Self Assessment

You are the central, consistent component in your career. Any other aspect of your career will change over time, but you are the constant. Take time to assess who you are, both professionally and personally. Identify your values, your vision for your life; what energizes you, what drains you; what are your strengths; what are your challenge areas.

Know Yourself

Many professionals from underrepresented groups have found it essential to be grounded in knowing who they are within themselves. Otherwise, external sources may attempt to impose their perceptions of the diverse individual’s social identity on to that person. Once you begin to know yourself, you are positioned to begin to chart your career journey.

  1. Hone career planning skills
    To set yourself up for success, take inventory of your career planning skills. There will be innate strengths, but always opportunities for growth. An effective career planning strategy requires self-evaluation that leads to refining your skills and identifying ways to overcome barriers.


    This timeless article offers practical steps to help you plan your healthcare career:
    Career Planning Success

  2. Find your passion & purpose
    Discovering a career in which you have a genuine passion and one that aligns with your current life’s purpose will give you a solid foundation for moving forward on your career journey. Learn quick tips from Anton J. Gunn and Glenn Llopis on ways to identify passion & purpose in your career.
  3. Explore healthcare management career options
    Develop a charted course for your career, but remain open-minded and nimble. Unexpected opportunities may arise to offer career options you had not previously considered. Peggy Harris, an executive in the Carolinas HealthCare System, describes her journey that led to a non traditional healthcare management career.
  4. Maximize use of general career development resources
    Seek out and then fully use the many resources offered by healthcare professional associations, your employer, and other sources. For example, numerous scholarships and other opportunities are not used because of lack of applicants. Explore opportunities offered by the American College of Healthcare Executives, find them here under the scholarships, internships and fellowships section. Discover Scholarships offered by the National Association of Healthcare Executives here.

Info and Tools

Info & Tool: “Listen to the Market” Article and Exercise

As an early careerist, you will benefit your career by tuning into what employers want and need. Using this article and exercise will help identify what employers need in the healthcare job market and enhance your ability to communicate your value proposition on your resume and interviews.

Info & Tools: ACHE Support for Early Careerists

Explore ACHE resources available to support the unique career development needs of early careerists.
$Note: fee required for some tools.

Tool: ACHE Interview Prep Tool

Unique interview prep tool enables you to video record your responses to expert-recommended interview questions for positions at a variety of career levels and offer resources to help you craft your best responses.
$Note: fee required for one-year subscription.


  1. Update your personal strategic plan
    At this new stage of your career, it is important to assess and reset your career objectives as well as be prepared to take strategic risks.
    Unconscious bias and other factors can make career risks more difficult for diverse individuals, but having a career plan will keep you on course and help jumpstart the next step of your mid-career.
  2. Remain open to relocation
    Once you determine your goals, keep moving towards them; this may require you to seek or accept different opportunities to achieve your goals. Look for an organization where you will be valued, and one that will provide opportunities for you to build a track record to move forward.
  3. Consider different routes to your goals
    Every journey can take an unexpected detour. As you advance in your career, it may become necessary to explore alternative routes to your career destination. Anton J. Gunn describes his unusual path to the C-suite.

Senior Careerist

  1. Update self-assessments
    At this stage of your career, it is helpful to understand who you have become through your experiences and where you are now. Determining this will help evaluate the impact of your career so far and identify opportunities for growth. In addition, you should perfect your ability to manage and inspire change and help others achieve their true potential.


    Consider these assessment tools tailored for Senior Level Professionals:
    The Benchmarks Plus Emotional Intelligence Workshop
    Change Management Leadership Assessment
    Power/Influence Assessment
    $Note: fee required for some tools.

  2. Identify your optimum career setting
    Once you have completed updating your self-assessments, use the results to  environments where you can perform best.
  3. Continue higher-level learning and professional development
    Often, annual reviews for senior leaders focus on what is accomplished, rather than how. This can result in the perpetuation of unchallenged bad habits and an erroneous mindset about self-development. As a senior executive, you may be focused on developing others and producing results. However, it is vital to seek opportunities for your own professional development. Learn more through an excerpt from The Healthcare C-Suite: Leadership Development at the Top.