Let’s face it; this has been a tough year for many individuals in or out of healthcare IT, either keeping a job with the fear of losing it or actually losing a job. Facing these issues in life can be opportunities to gain ground or grow a new skill. Assessing skills is a great first step to understanding what skills you have that are functional and transferable if you have to make a career change.
Most of us “freeze” up when “skills” are mentioned, but we all have learned skills as adults that are unique. Don’t confuse skills with traits, mannerisms, style or temperament. Random House Roget’s Thesaurus lists the synonyms of skill as adeptness, expertness, mastery, competence, artistry, cunning, cleverness, ingenuity and acumen.
Identify Your Skills
So what are your skills? What makes you an expert when it comes to people, data or things? You need to identify and understand what your skills are when making a career change. Since 99% of us don’t know what our skills are, I recommend doing a skills inventory to prepare your self for a planned or unplanned career change. Write down all of your key accomplishments throughout your career and different positions. You will be amazed of all the skills that you have obtained during your work experiences. Once you know your current skills, this will give you a chance to expand them.
Expand Your Skills
Seek opportunities to expand your skills to new areas of healthcare IT. Become an expert in HIE, ambulatory EMRs, IT customer service and business intelligence, etc. Volunteer to be on a committee in an area you would like to learn. Submit a proposal to speak at an upcoming conference, like the HIMSS11 – Education Annual Conference. Expand your life skills too, travel, read, take a painting class, join a rock band, learn a new language, or explore ballroom dancing.
Key skills needed to succeed in healthcare IT
Here are some top skills sought by hiring executives and common in position descriptions that I write.
- Customer service
- Interpersonal skills
- People management
- Project management
- Team player
- Change agent
- Results/action oriented
- Political skills
Several excellent books tackle the “skills” subject very well and , they are: What-Color-Your-Parachute-2010; Career Success In Healthcare IT; Leading IT Transformation –The Roadmap for Success; and Flight Plan: The Real Secret of Success. Please comment if you have other career success books you would like to recommend, I would like to learn about them.