Knowledge Expansion

8 tips for helping you determine your career pathway

Insight Article

Professional Development

Cristy Good MPH, MBA
When assessing your career path, it’s important to recognize your passions and then acquire the skills that will help you pursue a career you feel passionate about. Here are eight tips that can aid in making your career path clearer.

1. Finding your passion

Are you trying to find your passion because your friends or academic advisor said you should? It is important to understand that your motivations determine your actions. Ask yourself why you are not happy doing what you are currently working toward.

2. Determine the role work plays in the life you want for yourself

You need to decide the life you want and the role work will play in it. You can then adjust your expectations and needs regarding your career, rather than trying to meet others’ expectations. For some, work is a means to paying bills; for others, it’s a passion.

3. Discover what excites you and why

It is difficult to identify your passion when there’s so much you enjoy It’s important to keep an open mind as you seek to merge work with your interests. A tool that can help in this regard is NYU Career Tracks, which encourages you to bookmark jobs you like and then discern what they have in common. With each job, ask yourself what you’re drawn to and why. How do they line up with your existing interests? What do you need to do to obtain one of these jobs and where are these types of jobs located? Answering these questions will help you determine next steps in your career path.

4. Find the skills you need to get the job you want

Figure out what skills you have or want to develop. Mastering these skills has been shown to make people happier at work, provides context (how you are contributing) for the work you’re doing and helps you complete daily tasks. It takes time to figure out the skills you need, so continue to explore.

5. Decide what you are willing to give up

In her article “What would you give up for a career you love?”, Marci Alboher touches on what you should consider when identifying meaningful work. It’s important to be honest with yourself and make a distinction between what’s non-negotiable and what’s nice-but-not-necessary.

6. Weigh the pros and cons

Identify the benefits and drawbacks of a specific degree or focusing on a certain specialty or type of healthcare organization. Keep an open mind until you have exhausted the possibilities and then use them for future decision-making.

7. Set deadlines

Deadlines can help you focus on the task at hand. Once further into a career in healthcare administration, being able to set short- and long-term goals will be crucial to your success. Get some practice now by defining for yourself a timeline for the next step in your career pathway.

8. Take a step back and reflect

After you create a thoughtful deliberate process, take some time to reflect and even sleep on the decisions you’ve made. If you consult a friend, refrain from allowing that person to make decisions for you.

Additional resources:

Career tools:

About the Author

Cristy Good
Cristy Good MPH, MBA
Industry Advisor MGMA
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