The health care sector is a perennial growth industry. People will always need medical care and the population is aging, driving more demand for health care services. Health care is also a big field, covering tons of different specialties and careers. You don’t need an expensive medical degree to get a well-paying, rewarding job in the health care industry. There are opportunities in the field for jobs allowing flexible hours, which is convenient for working parents, military spouses, and students. Flexible work schedules help narrow the gender wage gap, promote a healthy work-life balance, and increase employee retention. Nursing Assistants and Health Information Managers can work part time, and Coding Policy Analysts and Medial Transcriptionists can telecommute. Medical Coder, Documentation Specialist, and Medical Records Specialist are other positions with the opportunity for flexible schedules. There are a few skills to master to be successful at a flexible job:
- Be realistic: While the job may have flexible hours, your employers still have a business to run. There may be times when they cannot be flexible. Agreeing to come in on your off time occasionally will promote good will, and bosses and co-workers are more likely to accommodate your schedule. But also, don’t let employers take advantage of you.
- Be organized: Flexible hours can also mean irregular hours depending on your schedule. You need to have your personal and professional tasks organized so you’re ready to go when it’s time to work and don’t forget things.
- Be disciplined: Just because you work flexible hours, it doesn’t mean you can slack. Always show up and clock out on time, and stay focused and productive through your entire shift. If you’re telecommuting, self-discipline is even more important. It’s so easy to get distracted at home when there are no co-workers or bosses around. You must treat it as a real job and set up a traditional work station, separate from other rooms if possible.
- Be sympathetic: Your co-workers who don’t have the luxury of flexible hours may deal with increased stress and challenges. Be willing to help them, perhaps covering their shifts when they have an emergency.
- Be a team player: If possible attend staff meetings, team building exercises, retreats, charity events, and staff parties. While you may not be there as much, you’re still part of the team. Staying involved, showing up to these events even a little, will improve your standing in the office and position you well for networking and promotion opportunities.
- Be an excellent time manager: You have less time to complete your work but you’re still expected to be competent and effective. You’re working a flexible schedule often because you have other commitments and responsibilities that make it necessary. This makes skillful time management crucial. There’s no time for texting your friends or scrolling through internet gossip. Create and stick to a schedule that efficiently progresses through necessary daily tasks such as emails so you have enough time for the big stuff.
Other tips include taking advantage of all the available technology to make your job easier and remember to reply promptly to emails. Stay in contact with co-workers to ensure they remember you and to combat cabin fever if you’re working from home.