As a healthcare IT professional, you’re in-demand. But if you want to get ahead and advance your career into a leadership position, there’s a lot of competition. That’s why you need to invest in yourself and your career. But where do you begin? Here’s a look at a few key skills to focus on building:

Skill #1: Communication.

As an IT leader, you have to communicate clearly and effectively with different audiences, many times including those who are non-technical. In addition, you have to be able to understand business needs and goals and then communicate them in a way your tech team will understand. It’s often a tight-rope to walk, one that requires excellent communication skills.

Skill #2: Delegation.

Once you’re in a leadership position, you’re going to have to start delegating work. If you don’t, you’ll get bogged down in day-to-day necessary but mundane tasks. Your talents are needed elsewhere, which is why it’s important to let go of the reins somewhat and hand off work to those you trust.

Skill #3: Problem-solving.

When you were working at the junior level, you’re focused on solving technical problems. Now, you have to keep the bigger business picture in mind. You need to be able to think through not only the problems and challenges facing your team but how potential solutions will impact the company as a whole, including with issues like unintended consequences.

Skill #4: Crisis management.

When you’re in charge, it seems like there are never-ending fires to put out. You have to learn how to recognize them, categorize their level of urgency, and manage your team through them all with a calm demeanor.

Skill #5: Risk-taking.

Don’t do things the same way just because it’s always been done like that. Instead, be willing to ask hard questions, step outside your comfort zone and push the envelope. If you want to bring innovation to life, it’s important to be able to take risks and learn from them.

Skill #6: Sales.

You might not think you’re in sales as an IT leader. However, in reality, you have to be regularly selling your ideas and solutions to company stakeholders, peers, subordinates and customers. To do that, you need to turn on your power of persuasion and be ready to present using hard facts and success stories.

Interested in advancing your healthcare IT career?

Contact Morgan Hunter Healthcare. We provide healthcare IT consultants and direct-hire solutions to hospitals across the country. Search our healthcare IT jobs now to get started.