Living the Dream: Enjoying a Successful Career as a Healthcare Provider
Congratulations on landing your dream job! You’ve done a lot of work to get here. So far, you have:
- Dedicated countless hours of your life to studying, training and sharpening your skills
- Passed your exams and obtained your license and certifications
- Identified your wants and needs in a dream job
- Crafted a winning resume/CV and cover letter
- Leveraged your network and resources to find opportunities
- Interviewed, negotiated and signed on the dotted line
- Landed your dream job!
However, there’s still work to be done to turn your dream into reality. But this is the fun part – the reason you’re here. Now is when your hard work and dedication truly pay off.
How to Make Your Dream Job a Reality
Here are several actions you can take to capitalize on your calling and live out your dream as a successful healthcare provider.
1. Consider what traits you’ll bring to your practice each day. Think about shifting into provider mode as you put on your white coat, stethoscope, uniform or badge. Get clear and centered as you head into work. Remind yourself of your strengths and get psyched up with strategies like using a pre-performance ritual, building a performance playlist, and fighting back against fight or flight (McGinn ).
2. Take action to protect yourself from burnout. The American Medical Association advises providers to “Identify and prioritize your own values, write down your individual mission statement, find meaning outside of work, seek professional help if you need it, think about the bigger picture when deciding how to spend your free time, and try to schedule (and keep) time to enjoy for yourself (AMA). Physicians cited in the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology advise new providers to “wear good shoes, have your own doctor, speak up for yourself, and develop a self-care ritual”(ACOG ).
3. Immerse yourself in the science of medicine and your specialty. Keep up with innovations in methods, procedures, treatment, medications, and equipment. Select CME opportunities thoughtfully to build your knowledge base and skill set. Continually ask yourself, “Where am I going? How am I getting on? Where to next?” Also, “keep a learning portfolio and…keep your learning efforts alive by discussing them with your peers and supervisors” ( BMJ).
4. Embrace the unique opportunity you have to improve people’s lives. Enjoy utilizing your knowledge, creativity and problem-solving capability to give patients relief. Employ compassion, advocacy, cultural competence, empathy and understanding to build strong patient relationships. To connect with patients, Zulman et al. recommend providers “prepare with intention, listen intently and completely, agree on what matters most, connect with the patient’s story, and explore emotional cues” ( JAMA).
5. Bond with the team. Research shows collaboration in healthcare improves patient outcomes, decreases morbidity and mortality, reduces additional work, and increases provider job satisfaction (CPJRPC ). To support team success, providers can “execute their unique role, be confident in their own abilities to develop team trust, and have the ability to overcome adversity and personal differences” (CPJRPC).
6. Set yourself up for financial success. Your hard work and dedication come with great rewards (and hefty debt). If you approach this part of your career strategically, you can optimize your wealth. To set yourself up for success, “build a budget and savings plan, create a loan repayment strategy, fund retirement accounts, protect yourself with the right insurance, and consider your financial future” ( NEJM).
7. Look to the future. This is your dream job now, but where do you imagine you’ll want to go in the future? Are you interested in climbing the leadership ladder? Do you want to become a leading expert in your specialty or subspecialize? Do you want to invent new medical devices or develop breakthrough procedures? Do you want to increase workplace diversity , so patients have providers that better reflect their culture? Do you want to settle in one area,see the nation , or travel the world? Do you want to increase your earnings or retire early? Do you want to have control over your schedule? Do you want to reach underserved patient populations? Where do you want to be 10, 20, 30 or 50 years down the road?
8. Craft a living document listing actionable ways you will turn your dream into a reality. Use this list as your inspiration, but create your own version. Consider why you have chosen this career, what you plan to bring to this job and where you’re headed. Print it and post it where you can see it each day.
Enjoy bringing your dream job into reality!
Still on the hunt for your dream job as a healthcare professional? We’re here to help you take the next steps in your career. See our current opportunities at Cross Country Search.