If you are passionate about healthcare, you might always have wanted a career in it and yet may not have had the opportunity for this. However, it is never too late to get a career in healthcare, even if you think it is. As such, instead of feeling as if you have failed your healthcare career dream just because you did not reach your goals by 20, you should start working on getting the healthcare career of your dreams when you are ready. As such, here is a guide on how to get a healthcare career at any age, young or old.
Build Your Confidence
Before you do anything else, before you even Google how to get a healthcare career at your age, you need to make sure that you are confident enough to follow your goals through and that you do not simply stop whenever the going gets tough. When you are changing careers at an older age, you might feel a bit daunted and you might lack self-esteem, especially if you are switching careers because the other one did not work out well. As such, instead of diving straight into your new career choice, you should instead build up your confidence bit by bit and make sure that it is not easily knocked by the time you decide to act on your dreams. You can build up your career confidence by working on your own projects at home to sharpen your skills, and by looking at tutorials and guides that can help you to boost your skills. You can also boost your confidence by listing your strengths and setting achievable goals that do not take too long to reach. Once you have done this, you will then be able to take the first steps onto your career path without any overwhelming problems with your confidence that make you scarper before your career has even begun.
Get a Qualification
Although you might not always be academically minded if you want to get into healthcare soon and may be much better at the practical aspects of the job, most nursing and healthcare jobs require you to obtain a qualification of some sort before you can progress and even get a starter position in the field that you want to. As such, even if you hate academia and are reluctant to return to school, getting a qualification should be one of the first steps that you take if a healthcare career is on the horizon. For those who are on the first steps of their career path or have recently decided to change careers to one in nursing, taking an ABSN program online could be helpful, as this will allow you to build up all of the skills and knowledge that you need over a year or more. This can also allow you to immerse yourself in the world of healthcare that you love so much and in a way that you might not be able to without returning to academia. However, if you do not like academia, you should simply see it as a way to learn more about a subject that you love and to surround yourself with others who are passionate about healthcare every day. The fact that many nursing qualifications can now be taken online can also be useful for reluctant people as this platform can take away a lot of the nerves that returning to school as a mature student can bring on.
Use Your Current Skills
You have not wasted time by working in a completely different field for years, though, even if it may feel like it. Instead, this was an opportunity for you to build up skills that you can then apply to your dream role in the future. Although you may not think that any of your skills are useful for a healthcare career, that is not the case, and many skills are transferable and useful in a healthcare setting. From IT proficiency to empathy, teamwork, and communication skills, all of these soft and hard skills can be used during your day-to-day tasks as a healthcare professional. As such, you should assess all of the skills that you have, however small, to work out where you stand and what you still have to work on. However, if you do not believe that you have all of the skills that you need to succeed or that your soft skills are underwhelming, there is always time to learn more of the skills that you need by putting them into practice in non-work environments and by taking short skills courses on the internet.
Get a Careers Advisor
If you are slightly older than the average person who is looking to start a new career, you may not always feel comfortable using technology such as job search and careers websites, which can give you all of the details that you need to know about available positions and the steps that you need to take to be successful. However, this is not the only route that you can take to find out more about the career in question and how to achieve your dream, and many people decide to opt to employ a career advisor who can give them all of the information that they need to know. A career advisor can be incredibly useful to you as they can help you to develop your resume and application forms, as well as your interview skills. They will be able to find available positions for you and tell you of the companies that are hiring, as well as help you to create a plan that will lead you straight to the dream job that you have in mind. As such, you should look for a careers advisor who comes highly recommended and has a variety of great reviews from different sources.
Network with Healthcare Professionals
You might believe that the healthcare industry is incredibly closed and elitist. However, this is not always the case, and there are plenty of opportunities that you can take to network and connect with healthcare professionals regardless of whether you have got very far in the industry yet or not. As such, instead of working on your career alone and failing to branch out, you should instead try not to be shy or nervous and connect with as many healthcare professionals as you can. As well as this activity getting easier over time, there are many different ways to network with them, meaning that it is not always difficult to find a networking style that suits you. For instance, if you are a bit nervous about face-to-face interaction at conferences and talks, you might consider using websites such as LinkedIn to get to know the people that you need to and whom you admire. This will allow you to get jobs, hear of opportunities, and keep up with what is happening within your industry. You might even be able to understand the medical industry better by getting a first-hand perspective of it, even before you work within it.
Look for Jobs
Even if you are not ready to get a career within your desired industry yet because you do not believe that you have the necessary qualifications, you should consider looking at the jobs that are available as soon as possible. This will allow you to get to know the types of jobs that are on offer and what roles you might want to do, as many of these will not be popular or famous options but could be just as fulfilling for you. You will also get to find out the biggest employers in your area so that you know which companies to watch when you are ready to take on your first healthcare position. By looking for jobs, you will be able to know what the requirements are for each job and what the application process is like so that you can then tailor your career plan toward these. However, when you come to look seriously for a job and apply for this, you should know that this can be a lengthy process and you should not be put off by rigorous recruitment processes and constant disappointment, as the more experience you have of these healthcare recruitment processes, the better you will be able to navigate them. As such, you should have a little look around websites such as Indeed and Reed to see the jobs that you might one day decide to apply for.
When you are ready to apply for a job, though, you should not try to make excuses not to apply for these. Instead, you should simply apply for as many positions as possible that you think will suit you, regardless of whether you believe that you will be able to beat the competition for them. You may be surprised at the results and find that you end up with your dream job much sooner than you expect.
When you are leaving your current career for one in the healthcare industry, one of the most important elements of an application form that you need to keep in mind is your job references. Your references from your old job will enable future employers to know that they want you on their team and that you will be a great addition to their company. As such, you should make sure that you stay productive and hard-working right up until you leave your current job, and that you get the contact details that you need for these references before you go. This will then ensure that you have no issues with getting the position that you want, or at least that your references do not stop you from getting this.
Research the Industry
Going into a new industry can be daunting, especially if you do not know anything about it or if you are struggling to comprehend what it will be like to work within it in reality. As such, you should make sure that you conduct ample research into the healthcare industry before you decide to make the career leap that you want to. This will help you to know what to expect, will ensure that you maintain a broad knowledge of the recent developments in your industry, and can help you to tailor your career plan for this specific industry. It will also allow you to work out what role you want to take on in the industry and what your day-to-day life will be like when you get into the healthcare industry. This will then ensure that you do not come to regret your decision and that you can have all of the information that you need at your disposal. The best way to research your industry is through a quick Google search or by speaking to others who are working within this industry.
Create a Plan
Moving to and from any industry can be daunting, and you might not know where to start when it comes to your career change. As such, instead of wading in without any knowledge of what you need to do, you should instead create a detailed and well-researched plan that will allow you to know the exact steps that you need to take toward success. This plan is a document that you can later fall back on if you struggle with any aspect of your career or if you find that you are directionless. Creating a plan will also ensure that you are always moving toward your goals instead of staying stagnant. As such, you should try to write down a step-by-step career plan that is both clear and simple, and that can help you to feel calmer about the career change that you have decided to embark on.
Getting a healthcare career any later than your mid-20s, when you might already have ten years or more in another industry, can be scary, and you might think that you lack the energy to make the career change that you would like it. However, it is always possible to make a change to your career, and you should never think that it is pointless because of your age. As such, if you want the remaining years of your life before retirement to be spent doing a career that you enjoy, you should follow some of the tips in this guide which might be able to help you to get a career in healthcare at any age.