As a child of a nurse and a doctor I have seen it all. Both of my parents have changed many jobs in their career until they have found the right path in helping people, and that is why I have started writing about such career changes. What is more, I myself have taken up courses on mental health support and I wish to help people in healthcare industry find their calling and help other people.
In all job sectors, the way we work and the opportunities that present themselves are changing more rapidly than ever. The healthcare industry is no different. As systems of care change and broaden, new job roles and specialisations are becoming bona fide career paths for individuals who are motivated, caring, compassionate and qualified.
Whilst daydreaming about a change in career path from your office desk is easy, taking decisive steps in real life can be a daunting prospect. Becoming a professional healthcare worker can seem especially challenging – the industry may be growing, but the amount of people aiming to fill the positions within it is growing alongside it.
Nationally recognised courses from entry level upwards are increasingly available for those without qualifications who want to add another string to their bow.
As with all career changes, preparation, research and groundwork are essential factors to enable your transition to a more fulfilling career path. The more prepared you are the smoother the journey will be – and once you get there you will relish the challenges and rewarding nature of working in one of the fastest growing industries in the market today!
Laying the foundations
Of course, a change in career means a change in the way you write and structure your CV. Remember that a lot of your current skills are potentially transferable, depending on which sector you wish to work in.
If you’ve had a client facing role in the past, don’t overlook how important this experience could prove in a new career in the care or nursing industries.
It’s important to keep abreast of developments in the industry and to keep your CV up to date. Look for opportunities in your current job to broaden your skill set. There are general attributes which all employers expect, such as basic IT skills, good communication and an ability to work as part of a team, regardless of field or industry.
Research, research, research
You may have an idea of the area you wish to work in within the healthcare industry. But as new opportunities open up and new positions appear on the job horizon it is increasingly important to research the fields which interest you. Find specific roles to focus on and to determine what you need to be able to offer a potential employer, such as what experience and qualifications you need to succeed.
Many courses are out there to provide you with the fundamentals of working in the healthcare sector, training you for entry-level healthcare jobs and boosting your confidence to get yourself moving towards application, interview and a new career!
Back to school?
While a number of healthcare jobs do not require previous experience and allow new employees to learn on the job, many of them require certification or qualifications before you can even apply. However, it is also possible to find work in the healthcare industry and then formalise your experience by taking a course and attaining certification.
Some courses available give you a basic healthcare qualification which can open doors and allow you to specialise later on as your career progresses. For example, in the care sector, some courses will give you a rudimentary understanding of how to encourage client empowerment and independence. Some will teach you how to effectively communicate with the client’s family and loved ones and tailor your expertise to individual clients and families.
Flexible career development
A basic entry level course is a great diving board to take the plunge from. Upon completion, you could already be eligible for roles such as an assistant nurse, home or residential care worker. But it also allows you to take on further study that can teach you the fundamentals of medication, medication assistance and much more, thus broadening your scope and your employability in more diverse roles within the industry.
A leap into the unknown?
Any change in career path can be fraught with uncertainty, anxiety and self-doubt. This is a natural part of the process. Feeling you have made a wrong decision, or having to dedicate the time you would otherwise spend with friends or family to self-learning or research are normal.
These feelings will lessen and disappear as you make progress on your journey to becoming a healthcare professional. You need to consider these factors alongside all the other aspects, and a bit of forward planning will help you eradicate those nagging doubts from your mind, and help keep you focused on your end goal.
It is important to remember that there are many courses and facilities available which will enable you not only to offer that extra something to your CV (and therefore your potential employers), but also to boost your own confidence. If you’ve decided on a change in career path you have already taken a bold step on your journey. You can further embolden yourself through education, and it really raises the flag to any employer that you are serious, motivated and dedicated to opening a new chapter in your career.
About Theodora Evans, Guest Contributor
Theodora Evans is a passionate blogger from Sydney and she is someone you would call an IT nerd. Also, she takes great interest in psychology and helping people deal with their mental and anxiety issues. Besides that, she loves martial arts and enjoying the nature.