Ideally each of us should have the opportunity to work in a field that we are passionate about while making enough to survive. It is not easy to make career decisions. Some time of self-assessment and reflection may help you discover your professional niche.
You do not have to assess yourself alone. Visit professional career counselors at school or in the community (some services may be offered free by local organizations). Talk to various working professionals about their positions and ask them if they think you would be a good fit. Also talk with someone you know and trust. They may have observed some aspects of your personality and talents that you have never acknowledged before.
Consider your interests
Think about not only your current passions, but also ones that may have revealed themselves during childhood. What skills and tasks do you find enjoyable and that come easy and which ones may be not compatible?
What are your values?
What purpose would you like to fulfill? What cause would you like to stand for with your work? Ponder what rewards you are striving for. Is it job security, having a challenge, the potential to earn a high salary, notoriety, serving others…?
Consider what type of work environment you desire. Do you prefer a fast-paced or laid back environment? Working among many co-workers or a small number? Working a set schedule or various shifts? Would you like to work in a strictly online environment, maybe from home?
A Career in Healthcare
The healthcare industry is one of the more recession-proof career choices you can make. As our population increases, the need for healthcare services grows. There are many fields within Allied Health, with a wide variety of educational paths to choose from.
If you would like to pursue a career in healthcare, start thinking about which division of healthcare is most suitable to your personality, talents, and goals.
• Direct Patient Care: If you are a people person and want to directly interact with patients, there are a variety of positions within this area of healthcare. These include nurses, physical therapist assistants, dental assistants, surgical technologists, doctors, dentists, social workers, medical assistants and more.
• Diagnostics and Medical Imaging: Would you like to help uncover why a patient is showing symptoms of illness or injury so they can get the treatment they require? A career in diagnostics and medical imaging might then be a perfect fit. Professionals like ultrasound technicians or sonographers, cardiovascular technologists, radiology technicians, CT Technologists, and MRI techs fit into this category. These positions require a balance between interacting with patients and technology/science.
• Administrative: Although positions within these categories do not directly relate to diagnosing or treating patients, their role is essential for healthcare facilities to run smoothly. Positions within this category include medical transcriptionists, medical biller and coders, medical administrative assistants and health services managers.
These are just some of the divisions of healthcare. Once you are done researching all of the facets that make up a hospital or healthcare setting, you can start finding out what each individual position involves and how each relates to your own interests and skills.
There are various self-assessment questionnaires and tools out there that you can find online or from career counselors. Some websites charge a fee, but you can usually find an abridged version to use for free to learn more about your personality traits and how they relate to careers. They can be very insightful, and fun to complete; but do not allow them to carve your fate in stone, as it impossible for a questionnaire to capture your entire essence.
Some of the Best Assessment Tools
Experience for Yourself
The best way to assess whether you are meant to work in a particular field of healthcare is to experience it for yourself. Whether you are still in high school or thinking of switching careers, contact a local healthcare provider and see if you can arrange a job shadowing experience. You can arrange this for a number of positions you may be interested in.