Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has never been a greater need for essential workers within healthcare. However, it can be overwhelming when you consider all of the occupations that fall under that umbrella.
As a practicing pharmacist with seven years of experience, I can completely relate to feeling anxious when sifting through all of the job options that are available. Some careers, such as a Physician Assistant and a Child-Life Specialist, I was not even aware of prior to starting my first job. When deciding which specialty may be right for you, there are so many factors to consider. To help you get started, we’ve put together a few words of advice.
Talk to your family and friends
Networking is important. Because there are so many different avenues in the field, there is a high chance that you or your family and friends will know someone in the industry. Take advantage of these contacts to help get an idea about the various jobs you may be interested in.
Ask your contact if you can sit down with them and chat about their experience. This conversation should not only be confined to their own career. Ask about all of their encounters with other healthcare professionals as well. I can tell you firsthand that being surrounded by pharmacists growing up, including my mom and aunt, had a huge impact on my career choice.
For more on how to build these connections remotely, check out our article here.
The best way to learn about opportunities is to expose yourself to those environments. The easiest way to do this is through volunteering. Most companies love to have volunteers. Your volunteer work can be done through a community clinic, an elderly center, or a local hospital.
Reach out to local health organizations and companies in your area, and even if they do not allow you to volunteer, you may be able to shadow some of their staff. Taking advantage of opportunities such as these, as well as a few others, can help you get an idea of what a typical day is like in that field.
Know your strengths
Throughout your education or early professional experiences, take note of what subjects you seem to excel in. There will definitely be classes that you love and those that you hate. The characteristics of those experiences will help you in determining what careers may appeal to you in the future.
Also, be sure to choose elective courses in college that relate to topics you know you are interested in. However, it is also important to consider all of your options. Exposing yourself to all types of topics is the easiest way for you to discover if you will enjoy those areas in the future.
Focus on what brings you joy
All of us have distinct personalities, which is part of what makes the diversity of the healthcare field so great. If you love being around elders, you may want to consider being a nurse or an occupational therapist. If you really enjoy helping people at their time of need, social work may be a good avenue for you to consider.
I come from a big family and was constantly around kids, so I knew pediatrics was a specialty I wanted to incorporate into whichever career path I chose. Wherever your passions lie, there is a place for you in the healthcare industry.
As previously mentioned, healthcare workers are always needed and the healthcare field is always growing. Hopefully, these tips will help you figure out which area fits you best. I look forward to calling you a colleague in the future!