Leaving the Ladder: Rethinking the Traditional Healthcare Career Path
By Rachel Polhemus and Jason Petros
Between a global pandemic, social change, and the proliferation of mergers and acquisitions, healthcare executives are rethinking the traditional path of career advancement. Moving slowly but steadily up the ladder has gone out of fashion. Rather than one linear route, the new healthcare landscape offers multiple pathways in which executives can “advance”.
It’s time for healthcare leaders to rethink career development to adapt to a lattice or matrix structure. The key is to remain open and curious, both about one’s own unique career path and about the skills and competencies that best suit employers in the marketplace.
Developed in collaboration with NALHE, the National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives, the following article explores the reasons that ladder-like advancement is no longer the best career strategy, and offers recommendations for executives to take advantage of a changed landscape.
- Think about competencies that are ideally suited for today;
- Prioritize experience gained in a role rather than its specific title;
- Stretch your boundaries, but not too far;
- Keep a journal of successes and failures;
- Network with your boss’s boss;
- Mine for mentors.
Healthcare executives may have lost their footing on the career ladder of old, but it is possible to discover unique and enriching paths that lead to career success.