us along the way, living with regret is worse than failing and stumbling.