|Early Careerist FAQ |
section includes questions and answers on topics
including career moves, interviewing skills, ACHE
services and more. The responses
were developed with input from successful healthcare
Q: I recently graduated with my
in healthcare administration. Where should I start
my job search?
decide what you want and set goals. Make
a list, brainstorm with a friend and talk to
your advisor. Determine your deal
breakers. Are you willing to sacrifice salary
for a job that really interests you?
Will you relocate? Do you have personal
commitments that prohibit you from working overtime?
Next, eliminate jobs
that you are not qualified for. While
you may have a strong interest in a certain
job, do not bother applying
for it if you do not meet the experience
requirement or if you are missing critical criterion.
Third, who do you know? Have
you exhausted your personal network? Contact former
classmates, alumni, instructors, former employers
or colleagues. Join ACHE and connect through your local
chapter or Regent. Additionally, you can exchange information and ideas on ACHE's Official Group on LinkedIn. Make yourself visible in
the field by volunteering at a local hospital
or participating in community events where you
can get to know potential employers and colleagues.
Find a good match. Is
there a healthcare organization that has a specific need for someone
who has, for example, a finance and healthcare
background? Maybe your graduate school foundation
work fits nicely into a project that a hospital
is undertaking in your area. Know what’s
going on in the field to find out how you can
fit into the needs of the marketplace.
keep learning about
your field and your career options. Attend
classes, read articles and books, sign up for
e-newsletters and seek knowledge. Instead of
clicking past the tips section and advice articles
on job sites such as monster.com,
stop and read them. Other sources are
www.jobcircle.com, www.findarticles.com, www.collegegrad.com,
as well as journals like Harvard
Business Review and magazines like Fast
Q: I am starting a new job
in my field, but I have limited
experience in this particular sector. What advice
can you give me to succeed
in the first six months on the job?
A: No matter
where your job hunt lands you, it is vital that
you make a good impression within the first six
months. Some ways of accomplishing this are obvious,
such as being on time for meetings, maintaining
a professional presence and attitude and admitting
mistakes. Other ways may be harder but are just as
important. For example, don’t be afraid
to set boundaries. Be clear about what you can
take on and what you can’t.
If you feel overwhelmed, talk to your supervisor
or another leader. Also, ask for feedback regularly;
don’t wait for your formal review.
Q: I have been in the healthcare
management field for about 10 years and I am considering
a transition from a nonprofit to a for-profit
company. What do I need to know?
matters and so does organizational culture. Working
in a large, national enterprise
will be a different experience than working for
a smaller, local, entrepreneurial undertaking.
the large system, there may be a regional reporting
hierarchy, as well as a hierarchy at the operations
level. There may be standardized approaches
to managing and problem solving. There may
be an expectation that executives will move to
new geographic locations during their
an entrepreneurial undertaking, there may be less
routine approaches to pursuing the firm's objectives;
workdays may be unpredictable in terms of their
content, length and number of days per
there is another entrepreneur present, then it
would not be unusual to find a "my way or the highway" culture.
either setting, however, there will likely be
a strong emphasis on "managing to the metrics" with
measurement of results occurring with greater
frequency than you were used to in a non-profit
Q: I am interested
in relocating to another area with more job opportunities
and I would like some advice on cross-country
networking and job searching.
Become a member of ACHE. ACHE's Career
Management Network can help connect
you with volunteers willing to fill you in on
who's who and what's what in your target community.
You can also identify key informants among the
leaders of local chapters. Go to the Chapters section
of ache.org, select the
chapter serving your target community and make
contact with its chosen leaders. Learn about
its job-finding resources (some chapters may post
jobs on their Web site) and when it will be sponsoring
programs with networking activities that would
be open to you. Schedule
a visit to the area when you can attend
a local chapter event so you can make multiple
contacts in one visit.
Career Services to search
for opportunities in the ACHE
Job Bank and post your resume in
the ACHE Resume Bank.
Management 101. Don't
overlook ACHE's online Affiliate
help find potential networking contacts selecting
them based on their organization, their chapter
and their areas of expertise. Never forget
that respect, reciprocity and follow up are
keys to successful networking.
Q: I am considering
returning to school for a master’s in health
administration but I'm not sure which schools
and programs to consider. Is an online
program a good option? Where should I start?
A: Start by visiting
Services area of ache.org to
learn about available degree options. You can also
visit the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare
Management Education Web site at www.cahmeweb.org for
a list of accredited programs. Only consider accredited
To determine whether you should
select a traditional or nontraditional program,
you can start by talking to students in various
programs to obtain their feedback. As an
ACHE member, you can search the Affiliate
Directory on ache.org for
student associates in your area. The Affiliate
Directory also includes an education history
for each affiliate. Your local chapter may also
be able to provide contacts. Consider contacting
leaders you admire to find out their education
to consider is how you learn. If
you work better in teams or with personal interaction,
an online program will probably not meet your needs.
Your choice also depends on
your location, flexibility, career
goals and financial situation. Make a list of
your requirements and check off programs that do not
fit your needs.
Q: I have a strong
competency and several years of experience managing
projects in the healthcare field, but I have no
experience managing staff. How can I gain staff
management experience to meet this
A: Find ways to work with and lead teams in your current position. Joining
a committee or volunteering to lead a project will
help you gain management experience and raise your
visibility. Share your desire to build your skills
with your supervisor and they may suggest taking
a course or recommend other options.
Volunteering outside of your
organization is another great way to acquire management
skills. Contact your ACHE chapter or volunteer
through social service
agencies such as the United Way or your local food
bank. Get involved, join a committee, and volunteer
for leadership opportunities.
Q: What are some methods for
dealing with difficult employees?
A: There is
a reason why so many job descriptions list
interpersonal skills as a requirement.
Use these skills to better understand the problems
you may encounter while dealing
with difficult employees.
If an employee
does not complete a project to the assigned
specifications, ask them what happened. Instead
of criticizing, gather information
before you respond and point out successful
accomplishments first. You could say, “Thank
you for completing the project before the deadline.
While reviewing the project, I noticed that
portion C was missing. Can you tell me more
about this?” You
may discover that the employee did not understand
your instructions or that they did make a
Identify and resolve ongoing problems
When a problem occurs
ask what you can do to make the employee's job
report has been late for the last few
months. How can I support you so you can get
this done consistently on time?” You
may discover that the employee has three
reports due at the same time, and by changing
the date by a week, it may be easier for
them to get it done on time.
Also, remember to be fair and
consistent, offer specific praise when appropriate
and be aware and respectful of cultural differences.
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