Kerene Hoilett always knew she wanted to work in health care — inspired by her grandmother, a nurse.
When she learned that nursing didn’t fit her, she forged her own path.
Hoilett joined Kaiser Permanente in 2007 as an ultrasound technologist in Georgia. Since then, she has completed a project management certificate, landed an internship and earned 2 college degrees on her way to becoming a diagnostic imaging quality consultant.
“I always have that drive to challenge myself,” Hoilett says. “How can I tap into my strengths more?”
To help employees and managers tap into their strengths, Kaiser Permanente has a new career paths tool.
The new tool at kpcareerplanning.org/paths is interactive and personalized to help you explore career options. Follow the prompts to fill out a profile and find opportunities that link your skills, interests and education to careers at Kaiser Permanente.
“Kaiser Permanente encourages career mobility,” says Monica Morris, director of National Workforce Planning and Development. “With career paths, we’re trying to show you all the different career opportunities and directions you could go in the organization.”
Partnership unions negotiated to include career paths in the 2005 National Agreement with Kaiser Permanente.
“The new career paths tool reinforces our commitment to supporting lifelong learning and career development,” says Jessica Butz, workforce development director with the Alliance of Health Care Unions. “Career paths are a fundamental piece to help give employees a road map for success.”
After Hoilett became lead ultrasonographer in 2013, her journey took a turn to pursue leadership opportunities.
As a United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) member, Hoilett talked with a Partnership union-supported career counselor from the Ben Hudnall Memorial Trust, leading her to a project management pilot program. A project management certificate and 6-month internship at the regional office followed. The trust paid her to work at the internship one day a week, while she worked her regular job 4 days a week.
Hoilett applied for open positions but was unsuccessful, so she reviewed her experience gap with her career counselor.
“She encouraged me. I knew one day I would get that opportunity, and she helped me to be confident,” Hoilett says. “I wasn’t left in the dark. The career counselor was able to light my path.”
Hoilett’s persistence paid off. In 2018, she earned her master’s degree in project management and became a diagnostic imaging quality consultant. She’s using her people, project and technical skills to improve productivity and performance for imaging techs.
She isn’t stopping there. She continues to increase her impact in her current role while exploring learning opportunities in organizational leadership. And she encourages colleagues to learn, take courses and grow their careers — just like her.
“Don’t be afraid,” Hoilett says. “If you keep going, you will be successful.”
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