By Chansothea Phok
As a young HTM professional, I am constantly trying to figure out ways to improve and share knowledge. I seek ways to take my career to the next level and avoid being lackadaisical. Three take-aways that I have learned in the past few years are doing more without being asked, embrace challenges as a learning opportunity and strategically planning steps to reach goals.
Doing more work without being asked might sound far-fetched. Why would anyone do more work if the result appears to be the same as doing the bare minimum? By going above and beyond your workload it helps build character and challenges your limits. For some, doing just their job, or the bare minimum, is satisfying. As for me, I like to challenge myself to be better. Doing more shows not only myself, but my co-workers that I can balance my current workload and take on additional work. The additional work that I take on usually results in making my job or my co-workers’ job easier and more efficient moving forward. I do need to be careful when I take on more responsibility because I do not want to exacerbate my situation if more work is too much too handle. Knowing my limit is important.
In addition, I embrace challenges and view them as opportunities to learn. I have encountered many situations in my limited time as a HTM professional where I do not know the answer or the solution is not straight forward and requires time and patience to figure out. Every challenge that I took on varied in result. However, the lessons that I learned by taking on those challenges have helped me become a better HTM professional. An example of a challenge that I took on was attending a code triage gathering where many upper leadership and management were present. Not only did the experience teach me more about the place where I work, but it made me more aware of the roles that I can take on in an emergency situation and be more than the person that just services medical equipment. The whole experience made me want to improve my role and my department’s role to be prepared for any emergency situation. Even though I am a small piece of the bigger puzzle, I felt the more I can work on my weakness or lack of knowledge by doing more and challenging myself every day I can take my career to the next level.
Thirdly, I learned that I need to strategically plan steps to reach my goals. One tool that I use to strategically reach my goal is following the mnemonic acronym SMART The S stands for specific, M stands for measurable, A stands for achievable, R stands for relevant and T stands for time. When making goals, it might be arduous to achieve them if you are not sure what to do to reach that goal. This method helped me stay focused on what is important and realize what I need to figure out so that I can be successful.
Be the change that you want to see and do more, embrace challenges and strategically plan steps to reach your goal. I can challenge myself as long as I do not burn myself out. Also by challenging myself in ways that can better my role, I will put myself in a position to teach or bring a fresh idea to my coworkers. In order to be a better HTM professional, I believe I need to be able to teach what I learned as well as take on challenges to advance my career. An analogy that helped put all of the work and effort into being the best into perspective is the iceberg illusion. Everyone sees what is floating on top of the water, but underneath the water is the piece of iceberg that is much larger. Most people will see success as the end result, but they do not see all of the sacrifice, persistence, failure, disappointment, dedication, hard work and good habits that it took to be successful.
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