It's common knowledge that the medical field is rapidly growing, and shows no signs of slowing anywhere in the near future. Quite the contrary, with expanding waistlines - and thus, health and weight complications - on the rise, and new healthcare legislature being introduced, we are unlikely to see the medical sector retract in our lifetime. With that development comes an enormous range of different careers within the general medical field, whether private, corporate, and government in nature. Additionally, the pay and difficulty levels vary immensely, from medical assistants that merely require a certification to highly specialized surgeons that require a decade of school and training, but also collect a decent paycheck in return. There literally is something for just about anyone considering to move into the medical field. One additional benefit has to be the mobility and flexibility when the subject of moving or transferring is approached. Someone with, for example, an RN certification could move either next door or around the globe, and that kind of value is not available with a great many other career paths. Doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel are in great demand almost everywhere on the planet. Perhaps the first item to prepare for is medical school itself. If you happen to know early on that you are wanting to pursue this type of degree, it helps immensely to aim for electives in that area as early as your freshman year of high school. Classes dealing with math or science, especially biology, anatomy, physics and chemistry go a long way toward establishing a base from which to jump into medical school. Prior to high school graduation, the opportunity to take the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) will appear, and performance is essential. A score of 25 or higher will be looked at first. In addition, be prepared to show documented history of volunteer and intern work performed at a medical facility. An opportunity interview at various medical institutions will present itself, and this is a process to take very seriously. Some questions to consider: Does the school interview only those who have gone through extensive screening or is the interview mandated by residency and certain threshold scores on MCAT? Is the interview a final step in the selection process or a preliminary step? A few things the interviewers will be looking for include how well the applicant communicates, the various personality impressions that are projected, and whether the the person's demeanor is one that inspires confidence and trust. Today's world provides a number of logistical challenges, so you will find that more and more students are preferring distance learning, such as that provided by The College Network. Completing a degree or certification entirely online has its appeal, not the least of which is flexible hours to complete assignments. While the more basic nursing certifications and degrees are relatively commonplace, admission to MD/PhD programs is highly competitive, with a heavy emphasis on research. Those seeking to apply will soon discover that most advanced programs require significant research experience and the emerging ability to translate what was learned in a laboratory into relevant treatment for a patient. A great deal is also related to writing, as most institutions will request a statement outlining why the MD/PhD program was chosen, and also strong letters of recommendation from professors and other mentors in their field. You will want to plan on these requirements early, so as to ensure the admission process goes as smoothly as possible. For more information on MD/PhD programs, the AAMC provides a very helpful list of FAQs for MD/PhD Program Applicants. This post was originally published at an earlier date. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
For years now, I have seen hustle-culture being glorified, and it frustrates me. The idea of earning respect by overworking yourself isn't healthy. It just isn't. As a small business owner, I fully understand the word hustle. I grind daily. But as human beings, we have limits, so I suggest that we must be intentional with how we hustle.
I like to think about it in running terms. Hustle culture would have you believe that you can sprint forever. But that isn't possible. At some point, your legs are simply going to give out and hurl you face-first into the ground. Intentional hustle, on the other hand, is like doing a 100-yard dash a few times. You have a goal, you meet it, and then you have a bit of time to rest and reset. The important thing here: it's sustainable.
If you are working too much, not only are you not spending enough time with friends and family, but you are also robbing yourself of opportunities to take on projects that will benefit your career in the long run. Burnout is real and so is your body's need for sleep and self-care.
Sleep is a magical thing. A study done in 2018 by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found those who reported getting 5 to 6 hours experienced 19 percent more productivity loss, and those who got less than 5 hours of sleep experienced 29 percent more productivity loss when compared with those who regularly got 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
To see the full results of the study click here.
Discover Your Flow
You'll notice that there are different levels of stress and flow in your work and life. It's not about finding a perfect balance between the two, but rather finding the sweet spot for you. You need to understand what makes you flourish and what drains you, so you can plan your days and projects and accordingly.
Planning well and taking notice of what you enjoy will allow you to steer your free time and career towards projects and learnings that light you up. Hustle on things that make you happy. It is harder to burn out doing things that you truly enjoy.
When you work too hard, you miss out on the nuances of the world that matter the most to you. You can see a beautiful sunset and not even notice it if you're racing to get done with a project at work. Conversely, when you stop working so hard, you have time to enjoy life's little pleasures, recharge, and be present for the people in your life.
There are so many awe-inspiring things and people out in the world, but you have to look up from your screen to see it all. As a creative, I know without a doubt that my work gets stronger when I take the time to meander and explore the world around me.
Being intentional with how you choose to hustle is the key. A strong work ethic is incredibly valuable, but the idea of ambition as a lifestyle, not so much.
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Are you in your 40s and thinking of changing careers? You're not alone. And you're certainly not crazy. In fact, if there's ever a time you can—and should—reinvent yourself, that time is now.
Below are four ways to start your career transition so you can successfully change careers in your 40s.
1. Stop Making Excuses
You've become accustomed to the fact that your 20s were the years where you figure out what you want to do with your life and then suffer through your choice for the rest of your life. Wrong! You are most definitely not the first person that has considered changing careers in their 40s and there are many stories of people just like you, succeeding against the odds. Now, once you've stopped denying that you are unhappy with your current job, you are thinking up excuses why it's ridiculous to switch careers. It's never too late to make choices that will benefit your health and wellness. Yes, a career you love will benefit you in all aspects of your life, including your health and wellness.
If you already know which career you want to change to, you are luckier than most confused career individuals. Don't try and jeopardize the journey ahead by making excuses such as:
- This is not the right time.
- My children need to finish school first.
- What will my partner think?
- I'm not qualified.
- I don't know where to start.
- I'm too old to change careers.
Though these might seem relevant at the time, it will only lead to more procrastination with a choice you know in your heart you want to make. And if you feel 40 is too late, how will it be when you are 50 and still unhappy with the job that you are doing? During your interview, the prospective employer will be able to pick up whether you are holding yourself back or making excuses and this will reflect on your being less "flexible" rather than open-minded and eager to develop.
2. Take A Leap Of Faith
For some, a career change can sound just as daunting as jumping out of a plane or swimming with sharks, but it's mostly the fear of failure that holds us back. Doing the same job and managing the same lifestyle has become the comfort zone and anything different feels like the end of the world. In order to really become satisfied with the life you are living and the career you are building, you have to take some chances. With every change there comes a fair amount of risk. Once you've analyzed the possible risk factors—and have distinguished between real and false fears—you might be able to gain control of the change.
Taking this leap of faith into the unknown of a new and challenging career can help you rediscover your true passion and purpose. The odds might always seem against you, and running back into the comfort that was your previously lifestyle might sound much more appealing than restarting the steps of your career ladder, but it will be much more satisfying and rewarding than being stuck in a job that you hate.
3. Take Your Experience With You
One of the greatest benefits of changing careers in your 40s is probably the fact that you have a world of experience to take with you. Unlike the inexperienced post-grad student applying for the job, you will have an impressive portfolio to offer. Even if you don't have experience in the career field that you want to switch to, your previous experience is still very much relevant. Apart from the actual skills and responsibilities, your work history will showcase your credibility. It will show the prospective employer what attributes and characteristics previous employers valued in you. Don't be afraid to quantify and mention your previous achievements; this will most definitely count in your favor. Just because you are switching careers doesn't mean your past experience is irrelevant.
Before looking for your new job, draw up a list of your skills, expertise, and experience. If you are making a career shift, you probably want to focus on something that either challenges you more, comes naturally, or something that you are passionate about. Organize your strengths and capabilities in such a way that you will be the "natural" choice for the hiring company.
4. Make Use Of Old Contacts
Being on this earth for over 40 years probably means that you've met quite a few people. Whether it was on a plane, at a networking event, or even at the gym, chances are you know people in all walks of life. Make use of your professional network to find a path to your new career. Don't make the mistake in thinking you have to do everything yourself.
Changing careers sounds scary when you don't know where to start. If you are making the transition from working as an office assistant to running your own fashion line, it probably won't happen overnight. Call up that fashion maven you've kept up with since college and invite them for coffee. Get some caffeine in them and start asking questions. Feed from those that are already successful instead of assuming you have to start from the bottom in order to succeed.
Switching careers in your 40s is not as daunting or difficult as you might think. Yes, you'll need a plan and it might take some time, but after the transition is complete, you'll be glad you did it.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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