When you’re looking for a great career in healthcare IT, it’s critically important to be aware of the characteristics employers are looking for in new hires. In addition to possessing the appropriate credentials and cutting-edge technical knowledge, there are several essential soft skills you need to get the job you want. Read on to discover the 5 traits of top-performing HIT professionals.
Trait 1: Autonomy
It’s one thing to know what you’re doing, but it’s a whole other ball game if you can perform your duties without constant supervision. Being able to self-direct will help you earn the trust of your superiors. This means you must take responsibility, not just for the tasks on your plate, but also for their outcomes, and be willing to jump in and help others who are contributing to a project. Be prepared to act to ensure a project’s success.
Trait 2: Cultural Fit
Why is company culture so important? Well, any job is like being in a relationship. The more you have in common with the people you spend the most time with, the better it will be for everyone. If you don’t fit in, you’ll have difficulty making the personal connections that smooth the path for workplace success and career growth. Without the comfort of strong relationships with your coworkers, most people feel acutely uncomfortable and don’t perform well. Make sure that during the interview process, you ask appropriate questions that help you get a handle on the team culture so you can assess if it’s the right group for you.
Trait 3: Vision
In business, the overarching goals are far bigger in scope than the tasks you’ve been assigned. No matter how high up on the totem pole you are, the particular job you’re performing is not the company’s singular goal. Being able to see not only the importance of your function, but also how all the key parts of the business fit together, is a skill not all healthcare IT professionals possess. The ability to see both the forest and the trees makes you invaluable. You understand how your role fits in with your team and the overall business. This perspective helps you think more creatively and more proactively. Looking only at your tasks is myopic and keeps you — as well as your team — small.
Trait 4: Flexibility
Because many healthcare employers are still catching up with their HIT staffing, you may need to wear a few different hats and step into other roles from time to time. The beauty of this is that although it may feel stressful or overwhelming for a while, you will be an invaluable resource of information both to hiring managers who want to fill the empty positions, and also to new employees who are filling those roles. You will have the knowledge and experience to positively influence how your team is hired and built. This creates breadth, not just depth, of experience.
Trait 5: Continuing Skill Development
Keeping your skills sharp and your knowledge up to date is essential to your career because conscious and continual professional development shows employers that you are dedicated to your field. On the flip side, outdated skills keep you stagnant, and prevent the company from moving forward too. Employers want healthcare IT employees to have leading-edge expertise to help bring the company forward. When you invest in your career by consistently updating your skills, you make yourself a very valuable asset to any employer.