Most doctors or dentists at some point in their career need careers advice, guidance or information. Some of the most successful clinicians and academics have planned their careers by considering their personal and professional goals, maintaining a proactive attitude towards gaining experience or further skills, and learning how to effectively market themselves for the desired positions.
Managing your career is a lifelong process. The decisions you make deciding what subjects to study at school, choosing your medical/dental school, choosing a specialty and Deanery, and deciding where you want to continue working once fully trained and what responsibilities you would like to take on later in your career.
Whilst making those decisions might be difficult, learning how to manage your career is straightforward. The first step is to identify what you can offer an employer and consider your requirements for an ideal job. The second step involves prioritising your requirements and comparing this with the options available (i.e. which is the ‘best fit’?). Once you have found a position that you feel best suits you, the second step includes researching and gaining experience to strengthen your understanding of the role. And finally, the third step uses the information from the first two steps to apply for the desired role.
Acknowledgements to Newcastle University Careers Service
If you work through the cycle, you will increase your self-awareness so you will know what you have to offer with regards to your skills, strengths and weaknesses. You will also do a significant amount of research to find an appropriate vacancy that suits you personally and professionally. Lastly, you will find this insight will make it easier to engage with recruitment and selection processes which essentially assess applicants on their suitability and level of desire and commitment for the role.
To be successful in managing your career, you will need to be proactive, resourceful, and self-aware.
There are also many career management tools available on the Health Careers website, which you can access at https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/working-health. Browse to this for more interactive activities to help you in your decision making process.