As a recent tech boot camp grad, maintaining the delicate balance of retaining what I have learned and living life has been a struggle. Here are some tips to stay focused and keep yourself engaged in the journey.

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Hey, its the end of August 2021. I am still here. 👍 I published an article in the AHIMA Journal at the beginning of the month. Last post was about why I attended a tech boot camp (cause 🐍 is awesome!). This post is going to be about some suggestions to stay focused and engaged after the journey.

I am passionate and proud about my work history in Healthcare. Additionally, I have this undying drive that my Data Analytics journey has given me transferrable skills applicable to my industry and prior work experience. For those of you who are evaluating adopting this journey yourselves, consider those transferrable skills you use daily. Look at new and emerging job descriptions in healthcare. What data do you want to analyze? Medical claims data? Quality measure data related to HEDIS? Is there a clinical specialty you have current or past experience with? Think about the problems you have seen in your past and current work experience. How can having more information(AKA: data) related to those problems influence positive changes in the business as a whole?

Research job descriptions to see new and emerging roles. My current role deals specifically with internal healthcare claims data. Some data analyst job descriptions, even when adding the key terms “Health” or “Healthcare” to “data analyst”, can branch into something like a data engineering/data science/data analytics role with software development experience and 3-5 years of ETL/Data Manipulation/Data Cleaning/production/project management experience. All that to say, don’t get caught up in the overwhelming aspect of the job description. If the role interests you and you feel you can utilize your experience towards, evaluate what problem the business or entity strives to solve. Then, ask yourself whether you can use your experience to solve that problem. This might require you to learn some additional skills like Python/SQL or even other tech skills. Know that ultimately, learning those skills will challenge you to grow in ways you never thought were possible.

After you have done some soul searching, start goal setting. If you see certain job descriptions that interest you, ask yourself why. Then develop a plan of action. I am a fan of creating a portfolio of projects to demonstrate those skills. After your portfolio is created, publish it to your social media like LinkedIn or you can even look into starting a blog about your journey. Write about it and test yourself by demonstrating those skills.

I am beyond grateful for the experience during my Bootcamp Journey. Not only was it a huge challenge, it gave me a love of problem solving and troubleshooting I didn’t realize I had. You cant expect it to end when you have finished studying. You must put in the work to reap the rewards! I find the process of writing code and troubleshooting bugs super fun, despite my frustration. Nothing beats that “AHA!!” moment when something works after a few days. If you decide to take on this journey as part of your career, take the time to get familiar with Kaggle. Set up a Github login and utilize YouTube to get started. I know many of you are experiencing challenges in your career right now. Use some of those HIM skills into a more tech focused career. Take the time to learn some Python and SQL, and start developing a portfolio of projects that solve the problems we are facing in our industry.