I’ve had the incredible opportunity to work in the health education field for over 20 years. From my first job at Planned Parenthood, through my time as a sexuality educator and now as a national speaker and author, I’ve worked with thousands of people across the country.
This is what I’ve learned: If you’re looking to land your dream job as a health educator, getting started can feel like an uphill battle.
But if you’re willing to put in some hard work along with some smart thinking about how your passion aligns with your skillset (and vice versa), then there’s no reason why you can’t achieve success! Read on for my advice on how to land your dream job as a health educator:
Share Your Passion
In your cover letter, demonstrate your passion for health education. Share how you’re driven by a desire to make the world a better place and improve people’s lives.
Share your experience and knowledge. Show that you have a track record of success in the field of health education, as well as examples of any work that demonstrates your skills and abilities.
Share your personal story: what inspired you to pursue this career path, who or what influenced you along the way, etc.?
Share your expertise: What are some specific things that set you apart from other candidates at this point in time?
Do some research so that when asked about it during an interview or meeting with someone at the company where they will be able to provide valuable insights into why an employer should hire them instead!
Highlight Your Education
Education is a key component of your identity. Education is a key component of your professional brand. Education is a key component of your personal brand.
Education is a key component of your professional network, and education is a key component of your personal network. Make sure you highlight this in any job application materials or interviews that you have with potential employers or organizations.
Build An Online Presence
Your online presence is a reflection of your professional image. If you want to work in health education, it’s important that your online presence aligns with that goal.
Build a professional LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn profiles are often the first impression employers will have when considering applicants for jobs and internships. Make sure yours looks like it belongs to someone who wants health education as their career path!
Have a professional website or blog where you can post relevant articles and information about yourself so people know what kind of work you’re interested in doing.
Use social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to build your brand (i.e., share content related to your field). Posting regularly shows that you’re passionate about this topic!
Network Like Crazy
Networking is a powerful tool for finding the right job. It’s also a two-way street you might learn about new positions, but you’ll also have opportunities to connect with people who can help you out in other ways as well.
For example, if one of your contacts knows someone at PepsiCo and they’re hiring an educational coordinator, they might be able to pass along your resume or recommendation letter during their next coffee date or happy hour meetup (yes, this actually happens).
If you want to land that dream job as an educator in the health field but don’t know where to start, start by networking with those who are already working within the field.
Your current boss might be able to lead you to some valuable contacts; former colleagues might have advice about how best to navigate this transition into health education;
Friends who’ve held similar positions may share insight into what companies are looking for from certain types of employees (e.g., someone with experience working on campus could tell you which companies are hiring now).
Volunteering is a great way to get experience, build your professional network, and learn new skills.
The more you volunteer and engage with the organization you want to work for, the more likely they will know you inside and out. You’re building a relationship with them that could lead to an offer of employment down the road.
Do An Internship Or Two (Or Five)
Internships can be a great way to get experience and make connections, but they can also be an opportunity for you to explore the culture of an organization and get a better sense of what it’s like to work there.
If you are just starting out in your career, internships can help familiarize you with different types of organizations before deciding where you want to apply for full-time jobs.
If possible, try applying for at least two or three different types of internships within the same field in order to ensure that each one gives you valuable insight into what working in this line of work is like (and how much time it takes).
Here’s a tip: the more organized you are, the better your life will be.
Our lives are so busy, it can feel daunting to keep track of all that we need to do and remember. But if you stay organized by using an app or tool like Trello or Google Calendar, then everything else becomes much easier.
Here are some other things you can do:
Organize your time by using a planner or scheduling tool like Rescue Time (www.rescuetimeapp.com) or Toggl (www.toggl.com). This will help you make sure that each day is productive!
Organize your desk with storage containers so that items don’t get lost in piles of paper or on top of one another and so they’re easy to find when needed again later down the road (or now!).
Use labels on folders and papers so they don’t get confused with others; this will also help prevent them from going missing!
Brush Up On Your Behavioral Change Theory Knowledge
Behavioral change theory is a cornerstone of health education. It’s used to identify, predict and influence behavior in ways that promote healthy living. Behavioral change theory has been applied to many different fields of study, including medicine, psychology and public policy.
As a health educator, you’ll need to have an understanding of behavioral change theory in order to help patients make positive lifestyle changes.
This can include helping people quit smoking or manage their stress levels through physical activity programs or meditation techniques (e.g., the use of mindfulness).
By using this knowledge effectively in your work as a health educator, you’ll be able to provide valuable guidance to those who need it most and this could lead directly toward landing your dream job!
There are lots of ways to learn and grow. Here are a few:
Take an online course. Udemy and Coursera are great resources that offer thousands of courses on all sorts of topics, from health care to social media marketing.
Pick up a book on the topic you want to learn about and start reading it. If this sounds intimidating, try finding a free ebook online for your Kindle device or reading app (there’s almost always something available). You can even get recommendations from our friends at BookBub!
Ask questions! Whether it’s a doctor’s appointment or expanding your knowledge base beyond Google searches, always be sure that you’re asking questions if there’s something you don’t understand and not just about your own health either.
Your mind will open up when you do this; plus everyone loves someone who has well-informed opinions!
Embrace New Technology
While it’s true that technology has made our lives easier in many ways, it can also be a source of stress.
However, if you embrace the newest technologies and use them to your advantage, they can help you land your dream job as a health educator. Here are some ways to make the most of new tech:
Use social media to connect with others in the field who share similar interests. You’ll be able to ask questions and learn from their experience while building relationships that will lead to job opportunities down the line.
Use online tools like Google Apps and Dropbox to store documents so that all team members have access without having to worry about losing anything due to a hard drive crash or other computer failure (and don’t forget about cloud-based file storage).
Download productivity apps such as Todoist or Trello (make sure these are compatible with whatever platform is used at work) for keeping track of all sorts of tasks from major projects down to the smallest details.
So there’s never any confusion about what needs doing next day after day after week after month…
Stay Current With New Publications And Relevant Research In The Field
Stay current with new publications and relevant research in the field. By keeping up to date, you will be able to learn about any recent developments in health education, including innovations that may help you reach your audience and make an impact on their lives.
You can also stay on top of the latest research by following your local health department or health organizations that focus on community health. Read current publications such as journals, newsletters and magazines published by these organizations.
Be Flexible, Creative, And Willing To Take Risks In Your Approach To Health Education And Promotion
Being a health educator is about more than just giving lectures and writing out scripts. It’s about getting to know your community, creating relationships with your audience members, and listening to their needs.
When you’re creating a plan for reaching your audience members, think about how you can be flexible and willing to take risks. If one approach doesn’t work well for them, don’t be afraid of trying something new.
If someone asks a question that throws off the flow of your presentation or educational session, go with it! And when you find yourself stuck in a rut (and we all do), remember: it’s okay if things don’t go exactly as planned change what needs changing!
Infuse Humor Into Your Work, If Possible
In this article, you’ll learn from some of the most successful health educators in the country and discover how they infuse humor into their work.
Humor is a great way to connect with people and make them feel comfortable enough to listen to what you have to say. Humor can be used in many different ways, such as:
To make a point; for example, if the lesson is dry or boring, use your sense of humor as a way to get through it
To relax yourself before a big speech or presentation; laughter is contagious so when others hear laughter they too will begin laughing!
As an icebreaker when meeting new people (this could come in handy at networking events)
Focus On Prevention, Not Just Intervention
Prevention is key to a long, healthy life. Prevention means taking steps to avoid illness in the first place rather than waiting until an illness has already manifested and then trying to treat it.
For example, exercise is a form of prevention because it reduces stress and increases physical strength and endurance.
In contrast, intervention is when you address health problems after they’ve occurred such as with surgery or prescription medication.
While intervention may be necessary sometimes, prevention should be your main focus when working as a health educator because it’s less expensive for clients (both financially and emotionally) and more effective overall at reducing disease rates in communities.
For example, public health campaigns that encourage people to eat healthier foods or get regular checkups can reduce obesity rates by more than 25%.
We’ve covered a lot of ground here, but the takeaway is simple: If you want to get your dream job as a health educator, it all starts with passion. You have to be excited about what you do, and that enthusiasm will carry over into your career.
Health education is a field that allows for creativity and flexibility in its practitioners; if you have these qualities in spades, then there are no limits to where they could take you!