By: Jennifer Owens.
It’s no surprise professionals are eager to find a job in health care; the industry offers varied careers with strong earning prospects, and health care jobs are somewhat insulated from the ill-effects of economic recessions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals with just a two or four-year degree can earn median incomes of anywhere from $40,000 to $70,000 annually, and sometimes more. But securing an entry-level job in the health care industry can present different challenges than other sectors. If you’re serious about getting a job in health care, here are some tips to help you open doors and create opportunities.
Serve as a Volunteer
If you’re entering the health care industry cold, you likely don’t have any professional connections or insider roads to navigate the industry’s various job openings. While you should always be putting out applications for various jobs, volunteering is a great way to gain experience in the field while demonstrating your passion. Many health care associations and organizations need volunteers to serve a wide range of roles. Take one of these positions, meet professionals and gain a better understanding of the industry. With this basic experience in health care, you could make more progress in pursuing those coveted jobs.
Make Industry Connections Through Your Network
Maybe you have some friends or former co-workers who work in health care, and maybe you don’t. But if you start volunteering and getting involved with various health care-related projects and programs, you will start meeting other professionals and volunteers with connections of their own. As you seek out jobs, use these connections to reach out to other professionals who might offer leads or advice for an open position. As the Wall Street Journal notes, cold-calling or emailing might work, but it’s much better if you can use an existing connection to be introduced. Even if a particular connection can’t offer anything at the moment, they are still accessible for future inquiries, and they just might think of you the next time they do come across a job opening.
Keep Tabs on Your Preferred Employers
Many health care organizations are large and house multiple health and wellness departments under one roof. The sheer size of these organizations means there is often job turnover and new positions being created. It’s worth your time to keep tabs on some of the top employers in your local area. Companies like Laser Spine Institute, for example, have pages established on LinkedIn that consolidate current job openings, making it easy to check for updates. You can also use LinkedIn to find other professional connections who may be associated with the company in some way. Follow a few companies at first and add to your list as you discover prospective employers.
Leverage Your Current Skills to Qualify for Existing Jobs
Some job seekers might be looking for a full career transition far from their current line of work. Others might be looking for a similar job and career path. Even if you don’t think your current specialties and skills will carry over to your new career, you might benefit from using your prior experience to open doors into the health care world. Whether your expertise is in law, marketing, public relations or another profession, keep an eye on similar health care-related jobsâ€”even if that isn’t your ultimate goal. Once you’re in the industry, you might have an easier time getting a job offer in your ideal career path. The transition won’t be as dramatic, and with a proven track record in health care, you’re likely to get more serious looks from employers.