If you plan on starting a career in the healthcare industry, you can expect a long and fulfilling professional life with lots of great challenges and growth prospects. However, starting your career might be a little difficult for those who lack prior experience. Here is a short guide on how to prepare yourself for a successful start to your healthcare career.
General advice when you start your healthcare career
Technical and clinical skills aside, recruiters for healthcare jobs now look if the candidate’s personality fits that of the organization and its employees. This ensures a better working relationship with the organization and greater productivity.
It is common to see fresh graduates without a specific career plan, and that is normal because your career plan will probably look a lot different after a couple of years. However, you do need to have passion for working in the healthcare industry and a genuine interest in joining the organization you are applying for. These two aspects are given a lot of importance by recruiters.
Keep in mind that most jobs in the healthcare industry are not single-person operations. There is a lot of teamwork involved, so you need to have good communication and teamwork skills to be successful. Similarly, many jobs involve multiple functions, and you need to demonstrate the ability to understand and perform them adequately.
In a dynamic healthcare industry, changes can occur at any time and you need to be adaptable and flexible to them. As the industry changes, so will your job and you should be prepared for it.
Common misconceptions about starting a healthcare career
A common misconception among fresh graduates about to start their career is that a four-year medical degree guarantees a big salary. It is important to be realistic and understand the fact that you are new to the industry and your pay package will reflect that.
Similarly, very few starting jobs in the healthcare industry involve fixed working hours and days. Students fresh out of medical school need to be willing to work non-standard hours and they should take on difficult work shifts during the weekends and nights during the early stages of their career. When you start your career, this is what you are expected to do and it will pay off in the long run.
Should you go to graduate school immediately?
If school was difficult for you and you feel that going back to school after getting used to work and a salary would be too hard, you can go to graduate school immediately after your undergraduate school. Keep in mind, however, that a graduate degree may only increase your salary a little bit when you finally look for an entry-level job.
On the other hand, going to graduate school after working in the industry first-hand will help you realize different careers, job functions, and areas of work. As a result, you can make a more informed decision of the area you want to specialize in. Moreover, a lot of organizations are willing to reimburse a major portion of your graduate school costs.