When it comes to your career, you may sometimes feel like your current job is not the best fit for you – and you may find yourself constantly questioning yourself on your career prospects. What if this is not what I really want? What if I’d chosen another path, a decade back? What if I could be thriving right now, but in another environment?
Don’t worry – you’re not alone. Having chosen our career paths in our bright-eyed, bushy-tailed twenties, it’s not surprising that Time has broadened the palette. What held you enraptured a decade (or two, or three!) ago might have loosened its grip; what you used to dismiss might strangely seem to beckon now.
Newfound interests may be passions in the making though, and no matter how far along you are in your career journey, you should never be afraid to turn around to find the spark that keeps you going. With healthcare, the calling is doubly strong – who can ignore the urge to do good? Below, we explore how you can enter the healthcare industry if you have no experience.
Is it possible to join healthcare with no experience?
The good news is that yes, it is possible. There is always space for extra hands in healthcare – the world needs carers, and your interest is more than enough to open several doors. In fact, with the growing ageing population in Singapore, you can expect a career boom in the healthcare industry in the coming years.
When it comes to healthcare, hiring managers typically look out for the dexterity and adaptability of a job seeker. Relevant skills are one thing, but they also want to make sure that you are willing to learn and can easily adapt to new and changing environments. To boost your chances of getting hired, show that you are flexible and agile, and are open to constant change.
Do also keep in mind that studying and constant upgrades and upskilling are inescapable in this industry. Healthcare jobs tend to require specialised skills and knowledge, so don’t be afraid to hit the books! In Singapore, MyCareersFuture offers you options like the Career Conversion Programme for Allied Health Professionals (CCP-AHP), which will help mid-career individuals gain the skills they need to enter the industry. Alternatively, you can also look at gaining experience from positions that do not require special certification, such as becoming a Professional Caregiver with Homage – more on that below!
Finally, don’t lose faith! Be open to taking on positions that may not be within your initial considerations. It may be discouraging, but remember that these roles are gateways to a career that will fulfil you. In fact, a key advantage to working in healthcare is that age is not a factor – so you never need to worry that you’re ‘running out of time’. No matter how old you are, you will be able to advance through the ranks as long as you keep an open mind and treat curveballs as training grounds to keep you on track to your final goal.
One foot in: Starting a career in healthcare with no experience
Yes, so this all sounds fine and dandy… but how do you get started?
1. Clock healthcare experience by becoming a Professional Caregiver with Homage
Becoming a Care Pro can be a great first foray into healthcare. At Homage, your passion to better the lives of the people under your care is much more important than the experience you have. Homage accepts people from different backgrounds – in fact, some of our Care Pros are former auditors, engineers, and finance professionals.
As a Care Pro, you provide company for those who need it, as well as services that improve their living environment and make them feel comfortable at home. Specific work includes providing personal care, night care, meal assistance, showering and toileting, transportation, medication management, and other health care duties as and when required.
Homage’s Care Professionals are required to have a valid CPR/AED or BCLS/AED certification, and an AIC-certified caregiver training certification. These can also be obtained during the caregiver training course, where you will pick up the necessary skills needed for the job.
2. Broaden your understanding by taking on different ad hoc healthcare-related jobs
While caregiving covers a broad spectrum of the work involved in the healthcare sector, it never hurts to find out more. Think about what you are interested in and look if there are part-time roles open in those areas.
For example, the recent pandemic might have gotten you interested in the work that medical groups like Raffles Medical Centre and Fullerton Medical do. You can apply for temporary roles at a vaccination centre, as part of the administrative or operations staff. These roles usually include briefings on what to look out for in people, to ensure that they are recovering well from their jabs – patient monitoring work that can be applied across most healthcare roles.
You can also consider part-time roles in a hospital or clinic setting, like a Clinic Assistant, who performs registration, preparation of medication, dispensing and billing, and assists doctors in simple clinical procedures and chaperoning. A Health Screening Assistant conducts registration, counselling and billing for health screening, as well as measurements of blood pressure, height, weight and other clinical parameters.
3. Pick up foundational skills by enrolling in Traineeships
If you’re a fresh grad, consider doing an #SGUnited Traineeship – the ideal middle between an internship and a full-time role, this is ideal for you if you prefer more support to start your career, or time to figure out if this is where your passions lie.
For mid-career switches, SGUnited also offers the Mid-Career Pathways Programme for Mid-Career Individuals, which allows you to be attached to a host organisation for up to 6 months and undergo development plans. This will help you gain industry-relevant experience, develop new skills and boost their employability within the desired industry. Alternatively, the Career Conversion Programme (CCP) is specifically geared to help you undergo skills conversion and move into new occupations or sectors that have good prospects and opportunities for progression – there’s one specifically for Allied Health Professionals as well!
4. Leverage your current skills to land peripheral roles
Roles that seem vastly different often have overlapping duties or skills. These are called transferable skills, and they can help you get a foot in the door. Often, making the change to a role you really want without the relevant skill set is less of a leap and more a step-by-step crossing. For example, if you are currently a journalist and aspire to be a surgeon, it’s only reasonable for that switch to take some time (and patience).
But that’s no reason to be discouraged. Think of ways you can leverage your current job and skills to gain some exposure to the industry you are keen to join: arrange for some in-depth features of surgeons, apply to be part of the hospital’s media relations team – think out of the box, and plan!
5. Grow your professional network and update your resume
Finally, grow your professional network. If you are completely removed from the healthcare industry right now, be brave and use LinkedIn to connect with those who are already in positions that interest you, to ask them more about their day to day duties and to give you advice on where you should go from here. When writing your resume, remember to include soft skills and transferable ones, to help you appeal to hiring managers.
In short, there are definitely ways you can join healthcare without experience, but it’s important to be able to showcase your abilities and passion for healthcare. One of the best ways to do that is volunteer or work part-time in the healthcare industry – and there’s no better place to start than at Homage, as a Professional Caregiver.
With Homage, you can look at working on a freelance, short-term, or full-time basis. If you’re new to the field, the freelance role is the most apt. Your schedule is flexible and depends on how many patients you want to take on or your other commitments; in other words, perfect to help you understand the industry better while keeping the stability of your current job!
Additionally, you are able to take on cases based on your level of comfort. To help you prepare for that, you will receive detailed case descriptions so you are able to make the right decision for your level of comfort. Even with no experience, you can earn up to $19/hour as a caregiver, with stackable incentives of ~$20 per visit, as well as $5 transport allowance for some cases. Find out more here!
If you are interested in joining the healthcare industry and making an impact on the lives of others, but have no prior healthcare experience, being a caregiver is a great way to start and boost your resume.