Whether you’re a medical professional who’s new to the field, or a seasoned healthcare worker stuck in the same unfulfilling position for a longer period, you might be wondering what it takes to advance your career in this field. Unfortunately, unlike many other professions, simply doing your job well won’t be enough to rise to the top in medicine; you will need to take some additional, strategic steps, and make smart decisions. To that end, here are some ways you could advance your medical career:
1. Establish clear career goals
One of the best methods for advancing in any career, including a medical one, is focusing on your goals, one step at a time. This means assessing the current direction of your profession, setting clear goals that will allow you to reach your desired position, and then establishing a realistic timeline that will give you the opportunity to stay motivated and hold yourself accountable.
Remember, your goals can be as big or small as you wish, and should be set to the ideal pace you would like to follow, whether that means increasing patient satisfaction or becoming the chief of surgery. Write down your professional goals that are focused on anything from pay rises and better benefits to your dream positions, and then tick them off one by one in due time.
2. Find a great mentor
Another way you could advance your medical career is by finding a good, supportive and professional mentor. Look for someone in your field who has great work ethics and an abundance of experience and knowledge, and who is willing to take you under their wing.
Such a mentor will be able to share their expertise and personal knowledge learned through experience, allowing you to gain more insight into your field, and advance your career more quickly than expected. A good mentor will also give you advice, as well as constructive criticism, giving you the opportunity to advance your skills and gain more experience, thus being able to progress more easily in your profession.
3. Further your education
No matter how far you’ve currently come in your medical career, the truth is that education and knowledge can always be expanded when it comes to the healthcare industry. And when your skills and insights aren’t improved, chances are you’ll have a hard time advancing your career, or even surviving in the field at all. Thankfully, nearly every field of medicine comes with a number of opportunities for specializations and further education.
For instance, whether you’re a paramedic, a registered nurse or a physician, you can take an Advanced Cardiac Life Support course (ACLS) and obtain a certification proving your learned skills. As this certification will increase your ability to save and sustain a patient’s life, it’s a valuable skill to have when looking to advance your medical career.
4. Expand your professional network
Another way you could advance your medical career is by expanding and utilizing your professional network, as some of the best and most suitable job opportunities tend to come from people with whom you have a closer professional relationship. Your network can be expanded either in person, through conferences, symposiums and other events, or even online with LinkedIn and Facebook groups, for instance.
Regardless of how you expand your network, when you build good professional relationships with others in the medical field, chances are higher that they will help you find new opportunities for advancing your healthcare career, whether that means providing support networks and mentorships, or giving great referrals when new job openings or research opportunities arise.
5. Remain motivated and ambitious
No matter how you choose to advance your career, one thing is for certain; you can never accomplish your goals without adequate motivation, ambition, and the drive to power through difficulties and setbacks.
To that end, work on your focus and determination. Be prepared for any situation in advance, and devote your full attention to any task or responsibility you are given. Although it might seem demanding at times, this is a brilliant way to show your professionalism and devotion to your occupation that will undoubtedly open up new career opportunities in the future.
Even though a career in healthcare is unique and often quite challenging in its nature, with initiative, good connections, and the right set of skills, you are bound to make a name for yourself in the field.