How do you know if you are ready to take that plunge of leaving a secure 9-to-5 job and embark on a new career as an independent consultant or contractor in medical staff services and/or credentialing?
Changing jobs is always a daring move, especially when there are bills to pay, medical insurance to carry, and family at home relying on your support. Becoming a medical services professional (MSP) consultant, or most commonly, a MSP independent contractor, brings another added element of unfamiliarity.
A consultant or contractor is generally a self-employed person who works independently and promotes him or herself as an expert in the fields of medical staff services or credentialing. An independent consultant determines how they will perform an assignment, engagement, or project to achieve a predetermined outcome. The hours and location of the work are set by the consultant, factoring in the scope of the project, the timeliness of its completion, and the client’s expectations, in order to achieve the optimal results.
Often a consultant is classified with a 10-99 self-employed tax status and has the responsibility to report their own income, pay their own taxes entirely, carry their own medical coverage, and pay their own expenses upfront. However, a consultant may also be hired as a W-2 payroll employee of a healthcare entity for short or long-term, depending on the nature of the project and the client’s particular parameters of the engagement.
Many times when a MSP changes jobs it means relocating to another city nearby, or elevating to a higher-level position within their organization. When you change a career to become a MSP consultant, the majority of the time frequent travel is involved, and higher expectations to perform at an expert level is required. If you don’t mind these two main challenges, there are 15 Character Traits that can certainly give indication if you are ready to take the plunge in becoming a MSP independent consultant or contractor, and achieve success in doing so.
1) Independence. You have no trouble going out to eat by yourself, going to a movie alone, maneuvering an airport unaccompanied, staying in a hotel room on your own, and discovering the local establishments in a new town without a companion.
2) Confidence. You project expertise and knowledge and you command, not demand, respect.
3) Punctuality. You are always on time and never devalue someone else’s time by being late.
4) Organization. You prioritize and focus. Your professional and personal life have clarity and are free from clutter on the brain and on the desk.
5) Motivation. You are an energetic, self-starter and do not wait for direction when there is work to be done. You are a doer and you are driven by the need to accomplish and be successful.
6) Flexibility. You know how to adjust, negotiate, redirect, revise, and stay calm when a situation does not go your way.
7) Adaptability. You can assimilate into any environment and professionally communicate with all personality types you encounter.
8) Resourcefulness. You always have thought of Plan B when inconveniences, delays, set-backs take you off course.
9) Control. You remain steady and collected with measured responses, even when emotional situations may dictate you to be otherwise.
10) Approachability. You are likable and warm to others. People move toward you rather than walk in the other direction. You represent a peach and not an onion.
11) Savvy Smart. You are fluent in the technologies that will help you reserve, register, navigate, scan, submit, email, search, develop, and data enter.
12) Commitment. You can remain dedicated to the project when it is not ideal (i.e., location not appealing, far from home etc.). Those with limited responsibilities at home are often the best match for traveling consulting.
13) Pride of Self. You present your best version of yourself and aim to project a positive inward and outward energy. Poise, attire, professional conduct and continued self-growth radiate “expert”.
14) Private. You are able leave your baggage at home and bring only your luggage with you. You keep your personal matters discreet and separate from professional relationships at work.
15) Purpose. You strive to ensure that everyone who comes in contact with you walks away feeling like they have been listened to, and that their experience with you is positive.
If you consider yourself an expert medical staff professional, and are ready to become an independent consultant, The Hardenbergh Group would love to show you a path in becoming a successful independent contractor. Learn more at www.HardenberghGroup.com and complete an online questionnaire.