Taking a step back before joining the industry is crucial. You don’t want to enter that particular lion’s den without any prior knowledge and preparation. It’s crucial to prepare yourself mentally, and to know the right things to know. Take a look at these big steps that can ensure an easier entry into the industry, paving the way for your career in the industry.
First Rule of Digital Health Careers: Assess Yourself
The first thing you have to do to prepare is to assess yourself in different aspects. The first thing you have to do is to check your skills if it’s compatible with the industry. Careers in digital health more often than not require a lot of technical and technological, if not medical, skills. These include, but are not limited to web design, data analysis, and research. There are a lot of different jobs that the industry provides but the bottomline is you have to be above average in technological literacy. The name of the industry itself suggests that you need to know more than a thing or two about anything digital to be considered a good addition to a company. So brush up on your excel skills, your web design knowledge, or whatever it is that can make you adapt more to the industry.
It’s also important to note that a heavy background on medicine is not a requirement to start a digital health career. While it is a necessity for jobs heavy on research and treatment, more often than not knowledge of medicine won’t be a mandatory requirement.
It’s also good to take a look at your situation first before completely committing to starting a whole new career in the digital health industry. Can you afford a period of time to be unemployed and just prepare for the digital health industry? Is your family supportive? Are you clear about your goals once you’re in the industry? These factors can affect you badly if you don’t consider them in the long run.
Digital Health Career Research
Now once you’ve settled on what skills you have and what you have to work on, and how your situation pans out, you can then start connecting.
This means connecting to the industry and connecting to people involved in the industry.
In this increasingly globalizing world, connecting through networks isn’t just a recommendation but a necessity. Online interviews and meetings are happening more often. Companies are also favoring disseminating information online more and more. It is imperative that you stay connected in the industry and stay in the radar.
One of the most effective way to connect is through LinkedIn. If you don’t have an account yet, LinkedIn is basically a social media platform for professionals. You get to create your profile with your resume and skills, as well as connect with companies, and join groups. Being active on LinkedIn is a great way to land your face on the radar of some companies, especially with the digital health industry that relies a lot on the digital world.
There is a large group of more than 35,000 members founded by Paul Sonnier, that aims to connect the digital health community. Connecting with groups like these can give you more exposure and hopefully help you kickstart your digital health career.
You should also stay updated. The digital health industry is all about what’s new, what’s innovating, and what the next step is. Staying updated with the current technological and innovative trends is as crucial as staying connected. The knowledge of staying up to date with what’s happening in the industry is a skill that a lot of companies will look for. Imagine applying for a job in the financial industry and then the interviewer asks you what your thought were on the 2008 financial crisis. Knowing what to say in that instance can mean an acceptance or rejection of your application. It’s more or less the same thing in the industry.
Paul Sonnier has actually created a really good network of information to stay updated. He founded the website the Story of Digital Health that has it’s own weekly newsletter. Finding the time to read that weekly can help a great deal. There’s also a Facebook page for the website that can be easier to access.
The main thing to do is just stay up to date and don’t be a caveman that doesn’t know what’s happening with the world. Just knowing what’s happening is a skill in itself that attracts potential employers.
The bottomline here after deciding to enter the digital health industry is that you have to structure how you enter. Be well prepared by assessing your situation and make adjustments to make your transition to the industry smoother. Immersing yourself enough that you feel comfortable in the industry is another big step to do. And after preparing and immersing, the next step you can now do is putting on a brave face, and putting yourself out there to be hired.