Thursday, August 06, 2015

Kissing Nursing Job Frogs

Does searching for a nursing job sometimes feel like dating? Is it like kissing far too many frogs in order to find your prince or princess? Is wasting your time on all of those frogs getting you down?

Kissing Nursing Job Frogs

If you're looking for a job, it can be a lot like kissing far too many frogs. You send in a resume, fill out an online application, wait for a call to be interviewed, and when you're finally sitting across from your interviewer, you realize that you wouldn't work at that place for all the money in the world. So, you say thank you, shake hands, walk to your car, sigh deeply, and you're back to the drawing board after one more smooch with an unattractive and unappealing nursing job frog.

So, what do you do? How do you know if a workplace is right for you until you sit for an interview and take a tour?

Network and Research Potential Frogs

One way to avoid kissing too many nursing job frogs is to network assiduously, talking to people who work at various facilities and organizations as you gather data and assess the field.

If you were dating, you wouldn't just go out on a date with anyone who invited you, right? You'd do your best to vet them, learn what you could before committing to that, date...and only go out with the ones who show some modicum of promise. They may turn out to be frogs, anyway, but who can be certain about anything these days?

When you network, you reach out to individuals who are, or have been, employed at the organization you're considering applying to. On GlassDoor, you can read reviews of companies by those who've worked there (or still do), and on LinkedIn, you can do an advanced search so that employees associated with your target organization or facility are revealed to you.

Meanwhile, your networking can very well pay off without actually directly asking for a job. Doing informational interviews, getting other professionals in your corner, and networking with power brokers and gatekeepers can clue you in on positions or opportunities that are not advertised, but may very well be available at organizations and facilities where you know you'd be happy to land a position. 

It's Not a Blind Search

In a tight economy, we may feel like we just have to apply to every job that comes along, even if we know nothing about the organization who's hiring. This type of scattershot job search process may be occasionally fruitful, but it can also lead to frustration as you apply for positions you don't want at facilities where you'd be frightfully unhappy.

Sure, you can't tell everything about an organization from reviews on GlassDoor and information gleaned from past or present employees you're able to speak to,  but the more data you can gather, the more you'll know before you take the plunge and apply. Looking for work is time consuming, so why spend time applying to work in environments where you're certain to be unhappy, underpaid, or unfulfilled?

The Dating Game

There's no doubt that some interview experiences will make it very clear that a particular job or organization simply isn't for you. Even with the most savvy preparation and research, you just may not know what's what until you're sitting there answering questions and assessing if this place could be your new home as a nursing professional.

That said, you may even take a job, having heard all the right things about your new workplace, only to discover that the manager, supervisor, or administrator who answered your questions was lying through her teeth. She may have told you that a positive workplace culture is a priority at Smithville Hospital, but on your first day, you realize that bullying and harassment are as common as paper clips.

Dating isn't always fun, and finding the right job can be equally as challenging.

Keep Your Chin Up

But nurses, you need to keep your chin up. Somewhere out in the world, there's a job that's just right for you. Whether you find it today or tomorrow or next year, it may be a matter of rolling up your sleeves, dedicating yourself to the requisite career research and development, and biding your time until the right thing comes along. Just like in dating, you may get tired of the frogs, but the prince may very well manifest just when you've given up hope and attachment to outcome.

On episode 26 of my podcast, The Nurse Keith Show, I discuss the ins and outs of the job search/manifestation process, and there's a lot of inspiration and ideas for you in that episode and in the show notes on

Stay positive, do your research, talk to your colleagues, put yourself out there, network deeply and authentically, and one of these days, your frog will no longer be a frog, but a great job that provides you with the career satisfaction and professional fulfillment you've been looking for.

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