Having a second career is perfectly acceptable at any age. Changing the direction that your work-life goes in is fine, and as long as you are doing what you want to do, then who is to judge. Deciding to launch a second career is a leap that most people are afraid to take, especially when they have commitments such as mortgages and families on the line. However, taking the decision to start on the journey to a second career is probably the hardest part of the whole process. Once you have overcome this obstacle, the rest of the journey should be enjoyable. So, why now, and what should you start doing to get your second career up and running?
The Healthcare Industry is A Good Choice
A second career at any time can be daunting, but not when you enter an industry such as the healthcare industry. The healthcare industry invests in its employees, and it is always going to be an industry that is required (and in-demand), so just what have you got to lose? The need and the demand for healthcare professionals (at all levels) is increasing all of the time, and this is something positive that is on your side. When you are in demand, you can be sure that you will have some level of security and safety, and unfortunately, this is something that cannot be said for a lot of industries. The healthcare industry allows you to launch a second career at any time of your life, and it also gives you the choice of being hands-on (or being in the background) if you wish. The flexibility that this provides you means that you can train to become a nurse should you want to, or you can train to work within a local hospital, perhaps within the administration department. The choice and the flexibility on offer within the healthcare industry means that you would never have any doubt about embarking on a second career.
Knowing the Time is Right to Pursue a Second Career
Is there such as thing as the right time? The right time may not exist, but the correct time to embark on something different is personal and relevant to you. It is the time when you feel that you have more to give, it is the time when you want to make a change, and it is the time when nursing as a second career becomes more appealing by the day. If you are feeling the urge to have a change, or you are feeling like now is the time to take action, then you have to start weighing up your options and committing to a decision. Simply jumping from one career to the next is not going to happen. A move needs to be calculated and planned to ensure that you achieve success.
If you look at your current career at the moment, can you be sure that it is giving you everything that you want, and can you be sure that it is filling both your professional and personal wishes? If you lose the passion and the interest for your career, then it can be hard to win back, and this is one of the triggers that will lead you onto a new career path. If you feel that you have given everything to your current career, then you need to start taking action sooner rather than later as you don’t want to miss your opportunity or chance to positively change.
Returning to Education and Training
Once you have made the decision to embark on a second career within the healthcare industry, it is then time to start focusing on your education and training. Most careers will require a strong educational background, and most will require regular training. For example, to become a nurse, you have to have a relevant and applicable degree. Once you have your degree and your qualification, you will then have to shift your mindset onto continued education and training. Embracing education and training within your second career is something that you will need to grasp and get to grips with. Changes happen rapidly in healthcare settings, and you have to be sure that you can readily adapt and change to suit what is needed and what is expected of you. When you are focusing on your education once more, you need to think carefully about what you study and also where you study. Studying with a reputable and respected educational industry is a must – especially when you are working in the healthcare industry. Accepting less than the best and simply settling for any educational provider is not going to be beneficial for your career in the future. Take your time to choose who you want to study with and ensure that you have plenty of positives as to why the provider or institution is good for you. For example, do they meet your needs of offering flexible learning? Do they support you as a learner both while you are studying and beyond?
Landing a Healthcare Role
When you are searching for employment opportunities, it is important to look at those opportunities close to home and those a little further afield. After you have completed your studies, you then need to focus on landing the role that you want. When you are open to opportunities from all locations, you can then be sure that you will get the right placement and opportunity for you. To get the position you would like, you must ensure that your resume is as professionally produced and informative as it can be. If your resume is not up to date, or if it does not sell you and your skills, then ultimately, it will let you down.
A well-written and well-produced resume will help you to get your foot through the door. Once your resume is looking as good as it needs to, you then have to focus on your applications and your sales skills. Even though you have the education and qualifications that are required, you will still be up against the direct competition (and this is something you must remember). The healthcare industry has jobs that are in-demand, but this does not instantly mean that they will hire you just because you showed up. To land the job that you want you to have, then you have to be more, and you have to sell yourself. If you cannot sell what you can bring and offer to the industry, then how can you expect to land a role? Landing a job can be tricky, especially if you are newly qualified. However, once you have your first role in hand, you can then focus on building your experience.
Developing Your Skills Within a Healthcare Setting
The skills and the skillset that you hold is just as important as the education that you have. Your skills and your skillset help you to be a healthcare professional. So, what skills should you focus your time and attention on? To begging with, you have to evaluate where your shortages exist. You can do this by thinking about how you handle and approach situations both professionally and personally. For example, if you do not listen to other people’s opinions and views, then this is something that can be worked on and improved. Or, if you are struggling to communicate effectively with colleagues or patients, then why not start focusing on your interpersonal and communication skills. The skills that you need within the healthcare industry will vary, but the main ones you should be focusing your effort on are good and strong communication skills, effective listening skills, and empathy. When you are dealing with a lot of people in a healthcare setting, you can sometimes become closed off to what they are feeling or what they are experiencing. Patients and those receiving treatment can at times feel lost, and to assist them, you need to work on your levels of empathy. Being more empathetic to what people are feeling, what they are experiencing, and also what they are going through will shape you into a much stronger healthcare professional.#
A Career Plan Will Help
Even though you are embarking – or have embarked on a second career, it does not mean that you will stay within your current role or position. In fact, planning ahead for the future can be seen as proactive and positive. Planning out where you want your career to go and in what direction you want it to follow will give you control and power. You need direction within your career to realize your true and authentic potential. When you put together a career plan, you may find it beneficial to set targets and goals too. These short-term and long-term goals and targets can keep your energy and your efforts focused. If you do not lay out a career plan, you may end up with an unsatisfying career in the healthcare industry, and this is not something that you need or want.