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Who Needs a Career Plan Anyway?

You’ve been working awhile now and have received at least one or two promotions.  You’re content with where you are in your role and your position within your organization. So why bother updating (or even developing) a career plan?  Because it’s the right thing to do personally and professionally for yourself.

Although I’ve been in the health IT workforce for more years than I want to admit, I’ve recently achieved a major career milestone: I earned a Masters in Adult Education from The Pennsylvania State University.  Although it took some time while also transforming health IT through professional development activities for over 60,000 HIMSS members, I could easily say “enough”.  I’ve added another grouping of initials to my name and I’m done.

But not me.

So, it’s time to update my career plan to ensure that I continually develop professionally.  And happily, I have earned professional designations along the way which help me to continue to build out my career plan.  My interests are in health IT (CPHIMS and FHIMSS), project management (PMP), and digital events (DES).  And yes, I use my passion for education across all these areas of interest and more.

My advice to you is to create (or update) a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis just as you would for a post-implementation event or other significant event. This is very easy but does require some dedicated time to begin, set aside, and then review.  It is helpful to have a mentor review your entries for an unbiased opinion.  By doing so, you should glean what you like, don’t like, what you’re good at, and what you struggle with.

Once you’ve finalized your SWOT Analysis, identify those goals that you would like to pursue.  In my case, I have already earned the FHIMSS so I am now pursuing the FACHE.  To do this, I need to meet certain requirements of which I have most.  So, I am on my way planning this professional development activity. 

But wait, there’s more.

I also continue to maintain both my PMP and my DES credentials.  I just earned renewals for both so now is the time to plan to earn my required CEUs (and not wait too close to the renewal deadline).

And finally, I want to get more engaged in educational practices.  I believe that real value for me in my role (of which you will benefit too), is to join (and get involved, too!)  the Professional Convention Managers Association (PCMA) and focus on practices that are accepted and most effective for healthcare conferences.

Need additional help?  Visit the HIMSS Career Services, the HIMSS Veterans Career Services area, the HIMSS JobMine where a wealth of job postings are available.  And there’s no better way to know what’s occurring in other organizations than through current job postings.

 And what are ways that you have found to be most effective for developing a career plan?