Part 4 – Beginning Your Job Search: Who and What You Know
If you’re just joining this blog series, we encourage you to spend some time with Parts 1, 2 and 3 to get a great framework for what we’re discussing in Part 4 – Beginning Your Job Search: Who and What you Know. If you’re a new physician reading this, we’ve guided you in Part 1 towards making the most informed choice for your career in medicine and also provided some useful tips for assessing the medical practice models and opportunities available to you in Part 2. Part 3 was dedicated to preparing for the job search itself, including tips for making sure your Curriculum Vitae (commonly referred to as a CV) is in tip-top shape. This installment of the series will discuss what happens after all that initial research and CV footwork is done – preparing for the job opportunity selection. This is the place where the rubber meets the road. All that preparation and a stellar CV won’t hold up if the opportunities you’re seeking don’t match what you actually want and who you say you are on paper.
As we previously discussed in Part 3, a simple scan of the Internet for available job opportunities in medicine may not yield you the results (or best opportunities) you’re looking for. Sometimes, depending on your circumstances, it may be beneficial to work with a physician recruiter. However, it is important to know how recruiters work. Essentially, when a physician works with a recruiter and is placed in a job that the recruiter helped find, the recruiter (or his or her firm) is paid a previously agreed upon fee for the placement by the practice or hospital that made the hire. Given this scenario, you can see how a job that is in high-demand and in a relatively desirable area (like Southern California) won’t necessarily be the place where you want a recruiter’s help. However, if you are flexible on location, a recruiter can be great in helping you find and placing you in a desirable position in an area that really needs your specialty. Of course, the recruiter decision really takes you back to the beginning – knowing what you want before you start looking.
Even if going the way of a recruiter to help you with your job search doesn’t sound like the best option to you, networking with colleagues in your field and outside of it is ALWAYS recommended. As you’ve likely heard in other industries and life in general – landing a great job is often about “who you know.” From someone you trained in residency with who knows someone, to a professor who may help you get your foot in the door with his colleagues and connections, be sure to approach every relationship as a potential job opportunity. Sometimes they come from the contacts you least expected them to.
Whether you enlist the help of a recruiter or network with colleagues to engage in your job search, it is important to remember that your contacts matter. The best career placements for physicians are those that were carefully considered and researched beforehand, by doctors who didn’t go it alone. In Part 5 of this series, we’re devoting all of it to The Interview. All this research, preparation and networking landed you an interview. Now what? The good news is you’re one step closer to the job you want. But you’ve got to get through the interview first. Don’t worry. We’ll walk you through it.