You worked extremely hard to get through medical school and residency. You have been fielding offers from recruiters for the better part of a year. And in the midst of all the chaos of transitioning from residency to full-time employment, you have your eye on the prize: that dream job you’ve been thinking of since the day you graduated from high school.
The only problem right now is that you don’t know how to find that dream job. Well, first things first. It is very rare for a new doctor to land his or her dream job right out of residency. In fact, many doctors go through multiple positions until they reach that place where they feel like they have finally arrived. So don’t give up. Do not allow yourself to be disillusioned if the first couple of jobs you interview for are not exactly what you had in mind.
With all of that said, here are five steps to eventually landing your dream job:
The very first step is to make connections with recruiters. Make lots of them. The more recruiters you have looking for you, the more access you will have to the best jobs in the marketplace. Understand that there truly is strength in numbers when you are talking about people who are out there looking for jobs on your behalf.
The medical field is no different than any other industry inasmuch as the most desirable jobs often come with some requirement for experience. For example, the head surgeon and Cedars-Sinai didn’t get that job a day after finishing residency. There are a lot of years of experience behind it.
The point here is that you will never land your dream job if you don’t start somewhere. So concentrate on finding that first job that will get you some of the valuable experience you need. You don’t have to settle for just anything, and you shouldn’t, but you should expect your first job or two to act as stepping stones to better opportunities.
The third step is to begin networking after you land that first job. The point of networking is to get to know people with both experience and connections. Networking is one of the most indispensable tools for climbing the ladder to your eventual dream job.
The fourth step is to enhance your networking opportunities by broadening your horizons. How do you do this? There are a number of ways, beginning with taking some locum tenens work here and there. Locum tenens assignments represent opportunities to be exposed to different work environments. They are an opportunity to meet new people, learn from some of the best, and see just what goes on behind the confines of your own workplace.
Another way to broaden your horizons is to get involved in your local community. Participate in community outreach events. Attend symposiums and lectures. Volunteer to be part of recruiting drives and local job fairs. Every bit of community interaction will broaden your horizons as a clinician.
Last but not least is the task of continually digging around. Often times that dream job is found hiding in a proverbial corner. It’s not sitting at the top of the list of your most recent online search. Like any treasure worth having, you have to keep digging around until you unearth what is truly a hidden gem.
Now you know the five steps to landing your dream job. Get to work and go get it.