I’m gonna be honest, I don’t really understand what other people “do” for a living. When someone says, “I am a consultant” or “I work in technology”, I have no idea what that means – what do they do all day? What education do they have? What do they like about their job, and what could they do without? Would I like that field of work? Even in a world inundated with technology, there’s still no app to input, say, “data scientist”, and get a firsthand account of what that job is like. I’ve always felt that there has to be a better way to learn more about the different jobs available to us, especially BEFORE we graduate or go back for advanced education.
A few weeks ago, I looked around at a party and realized all my friends are successful at very interesting, diverse jobs. There’s doctors, marketers, pilates studio owners, and Googlers. I had a moment of inspiration: what if they could share their stories so other women interested in these same fields can learn more? Thus, I was inspired to start a new part of my blog called “Fierce Jobs”. I’ll feature successful women who work in a variety of jobs, and the details of their careers, so if you are just graduating or looking to change fields, you might be inspired by them too. Women sharing information with other women, it’s what we must do!
For our very first Fierce Jobs, we are talking to Jenny, who works in Healthcare. She currently lives in Minnesota, loves pop culture and moscato, and is getting married to the man of her dreams in a few short weeks! Jenny is known for her honesty, smarts, and hilarious stories. You’re gonna love her too, I just know it…
Alaina: Hi, Jenny. Thanks for being one of my best friends. Let’s start with some fun stuff to warm up. You’ve travelled so much, where is your favorite place in the world?
Jenny: The south of France. French wine, Italian food and a beach! With best friends, obviously.
What is the one beauty product you would never give up?
What is the one app you can’t live without and why?
Instagram. It’s a fun way to keep connected with friends that are all over the country. And I can share memes.
I ALSO love those eye masks, highly recommend. Now, let’s get down to business. Tell us about your job! What would you say you do here?
I work in healthcare, specifically with providers (doctors and hospitals). My job is to sell providers services in the non-clinical areas of healthcare. These areas include things like scheduling, registration (the process of getting checked-in when you arrive) and billing/collections (the process of working with insurance companies and patients to collect payment for services).
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part about my job is working with providers to help them improve the experience of their patients. Most patients say the worst part of healthcare is the financial side (things like understanding if their doctor accepts their insurance, figuring out how much they will owe for care, and the actual process of receiving/paying the bill) and my job is to help make that work better for patients.
What’s the most challenging part of your day?
The most challenging part of my day is balancing all of the competing activities on my plate. Often we have last minute requests from prospective clients and internal executives, which can cause me to put whatever was on my to-do list on hold so I can get the urgent activity addressed. Even during a “regular” day I’m balancing client-facing work, supporting my team, doing side projects (like an innovation challenge a teammate and I did), and any number of other items. The good part is I never get bored!
What kind of person do you think would do well in your field?
Someone that is passionate! In healthcare we talk a lot about having a passion for the business. It’s hard work, but it’s something that is so important to everyone. My first boss in healthcare told a story about working at a client and helping them improve their organization enough to open a new cancer center. A few years after he did that work, his dad ended up getting care at that same cancer center and is still in remission today. It’s stories like this one (and tons more like it) that make the hard work and challenges worth it.
What advice would you give someone interested in your job?
The advice I would give to someone interested in my job is to look for opportunities to get involved in the healthcare industry. I started in healthcare doing external consulting, which was an amazing experience and gave me tons of skills that I use all the time. I would highly recommend it. It’s long hours and lots of time on the road (though also lots of airline/hotel points to use to take amazing vacations!), so it’s not for everyone, but the experience you get is great. If consulting isn’t for you, look for roles at providers in your desired location. The great thing about healthcare is it’s EVERYWHERE. Every town has doctors, hospital, lab companies, urgent care clinics, etc. There’s so many more options at providers than being a doctor or nurse, and it’s great experience to learn about the industry and see day-to-day the impact you have on the patients you are helping.
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
I would be a financial advisor or small business owner.
Anything else you want to tell us?
I strongly believe in diversifying.
Diversify your skill set. If you are only good at one thing you risk becoming a one-trick pony, which limits your career trajectory, or even worse, you risk having that one thing becomes obsolete! Always look for opportunities to learn new skills and get experience in new areas. If you get a chance to take a training or work on a project in a new area, take advantage of it! And pay attention to what is happening in other areas at your work. Do things like listen to the earnings call to learn what your executives are talking about, or subscribe to industry emails to be up-to-date on the hot topics in your industry, or even easier, pay attention when your coworkers are talking about their work, even if it doesn’t currently relate to what you are doing. If you want to be the boss, you’ll be overseeing things you’ve never done directly so the more you learn as you go the better!
Diversify your income. Alaina knows well that my mantra is “multiple income streams”. No matter how great your primary income is, there’s always room to make it grow by having additional streams of income. There’s lots of options for creating new income streams if you are willing to put in the time/effort. Maybe it’s using your free evenings/weekends for a second job or turning your favorite hobby into an Etsy shop or saving up to buy a rental property to create a (relatively) passive income stream. It takes effort, but you will learn a ton from the experience and there’s nothing like the peace of mind that comes from knowing you aren’t totally dependent on a single source of income!
Jenny, I feel smarter just being around you. Thanks for sharing with us.