Thanks in part to a growing population, and in particular to an aging generation of baby boomers, healthcare management is a growing field in America today. The more involved the field becomes, the more people we require to make sense of it all. As healthcare becomes more complicated and technical, with our continued progress into the digital age, the responsibilities encompassed by a healthcare management career are increasing; at the same time, the potential rewards for such a career are on the rise. This is a diverse field of employment, with unique challenges and substantial compensation.
So, how might you go about ensuring the best pace of advancement in your healthcare management career — one that matches your desired pace, and leads to the level of responsibility, leadership, and reward that you are after?
Engage in Volunteer Work
Where possible, donating some of your spare time to a worthy cause is often a worthwhile investment of your skills. Management and administrative skills are often greatly in demand in nonprofit organizations. Not only will you benefit from the additional practice, but you will most likely learn new applications for existing skills, and you will be able to determine where your current set of abilities could use the most improvement. Practical benefits aside, the donation of one’s time in a professional capacity often comes with a positive, stress-reducing feeling, and it will make your next job application stand out from among the rest. Volunteering is also a great way to connect with other individuals in your profession, which can help build your network of professional contacts.
Don’t Be Afraid to Add Unrelated Work Experience
Healthcare management involves a lot of standard business management and administrative courses, and the degree easily qualifies one for a management position in other fields and industries. You shouldn’t be concerned with finding yourself occasionally accepting a job outside of the healthcare industry, even if healthcare management is where you ultimately wish to advance. A little diversity in your portfolio will work in your favor, by demonstrating that you have sufficient grasp of related skills to put your abilities to work in areas not directly involved in your core specialty. This suggests a certain resourcefulness on your part.
Consider Going Back to School
If you have a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in healthcare management, there are additional degree programs which will serve to dramatically boost your relevant qualifications within the field. There are other possibilities as well, such as a second degree in a closely related field, or a professional certification in a narrowly defined subset of healthcare management skills. Even without another degree on the horizon, however, going back to school can still be a rewarding experience. Additional, specific coursework in skills that are important to healthcare management looks good on your record, and can help you stand out above and beyond less qualified applicants for the next position along your career path.
Practice Leadership Skills
Leadership and administrative skills are a part of any healthcare management program. Try putting these kinds of skills to work elsewhere in your life. You might consider starting a group related to a favorite hobby, or coaching a local youth sports team. By putting your leadership skills to the test outside of a professional setting, you show initiative and ability, and demonstrate your ability to think outside the box when necessary. Like attracts like: executives and other upper-level administrators look for people with obvious leadership qualities when choosing applicants for highly responsible positions.
More About Healthcare Management
By investing your time wisely, continuing to further develop your skills, and networking among others in your profession, you will greatly increase your chances of advancing your career in healthcare management. Find out more about what opportunities await you with a health care management or administration degree.