Public health professionals work to prevent pandemics, control diseases, reduce injuries, and regulate the adverse effects of public policy. These professionals must obtain valuable experience and knowledge regarding protecting a community’s well-being.
Since the emergence of COVID-19, public health has become a competitive industry with ample employment options and lucrative salaries. However, it means public health professionals today should enhance their education and develop soft skills to stay relevant. This article outlines some useful tips to help health experts keep their jobs and advance in their careers.
Some useful tips for public health experts
Humanity’s healthcare demands are rising quicker than the availability of healthcare practitioners. For instance, the WHO has stated that the world will encounter a shortage of 18 million health workers by 2030. This shortage brings a lot of employment opportunities for youngsters to gain skills relevant in the future.
You must focus on your careers and advance your skills to remain relevant in the health sector. Here are some useful tips to hone your expertise and get the right understanding for a successful career as a public health professional:
1. Continue education
You can leverage distance learning to enhance your knowledge and specialize in particular health-related departments. For instance, many experts seek proficiency in disaster management. You can pursue this specialization too to grow your skills.
Obtain an MPH disaster management degree from a reputable institution to get to the front lines of disaster recovery. You can raise awareness about disaster management in society while helping the victims of natural calamities recover. It’s an exciting subdivision for public health professionals!
2. Network with peers
There’s no career in which you can succeed without making connections and creating relationships. Your networking journey starts with your educational career; you must make friends in the industry to survive in the health sector. There are many ways to do that. For example, you can attend conferences to meet people. Here’s how these meetings help grow your career:
- People tell you about possible job openings
- You can help your organization with your connections
- These seminars hone your knowledge about what’s new in health
3. Know your responsibilities
Your responsibilities aren’t restricted to tackling public health problems and developing health policies. Public health experts educate community members about the importance of societal well-being and advocate for better access to healthcare in underprivileged communities. Moreover, public health professionals research ways to eradicate diseases from society. Address major public health issues by spreading awareness and teaching people about disease prevention tips.
4. Learn to communicate
Effective communication remains one of the topmost soft skills professionals should learn. Communication makes you a good follower as well as a good manager. Differentiate between several forms of communication to hone specific abilities, e.g.:
- Verbal communication
- Non-verbal (written) communication
- Communication with your body language (gestures)
5. Work with data
The health sector has become extremely data-driven, and public health workers should improve their tech skills. Healthcare organizations are worried about an “analysis paralysis” affecting the productivity of their staff. This paralysis comes from outdated technologies used to perform many difficult analytical operations. For instance, almost two-thirds of health workers are limited to technologies such as spreadsheets. So, public health officials should become more data-savvy.
6. Gain the necessary skills
Public health experts require unique skills to succeed in their careers. Most of these soft skills are common for all professions out there. For instance, effective communication is something you need for every vocation today. So, here are some skills you need to generate these skills properly:
- Managing a project
- Leading your subordinates
- Researching and reporting outcomes
- Planning, organizing, and regulating policies
- Marketing the organization’s services universally
7. Be more experienced
More experience brings more knowledge and better chances of career advancement. So, a public health expert should focus on gaining as much experience as possible.
However, there’s a saw stating: “One can’t get a job without experience or get experience without a job.” But you know that experience is crucial to success in any profession. It gives detailed insights into the secrets to achieving success in your industry. So, here’s how you can gain more experience in your booming career:
- Find volunteering opportunities in the healthcare
- Even professionals can benefit from having a mentor
- Shadow a senior health worker to hone your experience
8. Love your job
There’s no denying that public health careers are some of the most popular jobs out there today. As apparent from a 2013 study, 41% of public health workers are satisfied with their careers. Also, you may gather from academic records that applications for a bachelor’s degree in public health rose by 20% between 2020 and 2023. It shows that more youngsters are attracted to public health jobs, and is passionate about helping people makes public health experts the best.
9. Focus on self-care
A 2020 study shows that two-thirds of public health workers were facing burnout because they were overworked. So, self-care becomes necessary to regulate these instances of burnout and help public health professionals regain their work-life balance. How can you focus on self-care? You should:
- Exercise regularly
- Consume nutritious meals
- Sleeping for 7 to 8 hours daily
- Perform meditation and do some yoga
- Engage in stress-reducing breathing exercises
Public health experts should focus on honing their medical understanding to advance their careers and gain valuable promotions. You can improve yourself professionally by pursuing higher education. Enhance your experience, network with your peers, and work on your soft skills.
For instance, learn to communicate effectively. Become more data-savvy and integrate with the tech-dependent data-driven environment in your workplace. Also, you shouldn’t forget about self-care; focus on your well-being and don’t overexert yourself. Follow all these simple tips for a successful career in public health.