Whether you are a graduate medical student, a current medical student about to graduate, or simply someone already in the medical field looking to take the next step in their career, it can be a daunting and challenging task to plan your next career move.
Perhaps you are looking for a better opportunity, or maybe you are wanting to change fields – either way, we have got you covered in what you need to know about planning and preparing for your next medical career move.
Do your research
Firstly, it would be wise to conduct research into what your next move could even be. For medical students, this may mean researching potential medical career paths, and for those already in the medical field, they could research different job roles and the hospitals or area that they are in.
It is important to thoroughly research job prospects to see whether they require specific qualifications and the typical responsibilities and duties of the role to see what is expected of you. If you manage to find a job opportunity that you are interested in, make sure that you read it carefully and even go further by researching the company and location.
You want to be sure that you will be satisfied with the job, and one aspect of employee satisfaction stems from the company culture. As a result, it is always best practice to do a little research on the job role and the company before accepting an offer of employment or even proceeding to apply for the job.
Identifying your own strengths and weaknesses
As with researching the role and company, it is also crucial that you are able to identify your own strengths, weaknesses and skills. By doing some introspection, you will be more aware of what sort of things you should improve on and what you can further enhance. This can be helpful when updating or creating your curriculum vitae (CV), in addition to aiding your writing of cover letters for job applications.
If you are someone looking to switch to a career in medicine, you may be struggling to include relevant strengths or skills that could help land you a job in the medical field, especially if you do not have the essential training or qualifications.
However, did you know that transferable skills are also important when it comes to healthcare professions? Everyone is bound to already possess some, if not all, of these skills (with experience as evidence), so do not forget to include these when applying for healthcare-related jobs.
Some examples of transferable skills that you should add to your CV are:
- People skills – working with others, customer service, a professional and approachable attitude
- Caring for others – empathy and respect for others
- Organisational skills – project management, leadership or management skills
- Digital literacy – information technology (IT) skills such as proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office apps or Google Workplace, or technical IT skills like programming
What are you looking for in your next job?
Now that you have your CV sorted out, what exactly are you looking for in your next career move? This is the most vital part of planning your next step, as this is where you will define what that step actually is.
Are you switching fields? Or are you searching for a better role with better pay and incentives? Or do you simply want to move to a different employer? Whatever your reason, you should ensure that you outline this to help guide you in the right direction.
For instance, you do not want to be looking for a new job in the same organisation if the reason you are leaving is because you do not enjoy working there. Neither do you want to look for job roles that are significantly below your usual pay grade. There are numerous job search sites that display a high volume of job prospects such as MediMatch, otherwise you can also use a medical job finder app that is ideal for nurses planning to make their next career move.
A career in medicine
A career in medicine is an enlightening and rewarding career journey. Regardless of whether you have experience in medicine, there is a range of job opportunities available for you to kick-start your career in reputable organisations like the NHS.
If you are someone with relevant experience already, you will be a professional that is in demand, so we have no doubt that you will be able to take the next step in your medical career effortlessly. On the other hand, it would still be a good idea to plan your next steps so that the process goes smoothly.