The mental health field is one which can be incredibly competitive and one which is attracting more and more people. While this is good for the field of mental health, it also means that it can be hard for those in the industry to advance their career and stand out from the crowd. Those that work in mental health will always want to advance their career so that they can make a bigger difference to those who need it the most, while also feeling fulfilled in their role, but how can you go about doing this? Read on for advice on furthering your mental health career.
- Find A Mentor
One of the best ways to advance your career in mental health is to find a mentor. A mentor will be able to provide you with valuable guidance so that you can take the right steps, avoid common mistakes, and have someone there to support you as you look to progress your career. There are many ways to find a mentor, including:
- In your place of work
- Networking events
- Mentorship programs
- From your personal network
- Online medical communities
- Seek Feedback
It can be hard to know how to improve as a professional without any kind of feedback, but often you will have to seek this out yourself. Whether this is asking your superiors about you performance, or asking for the opinions of any previous patients that you have had, being able to ask for feedback and accept constructive criticism will be key for your growth and development.
- Improve Soft Skills
Soft skills are important in all careers but especially in mental health. There are lots of ways in which you can work on your soft skills, which will help to improve your daily performance and the way in which you connect with patients, their families and your colleagues. For example, undertaking further courses, practicing your skills, and researching online. Here are a few of the main soft skills to work on:
- Time management
- Work ethic
- Critical thinking
Networking is important in any industry because this is how you make new contacts, open up new opportunities for yourself, and improve your professional reputation. There are lots of ways in which you can network in mental health, including:
- At seminars/lectures
- In the workplace
- Social media
- Online healthcare communities
- Continue Studying
Mental health is a field that is constantly changing and developing, which is why you need to stay current and continue studying. A masters in mental health counseling online is a valuable qualification, which will help you to excel as a counselor, and the fact that you can earn the qualification online makes it easier to juggle your studying with other responsibilities.
- Go The Extra Mile
In order to truly make a difference in mental health and to stand out from the crowd, you will need to be willing to go the extra mile. Mental health is not the type of career where you can simply “switch off” once the clock hits 5, and sometimes you will need to be willing to put in more work to help your patients.
- Look After Your Own Health
The fact that it is hard to “switch off” once you have finished work means that a career in mental health can take its toll on your own physical and mental wellbeing. You will need to look after your own health so that you can retain a positive attitude while at work, perform to the best of your abilities, and also enjoy your time away from work. This means that you need to:
- Sleep for 7-9 hours each night
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet
- Find ways to relax after work
- Socialize regularly
- Enjoy your own hobbies
- Find Support
Following this, many people who work in mental health often have their own struggles because the work can be upsetting and you must be compassionate in nature in order to work in this field. This means that you need to have a strong support network around you and people that you can talk to, but if you start to struggle then you may need to seek your own mental health support from a professional, which many find to be helpful in this field.
The information in this guide should help anyone working in the mental health field to advance their career. This can be a rewarding field to work in because you are making such a positive difference to people’s lives, but it can also be competitive and hard to stand out from the crowd, which is why you need to know how to advance and provide the best possible service, no matter which area you work in.