Why did I join Women in Healthcare Management? It was nine years ago – I had been laid off from my public relations agency job as part of a 40% reduction in workforce and was actually happy about it. People were crying and packing up their desks in those pitiful printer paper boxes they give you when you’ve been terminated and I was smiling. I felt awful for my colleagues – for some it was their first job – but happy because it gave me the push to make a change. How to make that change? My public relations clients had been mostly high-tech and some medical device. I knew I wanted to work in medicine, but not in patient care. I wanted to enable those providing care to do what they do best, but without years of experience, it was tough to even get an interview. A friend of a friend’s mom suggested I join Women in Healthcare Management (WHCM). My eyes were open to the different jobs in healthcare – I never realized there were hundreds of jobs with countless skill sets supporting the physicians, nurses and clinicians.
Fast forward to 2017. I am happily employed at Signature Healthcare in the marketing department, doing public relations and web content management. I’m still so impressed by the women I meet at our WHCM events. Just last night I was at one of our 4 yearly informal networking gatherings and met so many interesting women in the two hours – a lady who works at a pharmaceutical company and files papers for clinical trial approvals; a developer and data analyst who saved up so she could quit her job and focus on the “next step” in her career; a nurse manager from Children’s Hospital; consultants; a project manager for a health plan and more. I mused as I remembered our fall networking gathering several months before and how two women at my table discovered they were both breast cancer survivors. We learn from each other, support each other and provide sounding boards. I’ve made friends through the group and career-driven, passionate women who’ve helped me grow – whether they knew it or not. I look forward to meeting more of them in the years to come.