Find and Create Opportunities, Even if They’re Outside Your Comfort Zone

What you do in college often has nothing to do with what you ultimately end up doing in the world, explains Heather Creran, COO of OncoLens. While at Duke University, Heather switched from a biomedical engineering field of study to political science. Upon graduation and deeply touched by her mom’s experience with cancer, she joined IMPATH as the 10th employee and helped grow the organization into a large enterprise. Her professional experience has spanned more than three decades of various executive leadership in diagnostics and healthcare. 

In this episode of Net Effects Podcast, Heather visits with co-hosts Les Ottolenghi and Mark Bavisotto about honoring career potential and jumping into growth opportunities.

Episode highlights:

  • Forge your professional path. Seek mentors and a board of directors, but also remember that mentors can change over time because your former role may not prepare you for your new role. “Take opportunities as they present themselves – whether you’re ready or not ready – you don’t learn and grow without taking chances and getting yourself out in traffic. It’s an important place to be.”
  • Recognize inflection points in your career. “Grow and learn by doing things that make yourself inherently uncomfortable. It’s like exercise; you don’t want to hurt yourself, but no pain, no gain. It’s the same in life.” Take opportunities and create opportunities, and network early and often.
  • Digital tools enable acceleration across industries. Healthcare is one example of exponential growth and change—it has moved faster than ever before because digital tools were available. An exciting takeaway: Change can happen right away when the right elements are in play.
  • What else is possible? A connected world catalyzed healthcare to become more convenient and accessible (e.g., home tests, telemedicine, etc.). The pandemic took it one step further. Connectivity and in-home healthcare and wellness opened up consumers to “Wow, what is possible?!”

This episode also discusses women in leadership roles, social transformation, and chasing inspiration. Listen to the full episode now.
About Heather Creran: Serving in CEO, President, and COO roles, and with experience as a Board Director and Advisor, Heather is a leader with extensive strategic, commercial, and operational success driving growth in diverse healthcare enterprises, including startup, joint venture, privately-held, and public companies. Heather joined OncoLens, a venture-backed, cancer care and treatment management solutions platform company, as Chief Operating Officer, right before COVID hit, after serving as its Interim Strategy Officer. Heather serves as a Georgia Research Alliance Senior Advisor, and on advisory boards and committees with industry, non-profit, and government organizations. She is an avid golfer and Coach with The First Tee of Metro Atlanta. She received her B.A. with majors in Economics and Political Science from Duke University.