The new year is here and we all have many resolutions. For some a new healthcare job or career is top on the list. Finding a job may not be easy because recent layoffs and an economy that is still recovering has made the job market very competitive for many professionals, including healthcare professionals. Here are some tips based on my job search in various stages of my career and observations over the years. Although this article is written for healthcare professionals it is also applicable to all professionals.
Be visible. You cannot find a job if know one knows who you are. Attend networking events, give presentations, publish in your area of expertise, and actively participate on professional social networks.
Networking is key to finding jobs. Employers prefer to hire people they know and trust or people referred to them by colleagues they trust. Reconnect with people in your network and make new connections. Social networks are a great way to meet new people who may be useful in providing leads.
You will need a great resume that includes your accomplishments and it is written for the job you are applying for.
Apply for jobs that closely match your skills and expertise. Employers prefer to hire people that already have the right experience and can hit the ground running.
Be flexible in your job location. If you cannot find a job within your desired geography you may have to move or entertain alternative work arrangements such as living in another city a few days a week or telecommuting.
Consider a pay cut or a lower level position. This may be a good strategy if the opportunity is in a company with growth opportunities. This is also a good strategy if your are branching into a slightly different role to broaden your skill set.
Consider an internship, residency or additional certification to increase your qualifications and open up job options. This is especially useful for new graduates who do not have experience in their field.
Follow the path less traveled. Look for underserved areas that may not be as desirable to live but have a high demand for professionals with your skills. High demand and low competition means a higher likelihood of getting hired. Employers in underserved areas are more willing to hire someone with less experience, including new graduates. (You do not have to live there for ever). The cost of living may be lower in underserved areas and there may be perks such as college loan forgiveness and some tax breaks.
Have you considered working abroad? Many foreign countries are looking for healthcare professionals and other skilled workers. If you are adventurous take a look at opportunities in foreign countries. Your perfect job may be just a few hours plane ride outside of your country.
How about jobs in academia? Someone has to teach future professionals. There may be less competition for academic positions since they may not pay as much as nonacademic positions. However, academic positions may offer diversity in practice and great work balance.
Branches of the Federal Government such as Veterans Administration, Food and Drug Administration, Armed Forces, Drug Enforcement Agency and others offer opportunities for many types of healthcare professionals. Government jobs tend to be stable and offer growth opportunities.
Use recruiters that specialize in your industry. A good recruiter has plenty of information about your industry and what employers are looking for. They have connections and they can help you prepare for an interview. They have a vested interest in your success in finding a job.
I hope this is helpful and I wish you success in your job search. If you have tips share them or ask a question by joining the community and commenting on this article or in the discussion section.