The Great Resignation, The Great Reshuffle, or whatever you choose to call it, is a real and persisting trend — and one that is largely being driven by employees’ quests to find greater purpose in their careers. According to a Gartner report, analysts concluded that, in the wake of Covid-19, people have developed a greater sense of their own worth and that of the world around them, leading them to seek out job opportunities that provide them with more personal value and purpose.
I can relate to this quest for purpose-driven work, though my own experience happened before the pandemic and was not, if I’m being honest, completely intentional. I had worked in product development for many years and was always content in my roles. Still, a part of me knew to keep an open mind about any career opportunities that came my way. And I’m so glad I did because an open mind is exactly what brought me to my current role at CarePort, powered by WellSky.
My current company operates in healthcare technology, a space that was completely foreign to me just four years ago. Starting a career in an unfamiliar industry can be daunting, but it’s so worthwhile if it’s something that you’re passionate — or maybe even just curious — about.
To anyone considering a career change, but hesitant to try something new, here is my advice to you.
3 Lessons From My Accidental Journey to the Perfect Job
- Don’t shut the door on the realm of possibilities.
- Get smart about the industry.
- Learn, and then learn some more.
1. Don’t Shut the Door on the Realm of Possibilities
Getting over the mental blocks that prevent a career change can be one of the hardest parts of it all. Although you may be curious about what else is out there, many people avoid pursuing the unknown because, let’s face it, change can be uncomfortable.
When my mentor reached out to me about speaking to Lissy Hu, CEO and founder of CarePort, my gut reaction after looking into the company was, “Nursing homes? Eh.” I knew nothing about the world of health care, not to mention the need for greater care coordination (something that CarePort addresses).
Still, I didn’t let that unfamiliarity stop me from taking the call. After speaking with Lissy about why she started CarePort, I recognized that this was a mission-driven company that had the power to revolutionize the way we all receive care. I was inspired by her vision and passion and became eager to join an organization where I could make a real difference in people’s lives.
If I had preemptively shut the door on a 15-minute conversation with Lissy, I wouldn’t be where I am today, doing purpose-driven work. Say yes to every conversation that you’re offered because you never know when you might come across that one person who ignites something within you that you didn’t know was there before.
2. Get Smart About the Industry
When an opportunity in a new industry comes knocking at your door and you’re ready to interview, the best way to prepare is to use all available resources to learn as much as you can. Read articles, listen to podcasts and talk to people in the know. And never underestimate the power of personal connections, so lean on your network (and your network’s network, for that matter).
Even though preparing for the interview is important, don’t pretend to know more than you do about the industry. Acknowledge that you’re coming from outside of the industry is okay. Lead with honesty; highlight your strengths and speak confidently about where you think your skills can contribute to the business’ bottom line. The rest will fall into place.
3. Learn, and Then Learn Some More
Even after you’ve logged years in an industry, you have to remain agile and keep current on market trends both for your own personal growth and the company’s success. I learned this lesson quickly during the pandemic, which hit a year and a half after I joined CarePort. The healthcare industry was turned on its head, just like the rest of the world, and we had to evolve our platform to better meet the changing needs of the providers using it. During this time, I took every opportunity to speak with healthcare experts in my network and soaked up as much information as I could about the continuously changing Covid-19 protocols. By doing so, our product development team was able to create solutions that helped overburdened and resource-constrained hospital staff better care for their patients during a time of uncertainty.
Plenty of opportunities and mediums for endless learning are accessible today — be a sponge and take advantage of them.
Find Your Passion
The three pieces of advice above should serve as a reminder to everyone that starting anew doesn’t necessarily mean starting from scratch. If you go forth with an open mind and a sincere confidence within yourself, no opportunity is out of reach. Operating from a place of passion and purpose can be energizing. I’ve now gone from someone who used to say, “I’ll never leave product,” to the person who believes, “I’ll never leave healthcare.”