How to Get Ahead As a Public Health Professional
From a rapidly ageing population, to the anti-vaccine movement and non-communicable diseases, healthcare is facing major challenges all over the world. In an effort to tackle these pressing matters, public health professionals work to identify health risks to communities, and research community health issues in order to develop plans to tackle such matters.
Whether you’ve got an avid interest in researching and developing health policies, or are passionate about working face-to-face with the local community, a career as a public health professional can be incredibly rewarding – albeit challenging.
If you’re motivated by the prospect of giving back to society, and want to be part of the solution for improving standards of public health care on an international scale, read on to find out what you can do to get ahead.
Make sure your communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills are tip-top
Of course these aren’t the only skills you’ll need as a public health professional, but excellent communication skills are crucial – are you able to hold a sensitive conversation with a stranger? How are you working in a team where your ability to collaborate and liaise effectively is paramount?
You should be comfortable working under pressure and be able to think strategically when faced with any problem, no matter how severe or simple it may be.
Experience is critical
There’s a huge emphasis on the importance of interdisciplinary training in this field, which can lead to the typical catch-22 – you can’t get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job. There are, of course, ways to get around this.
Shadowing in a clinical setting, whether it’s in a hospital, local authority, or voluntary organization will help develop your competencies and knowledge. During this time you’ll get to know yourself better and assess your own strengths and aspirations to decide what specialty is for you.