How to Advance Quickly in Your Career as a Registered Dietitian
The nutrition field is very vast and although this can be advantageous, a lot of nutrition professionals struggle with choosing a clear and fulfilling path due to having many options to choose from. Many limit themselves from pursuing new opportunities because they are unsure of how to move within various facets of the field as their interests change, and yet still excel.
You don’t have to be one of those who struggle with creating a defined path and crushing it in your niche. Here are a few important pointers to help you excel in your career.
Branding Yourself as the Nutrition Expert
As a Dietitian, there are numerous opportunities to brand yourself as the nutrition expert. People today crave information on how to build and sustain a healthy lifestyle, effective meal plans, specialized diets, nutritious recipes and how to cook healthy meals. The ‘healthy lifestyle,’ movement is growing and is being taken quite seriously by people- young or old. People look to lifestyle blogs, YouTube videos, magazines and various mediums just to obtain authentic information about the kind of food they should consume.
Although the internet is filled with tons of nutrition content, most of it is a lot of misinformation and full of nutrition fads promoted by non-experts. This is the time for you as a Registered Dietitian to share your nutrition expertise with the world. Create a blog, start a YouTube channel or even a podcast. There are many of creative avenues for you to choose from. Whatever method you use to promulgate scientifically backed nutrition advice can also serve as a great portfolio, attracting career opportunities in the form of recruiters and hiring managers who are always on the lookout for experts and trailblazers in the field.
2. Choose a Specialization and Narrow Down Your Expertise
The nutrition industry is very broad and it is impossible to be an expert in all areas. It’s alright to be a general practitioner early in your career but through the years, as you find your area of passion and purpose it is always wise to narrow your focus. Narrowing your focus in 1 or 2 areas allows you to achieve mastery. A few areas you can specialize in are:
Clinical nutrition management
And many more. Choose your area of speciality and try to brand yourself as an expert in that area. For more on how to brand yourself, read our article here.
3. Network with People and Know About the Trends in Your Industry
The best opportunities come with networking and by networking we don’t just mean adding people on LinkedIn but by establishing genuine professional relationships with experts in your field. Look for those seeking professionals with your skill set and work with them on a project that you have expertise in, reach out to people who are carrying out studies in your field of work, attend conferences relevant to your field and be an active participant. Join organizations and groups that require active participation. The more you are out there, the better your chances of meeting different people and getting to learn more about your industry. In today’s global village age, it’s so much easier to network and create a connection with like-minded people.
4. Keep Yourself Updated with Certifications
Nutrition is a rapidly growing field and there is always an emerging area of focus or new skill set that would be an added bonus to have. It is always wise to invest in certifications relevant to your line of work. For example, you may want to become certified as a LEAP therapist if you are a dietitian that works with the pediatric population (as they are often prone to food allergies and sensitivities).This way not only would you be multi-skilled, but you will also become equipped with the necessary information and tools needed to cater to this subset of your patient population more effectively.
5. Always Seek the Help of a Recruiter or Career Counselor
Even though you might be implementing all the aforementioned strategies and putting your best foot forward, it might still be difficult to excel in your career without professional guidance and counseling. It’s best for you to take the advice of a recruiter or career counselor who works with and specializes in hiring nutrition professionals. Someone who has hiring authority will be able to give you clear insights on where you stand amongst other nutrition professionals and will be able to give constructive advice on what you need to do to get to the next level.
If you’d like to excel in your career further, get in touch with our experts at Dietitian Careers and let us help you find your dream job!