Take Action – Working in Healthcare Series

One of the more daunting things in life can be taking the next step into uncertainty. Regardless of preparation, there is still a great deal of ‘unknown’ when it comes to taking action in your career journey.

Consider the following when moving to the next step:

Progress you have made

Already you have done a tremendous amount of work in order to even begin to feel ready to take action.

-You have thought through your values, goals, and grown your level of self-awareness

-You have evaluated and researched the various opportunities in your field(s) of interest

-You have connected with people who have been where you are and currently work where you hope to go.

-You have gathered necessary materials for what you may encounter on your journey

Celebrate this process. Healthcare can be an intense community to operate in, therefore, preparation to enter this field, is no less rigorous.

What you already know

Sometimes it is best to focus or lean on what is tangible or more certain when taking the next steps. By this point, you have researched what is needed to take the next steps and perhaps you have begun to narrow down your options.

Viewing the choices you have made along the way as accomplishments, may provide reassurance for the next step.

-Maybe you discovered becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon is not quite what you hoped it would be and you are looking to focus more on primary care.

-Perhaps you learned academia is not your true passion, so you decided to pivot to a new industry.

-Perchance drafting an abstract really was not that abstract at all and you have decided to dive further into research.

Embrace what you know from the work you have done!

Lean on your network of helpful humans

Who are the people who have helped you thus far? Connect with them, listen to their journey, and ask for advice or suggestions as you begin to take action on your career in healthcare.

Utilize the community of Career Influencers you have here at Duke!

Now that we have laid the ground work to support you moving forward, what does it even mean to take action?

Taking Action

Since Duke is known for its basketball, perhaps there is no better metaphor for taking action, than shooting your shot!

Apply (v.): a seemingly simple task, that can actually be quite time-consuming and nerve-wracking.

However, utilize the considerations discussed already to propel you towards hitting submit.

Applying for positions in Healthcare:

– Be ready to tell your connection to the area. This does not have to be a grandiose monologue, but identify how your story aligns with your passion for healthcare.

– Think about how the position or opportunity fits into the greater mission of the company and the healthcare industry.

– Know the landscape of the industry. For instance, whether you are applying to work as a healthcare provider or as a policy advocate, knowledge surrounding the needs of the communities you will be serving will be essential.

– Practice communicating transferrable skills that relate to your areas of interest. For example, working in the service industry has several skills that may help you become a better physician.

Tailor your documents to the places you are applying.

As always, you are not alone in taking the next step. Schedule a meeting with a Career Advisor, to set up a practice interview or run through any questions you may have before moving forward.

By Michael "Rudi" Rudisill (he/him)
Michael "Rudi" Rudisill (he/him) Assistant Director, Career Services