It is almost expected when applying to a graduate school or a profession after college that you have had some sort of experience. This experience can range from each application and can be as simple as having the skillset for the job or having a minimum number of hours worked within that field of study. The most daunting thing about obtaining experience is often finding it. Some opportunities are easier to find than others but the task of searching, finding the right one, and sometimes even qualifying can be a challenge in itself. The rest of this post will provide you with all the ways I have gained experience in the healthcare field. I have had almost all types of learning experiences from shadowing to full-fledge jobs.
One of the most important things to have is a resume. The first resume you should create is around the age of 16 and should include the basics such as your level of schooling and activities you take part in. As you gain experience, schooling, and extracurriculars your resume should be constantly updated. The most important thing to do is to have a master list of all activities, jobs, and education you have done or currently doing. Every job and application is specific in what they are looking for and having the ability to change what is on your resume to fit their needs is vital.
I will be sharing a blog post soon on what my resume looks like. I have had my resume looked at by my professors, recruiters, and many companies, and even my resume is not perfect. The keys to getting as close to a perfect resume as possible are to be organized, concise, and professional. Your resume is the first thing an employer sees about you. It is your first impression and you want to put everything they are looking for upfront so you can be a top candidate.
Confidence is key in every aspect of experience, from getting the position to doing well in the position. When I was in 9th grade I was beginning to look into what I was interested in doing in college. I knew I wanted to do something with healthcare and originally I settled on athletic training. To make sure I was interested in this, I approached the athletic trainer of my high school and expressed my interest in shadowing her because of her profession. She was extremely excited and happily agreed. For about three months, I shadowed her after school learning what she did before games, during injuries, and during her lulls to succeed at her job. I was eager and willing to learn and she was extremely appreciative about it. The sad part about this story is that after those three months I decided it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I was hoping for more “action” instead of being reactive to the situation.
During that summer and many nights of research, I became interested in becoming a Physicians Assistant. I did the same thing and went to the local urgent care, walking up to the front desk and asking if they offered any shadowing opportunities. They gave me information and people to contact. As a result I had the opportunity to shadow a Physicians Assistant in 9th grade. I learned so much and fell in love with what I hope to be my future career.
For all of these shadowing opportunities and others such as my EMT job, I was extremely confident. Don’t be scared to ask because in most cases people want to help! Anyone you are shadowing or working under was probably in your position at one point or another and most likely knows the feeling. If they say no to you, however, that’s all that’s going to happen. You aren’t going to burn to ashes because you were rejected. You will be rejected multiple times in your life but, how you react to being rejected tells people more about a person than getting accepted.
With Internships and gaining experience there is often a huge detour people face. This detour is sacrifice. When entering a shadowing position or a position to learn basic skills to build your resume the biggest sacrifice is often money. Many shadowing positions and internships are often hard-working and time-consuming jobs, especially in healthcare. In healthcare, it is not likely that you will be paid unless you have a license, certification, or degree in a field. This often leaves high school students, college students, or someone looking to change their career path in a hard spot. They are left with an extremely profitable long-term ROI and a detrimental short-term ROI (If you want to hear more about ROI go to blog #6). If you have ever seen the movie Pursuit of Happiness this is a perfect example of long-term positive ROI and a negative short-term ROI from an internship.
Every person’s life is different and I can not speak for everyone. But, if you are willing to take the risk and the sacrifice for your dreams. You will not only be profitable in your wallet but profitable with happiness. There is a saying that people who are more willing to become the opposite of what they want are more likely to become what they want. This means for example, the more willing you are to lose all of your money and take risks, the chance of you becoming rich and extremely profitable increases. So dream big and sacrifice what you can sacrifice.