Guerra On Healthcare: How To Handle Rejection Constructively

Barrier to IT entry is high, but resist urge to complain and find a way to gain requisite experience.
There are literally thousands of people trying to break into the healthcare IT industry, and many are growing extremely frustrated at what they perceive as a closed-door policy to those who are not uber-qualified.

According to these discontented souls, the barrier to entry is far too high, often requiring both knowledge of a specific healthcare IT application and some sort of front-line clinical experience. "What are they thinking!?" these people shout on public forums like LinkedIn. "If they're going to be so picky, that industry will never make progress!" they scream on Facebook or Twitter.

Well, I think it would be wise for these folks to calm down, take a deep breath and chart a more productive course.

First, rather than getting angry at the message, listen to it. If most hospitals want those with experience in their core clinical application, find a way to get it. Call the vendor and get their thoughts, do some Googling to see what options are out there, ask the hospital if you can do an unpaid internship at night or on the weekend to get the experience they require of a viable candidate.

If hospitals want those who have some clinical exposure, get it. Again, make some calls, volunteer for some type of non-IT role in the hospital if you have to -- do whatever it takes to make a realistic claim to having the qualifications they require. Can you imagine what a great story this would make in an interview? You could explain that you want this career so badly you found a way into the hospital, were able to thus watch clinicians interact with the electronic systems provided, and here is what you observed …

Remember, people are impressed with those who have gone "all out" in pursuit of a goal, because they rightly assume you will go all out in fulfilling your job duties. Nothing in this life is unattainable if we are willing to stretch the limits of our imagination -- and often our physical and emotional endurance -- to get it. Think you don’t have time? Think again -- think about the countless hours you fritter away watching television.

And for those of you prone to venting on the Internet, I have another piece of advice: Stop it, because almost all prospective employers will Google you before granting an interview. When they do, finding a rant about how, "The healthcare IT industry doesn’t get it!" will not improve your chances of getting a job.

Why do we continually think the only people who can access a posting are those actively involved with the specific discussion in question? Why are we taken in by the "feel" of being in a private conversation? We're not; literally everyone in the world can access that comment now or at any time in the future. We ascribe the embarrassing videos that college students post on YouTube to the folly of youth, but what's a professional's excuse?

When an obstacle stands in the way of your deepest wishes, don't stand there and stomp your feet, and don’t question the sanity of those who have erected it. Do whatever it takes to go over, around, or under the challenge. They'll be impressed and might just give you a job because of it.

Anthony Guerra is the founder and editor of, a site dedicated to serving the strategic information needs of healthcare CIOs. He can be reached at [email protected].

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