Whether you just graduated or have a bit of experience under your belt, we all will find ourselves looking for a job at some point in our careers. If it’s been a while since you were last in the market for a new position, things may have changed. If you’re a new grad, this might be your first “real” job. So where do you start?
Assuming you have a particular direction in mind, you might be surprised to learn that labor markets are incredibly diverse, and advice is somewhat difficult to generalize. That being said, we’ll discuss a few tips that should be helpful, no matter where you are or what field of medicine you are looking to get in to.
Career Opportunities Through Training
Many clinicians actually end up taking jobs they found through their clerkships or clinical rotations. Treat each new training opportunity as a potential job interview, whether it’s a position you’d be interested in or not. You never know where a great lead may come from. You might be tempted to focus on the “higher ups” but don’t get caught in this trap! Strive to build real relationships with everyone you meet, including nurses, reps, support staff, and patients themselves.
As healthcare providers, we spend a significant portion of our lives preparing for our future careers. While many of the relationships we form over the years are better classified as acquaintances, the value of networking is that an introduction can be everything, and you never know where that introduction may come from.
Make an effort to meet people even if it doesn’t come naturally. Ask others about their work and their interests and build upon common ground. Talk to the drug reps, be kind to your nurses, and strive to be cheerful. You’ll be surprised how far a good first impression can go.
Continue to keep in touch with your classmates. One of them may turn down a position that would be perfect for you! You may find that a few years down the road, a former classmate is able to give a glowing recommendation or at least that all-important introduction. Or perhaps you spent the last several years sitting next to your future business partner? Flexing your networking muscle allows you to position yourself to act on a potential opportunity before it’s widely advertised.
Career Opportunities Through Social Media
Social media is another great way to network. Most professionals are aware of LinkedIn. There are several other social networks dedicated to health care providers and even PAs and/or NPs. Doximity is a network for providers of all backgrounds while Clinician1 is meant for PAs and NPs. The American Academy of Physician Assistants recently debuted their own online community called Huddle.
Although Facebook at this point may seem like old news, it can still be a powerful way to network. I am currently part of several groups for PAs and one for providers interested in Direct Primary Care. I also follow, and occasionally contribute, to several personal finance groups. Facebook also has the advantage of arguably being the largest social network with over 2 billion active users. Many major hospital systems and recruiting firms post on social media as well.
Career Opportunities Through Job Boards
The next step in your job hunt is to search for job postings. While there may still be some utility in printed classifieds, you probably won’t miss much if looking exclusively online. Check with your profession’s national organization. The American Academy of Physician Assistants, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all have career sections where members can search job postings. These organizations also have state chapters that may list local positions.
Don’t forget to check with your alma mater, either. Your PA/NP program or med school may maintain a job board. It is in their best interest to make sure their graduates are placed in desirable positions. These job boards may not be restricted to their own graduates, however, so you should consider looking through the website of a school or professional program in your target area.
Recruiting firms maintain job boards. AMN Healthcare Services, Jackson Healthcare, Barton Associates, and CompHealth are a few names you might have heard. There are also several healthcare-specific job boards such as HospitalRecruiting.com. Then there are the more generic job sites such as Monster, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter.
However you choose to begin your search, plan on looking into more than one of these methods and be patient as you look. Taking the time to make a good decision on a job will yield high dividends in every other area of your life.