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Depending on the area you'd like so switch to. There are quite a few opportunities of PM in medical device and also in clinical research (CRO). However, what I found is that you shall have some experience on these particular fields, sole project management is not sufficient.
It would depend on what projects your target company, or companies, have in the pipeline. If you do a little bit of background research and see what they are investing in, then there may be some similarities with your current line of work.
Some sectors are very domain specific. However, many core technologies are in use across a number of industries, so should you have the relevant experience this could be a way to get your foot in the door.
If you can cover 75-85% of their requirements for the role, then invariably you possess the transferable skills to do the job. It is just a matter of convincing any potential employer to choose you over a PM with health care experience. It may just come down to the bottom line and whether you are willing to take a short term financial hit.
Have you also joined your local PMI Chapter? Networking can be a great asset and sometimes it is not what you know, but also who you know. The benefit may be felt immediately, or it may be a slow burner. It is a small world and you never know who knows who.
Consider getting some health care experience through volunteer work. Also, consider coming in as a project administrator - helping a PM - or a member of a PMO.
John, I have an extensive financial background in IT and was approached by a recruiter that had a need to fill for a client in the health care industry. Do you have transferable IT experience by chance? If so you might want to approach a contracting firm that specializes in the health care industry to see if they have projects that can capitalize on your IT related area of expertise. With a financial background you probably already possess strong analytical skills which is always a plus in any industry. If you have strong skills in for instance business process re-engineering, system integration, or a particular SDLC or process improvement methodology that might be enough to get your foot in the door to gain domain knowledge.
Healthcare is a big world -- is there any possibility that your financial sector experience overlaps with some of the areas in healthcare you might consider? For example, many healthcare organizations are actively taking on projects to improve their supply chain economics. Could a project management position in that area draw on modeling and optimizations you've done in the financial sector? That is one area where healthcare providers are not looking to do the same old thing, so a perspective from an adjacent area may be just the right fit.
Indeed, I do have transferable IT experience and like you above post. I also thought the approach of a recruiter/contracting agency would be wise. Thanks for your valued input.
Agreed, healthcare is large indeed! I deem this a wise sector to pursue and I firmly agree an adjacent placing may be the key to opening the door.
John; My background 6 years ago was in convenience retailing, with no experience in healthcare whatsoever, and not a lot of knowledge of the industry. Like you, I had some IT background, so that provided me with an area of knowledge in common with healthcare.
Since that time, I've been able to move from a newly minted PMP (although with a whole bunch of PM experience) project manager to a program manager to senior program manager. Here's how I did it:
1) READ! Once you figure the area you're interested in, learn every single thing you can find to understand the industry (if you're interested in working for an insurance company or one of their direct providers, try AHIP.org. Anything to do with government funded healthcare, cms.gov.
2) Find a mentor. Let me know what area of health care you're interested in, and I may be able to assist.
3) Don't give up! Health care is the BEST, most exciting industry ever. Very scary at times, and changes at every turn, but you sure don't get bored.
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