Join Innsena Communications founder Kat McDavitt (@KatMcDavitt) and fellow panelists at the annual #HealthITChicks Meetup at #HIMSS18 on Tuesday, March 6 at 2pm. Learn more about the session, “Making the Ladder Lateral: Advice from #HealthITChicks on Creating the Career Path That Works Best for You,” here.
How long have you been in health IT, and what made you gravitate towards – and stay in – the field?
I’ve been in health tech for eight years, and I’m about to attend my 8th HIMSS conference. I fell into the field by chance. It’s a flaky story — but enjoy: I had been working in the architecture industry as a marketer. In case none of you remember the Great Recession, it sucked. It hit the architectural community very hard, and we all took significant pay cuts. I figured I’d take on more freelance writing at night to make up for the pay cut, saw a freelance writing opportunity with Dodge Communications (which at the time worked exclusively in health IT), showed up with my writing portfolio and walked out with a full-time job. At the time, I was shocked to find out that the healthcare industry was growing when I saw people lose their jobs every Friday over several years.
I’ve always liked technical industries, and I quickly took to health IT. I loved learning about how our healthcare system works, and I’m passionate about working with entrepreneurs. I’ve since started my own consultancy working with health tech companies. I hope to never leave the industry.
Do you consider your career path to be a traditional one?
Yes and no. I think in terms of my career progression in agency, that is typical. I hustled hard and moved up. No real story there. I think where things have differed for me was in making the jump to start my own business and stay in the industry. It has been very hard for reasons I never expected—and a whole lot of fun.
Can you offer an anecdote or two about when you realized your desire to step off the beaten career path was the right one for you?
I’ve worked with about 60 health IT companies over the years. I think that, somewhere around company number 30, I started thinking that these organizations — start-ups and publicly-traded corporations —needed individualized attention. Somewhere around company number 50 I started thinking about launching my own agency so that I could give them that attention. I mushed around on the idea for a year. And then I did it.
What advice can you offer women in health IT looking to make their career path their own?
There’s one piece of advice that has always led my career. I think it applies here: Always favor action. You can want to do something with every fiber of your being, but you need to start acting to make it a reality.
I want to close by sharing a story about something phenomenal that happened to me when I did take the jump and started Innsena. I’ve struggled with trusting people. I’ve always avoided putting myself into situations where I needed to rely heavily on others. It’s one of the reasons I thought I would struggle going onto the client side. A lot of my health IT buddies knew I was taking this leap and told me they’d be there for me, and I didn’t believe any of them. But a crazy thing happened — I closed my eyes and fell backward, and everyone was there to catch me. It might sound silly, but the experience has changed me in such unexpected ways.
Join all of the #healthITchicks #HIMSS18 panelists during the #healthITchicks tweet chat on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 1pm ET.