Taking the time to set career goals might seem like just another task crammed onto an already hectic schedule for many healthcare professionals. Dealing with the COVID pandemic has been draining for many health workers – and sometimes, the most important goal is to simply finish a shift and get enough rest to power through the next one.
But every healthcare professional needs to set aside time to think about what they want from their career. In fact, healthcare professionals should begin by clearly defining their objectives for setting goals. Here are some examples for you to consider:
Think About Your Current Expertise
Healthcare is a field of specialties, and even recent graduates entering the job market have likely studied or trained in a specific area of interest. What are the strengths you bring to your area of expertise, and what is it about that area that interests and excites you? Narrowing your focus will help you pinpoint what you’re really good at, and help you identify a career path that will bring you a greater level of personal fulfillment.
Think About How You Want to Work
It’s important to think about the environment you want to work in – a hospital, a clinic specializing in your field, a small practice, etc. Consider who your patients will be as well as the nature of the issues that will bring them to you. For example, some physical therapists work with seniors while some work exclusively with children or accident victims. Which area do you consider to be your strong suit? These decisions will further narrow your goal-setting focus.
Set SMART Goals
Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Goals that meet these five criteria – SMART Goals – are focused on an end result and will keep the goal-setter apprised of where they are in the process.
Put your Goals in Writing
Writing down your goals makes them “real” and attainable. Seeing them written down on your computer screen can go a long way to strengthening your career direction. For example, seeing phrases such as “I’m going to try to” or “I hope to” would, ideally, spur you to let go of lingering doubts so that “I’ll try” becomes “I will.”
Make an Action Plan
This is in line with the SMART goal concept. What steps will you take to achieve our goal? How will you know that you’ve accomplished them (measurable)? How long do you have to complete a step (time-bound)? Keep steps simple enough to be doable and yet purposeful enough to keep you moving forward.
Stay on Track
Keep track of your progress – not just to ensure that you’ve met your goals, but you’ve done them in the time frame you set for yourself. If not, the goal or the timing might need adjustment. It’s normal to take a look at your goals and fine-tune them along the way. In fact, tweaking them will enable you to ensure that the goals you set are not only attainable but continue to fit your career objectives.
Connect with Healthcare Recruiters
i4 Search Group – Recruiting Healthcare Heroes since 2019. We’re a permanent placement recruiting firm specializing in healthcare recruiting across North America. If you’re a nursing, allied health, or any other healthcare professional looking for your next career move, visit our website and see how our experienced team of professionals can help you find a great position in 2021.