Look around any RT department and the competitive path to getting into management comes into view. For every one therapist in a managerial position you’ll see 5, 10, 20, or more RTs working at the clinical level.
How can you position yourself for success in this admittedly crowded field? AARC Leadership & Management Section Chair Cheryl Hoerr, MBA, RRT, FAARC, offers five steps you can take to advance your career to the managerial level.
- If you’re going to get into management you absolutely must have some business training. I chose to go on and obtain an MBA because I felt it was critical to demonstrate that I was willing to invest in my own development. And the MBA also demonstrated that I knew what I was doing when it came to running a department.
- If you’re interested in moving into a management position you should get involved on organizational committees. It’s a great way to meet people outside of your own department and areas of expertise, and build a reputation as someone who is a collaborative team player. Moving outside of your department also heightens your visibility within the organization and you might end up being offered opportunities that you were unaware of previously.
- It’s always a great idea to become involved and active in your AARC state society because it facilitates the development of your professional network. As a manager it’s a huge benefit to be able to reach out to your network when you need input for a project or advice about a difficult issue. The other benefit to a wide network is that you may be able to identify advancement opportunities for yourself, or recruit good staff members to your organization.
- As a manager, you will be responsible for developing others, so learn to be a good mentor. You can share your knowledge with others no matter what level of the organization you occupy. The role of a mentor is to help others succeed, and that dovetails nicely with the manager’s role of staff development.
- If you want to get into management you may have to relocate to get your start, so don’t be afraid to move to a new area of the country. There are lots of opportunities out there, but perhaps they aren’t in your area. Being flexible enough to consider relocating will increase the opportunities available to you and provide a whole new outlook.
These tips are for anyone seeking to get into management. So if that’s your ultimate career goal, put them on your to-do list today.
You never know what kinds of doors they will open.
Want to learn more about what it takes to succeed in respiratory care management? The Management Track in the AARC’s Leadership Institute will help you get up to speed.