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Tags: Career Guidance, career-guidance-nursing, health-and-social-care...

Often when you are busy at work, it’s easy to neglect the steps you need to take to advance in your career. However, it's important to dedicate the time to look at the areas you excel at and the areas that could do with some additional support to allow you to grow and develop professionally.

Today’s skills shortage within the healthcare industry presents an opportunity for career progression as there is an abundance of available roles for the right candidates. Moreover, the NHS is one of the top five largest workforces worldwide and employs more than 1.5 million people across 350 different roles, so there are plenty of routes to choose from.  

5 tips to progress your career in healthcare

Conduct a self-assessment

Essentially, self-assessments evaluate where you are professionally and personally and are the first step to setting goals. By evaluating your experience, education, position, and responsibilities, you can identify the areas where you may be lacking which are necessary to advance your career to the next stage.

Conducting an assessment of your personal life will also outline anything holding you back from achieving the above goals. Are there things that distract you or hinder your performance that you could perhaps eliminate? 

 Map out a pathway

 What is your long-term career goal? Figure out whether this involves pursuing your current career pathway or transitioning to achieve something you are more passionate about. 

The great thing about a healthcare career is that it is likely to span between 20-40 years. Whilst other professionals change their career several times in their lifetime, you will have the opportunity to progress in multiple roles within the same industry. For instance, you might be passionate about providing care to patients as a Registered Nurse but want to become a Nurse Manager or Educator. If you’re unsure of how to achieve that goal, speak to others who currently have that job title and ask them how they got to that point, or chat to a specialist recruiter who can also advise you on the pathway you will need to take.

Show leadership skills

Naturally, progression often comes with the responsibility of people management. Taking the initiative to become a leader and share ideas and renewed insight shows you’re interested in benefiting the greater good of the business, for example, improved patient satisfaction. 

If you demonstrate that you are willing to take on new challenges and have the ability and confidence to lead and influence others, this will get noticed by your superiors. Placing you at the forefront of their mind when they’re considering candidates for management roles. But remember, if leadership doesn’t come naturally to you, you can start small by simply offering advice to your peers and gradually increasing your leadership efforts. 

Stay connected 

Stay connected and build relationships with professionals working in the healthcare industry or keep in touch with those you have worked with prior. You can also join online communities such as the Professional Healthcare Association forum to stay informed with current medical news and interact with other healthcare professionals.

In any sector, it pays to network and increases your visibility in your profession as it improves your chances of hearing about and being recommended for new roles.

Partner with a healthcare recruiter

Specialist recruiters already have a pool of relevant connections and roles available to them within the healthcare industry. If you are currently working, employing the help of a recruiter will help you to focus on your current job whilst still make progress in your job hunt. Plus, it will also maintain your privacy as recruiters will act in confidence. 

Unsure about what role you want next? It may be worth considering non-permanent work such as agency or contract to gain an insight into a particular job and experience before committing to a permanent role.

At Search Health & Social Care, we work with the UK's leading healthcare providers and have a range of permanent and non-permanent roles across a range of care settings, including hospitals, mental health facilities and care homes. We offer a variety of shifts to suit your individual needs, which makes it even easier to further your career. Search our current healthcare opportunities now.