Adding A Rung: 6 Ways To Get To The Top In Medicine
There is nothing worse than feeling stagnant in your job. When you work in a field as challenging and fluid as medicine, the idea of reaching a ceiling in your efforts to succeed can feel claustrophobic and make the working day go from exciting to boring. Everyone who is active in the working world wants to advance their career, and this is probably more prevalent in the medical world. Medicine has advanced so much in the last few decades, with technology like this being front and centre for most developments. The thing is, you need to be able to dedicate large chunks of your time in medicine to be able to further your knowledge and go further in your career.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a doctor in a local practice, a surgeon in paediatrics or a specialist geriatric nurse on the floor doing patient workups; career progression is important. Being recognised for the work that you put in is not just important for the next rung of the career ladder and the salary that comes with it but for your own personal morale. We all need to be told sometimes that we are doing a good job, but actions definitely speak louder than words in the workplace. Part of working in the big wide world is getting seen and not getting lost in the system. It’s important to remember that you have to feel valued in your position and to do that, you have to be ambitious. Recognition and promotion doesn’t just fall in your lap; it takes hard work and the want to succeed to get you there.
Being better in your role at work will depend on a lot of factors. It used to be the case that seniority trumped performance, but this is no longer the case in most businesses, and this includes medicine. It takes something truly special to get noticed at work these days and much of it comes with effort. Doing the job well isn’t always enough to get you seen – you should be doing that anyway for the benefit of your department and if you have them, patients. The rapid changes in healthcare and the way it is driving forward at rocket speed means you have to do the same thing. As an example, check out this article about the advancements in medicine in the last year! Making smart investments within your career, including within yourself, is the way to catapult forward. If you want to really climb to the top of the career ladder where you are, you need a solid plan to do it. Getting yourself on the right path to grab that next rung is vitally important for your career progression, and while there is more you can do you can get started with these:
Working on yourself should be your first step. Medicine has a lot of career avenues and this means if you aren’t happy in one, there is always room to grow and expand into another. Nurses who are on the front line of a hospital and dealing with patients daily may wish to step up into more of a leadership capacity, so furthering their education by looking for what is a DNP Doctor of Nursing Practice is a good way to kick start some extra learning. If you are in nursing already, you need to have your Master’s under your belt so you can get into that area, and it also means that if being with patients at bedside has given you some amazing ideas for progression, you’re in a better position to put across your ideas. Working on your own knowledge and bettering your skills with medical seminars, research studies and volunteering where you are for the tasks that no one wants to do can get you noticed at work!
If you are offered the chance to do something new, always say yes. It may sound weird, but if you are a nurse working in trauma and you get the chance to work in surgery, then you are going to be learning something new and potentially find something else you love to do that you can be recommended for later. Don’t forget that for every new thing you say yes to, you build new contacts and links to other people in other departments. Don’t be taken for granted though, just because you say yes once doesn’t mean you have to if it’s something you’re not interested in. Doctors and research specialists often get asked to participate in studies and are constantly driven to put forward their own research to be published – catch onto some of that drive!
Finding a mentor in your field is crucial for your further development, especially in medicine. A mentor can help guide your career in the right way and make you feel like you have someone on your side to answer your questions on how to do better in your department. It doesn’t have to be a hugely formal relationship, but having someone on your side who is already a success is a great way to progress your own career.
Work Is A Hobby
When you work in such a consuming field such as medicine, your work should become your hobby. Take the time in your personal hours to research, study and innovate in your chosen field. Publishing research papers and undergoing clinical trials for further medicinal study is important as a doctor. As a nurse, you can further your own career by offering to spend your down time pulling shifts in different fields. Interested in working with children? Perhaps volunteering as a pediatric nurse or a candy striper in that area can help you learn more.
The one way to get to the next rung of the career ladder is so simple it’ll make you smile. Ask! The only way you can get ahead in the world and get what you want is to ask for it. You can easily push ahead with your valuable ideas if you speak up and talk about them. Speak to someone higher up about how you can progress your career. Get some advice from your mentor about how you can do more in your department to be recognised. The meek do not become major successes unless they are powerful in what they do. Those in the big leagues are those who aren’t afraid to ask how to get there and you have to be vocal in your field to achieve greatness.
Finally, being humble about your ambition is key. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and you have to show a little humility – even if you are the best at what you do. No one wants to hire someone who believes they are above and beyond what they are, even if it is true. Keep a little of your ambition back (while still asking for what you want) so that you can be seen as someone ambitious and yet grateful for all you’ve achieved so far.
Getting up the next rung of the career ladder is difficult in any field and in medicine, it’s a minefield. There are so many ways you can progress yourself, but the want to do it is the most important thing you need under your belt. Be inspired for greatness and do better for yourself while you do it.