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First Year PA

Never Give In

Published March 6, 2014 12:32 PM by Caroline Pilgrim

"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.  Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."  - Sir Winston Churchill

If you are a new grad and you haven't nailed down a job yet, I don't doubt you feel like you have applied everywhere. You have scoured the internet's most popular resources: paworld.net, healthecareers, indeed, doccafe, craigslist, pajobsite, and even our own ADVANCE.

You get calls from recruiters daily. You have emailed all those weird friends of your parents who "might be able to help." By Facebook stalking friends from undergrad, you realized two of them live in the city you're trying to relocate to. "Will messaging them make me seem as desperate as I feel?" you wonder. 

Maybe you got an interview offer but it was in bariatric surgery and you realized that you love tackling public health issues like obesity, but not when the issue is 400 pounds on the operating table with you assisting the surgeon. 

Or your recruiters would love to get you set up with a practice "near" a major city which turns out to be in one of America's most rural counties and a two hour drive from a Target. All your colleagues somehow got their dream jobs, right? A cushy dermatology gig or a fellowship that pays off their loans; meanwhile, your credit card is maxed out for the tenth time since you started grad school and you're asking for a loan from your grandma. 

Maybe you interviewed at three places but none of them called you back and you are on the verge of annoying the office secretaries into making the no-hire decision on you. How far is too far?

Perhaps you have woken up in the middle of the night in a panic and checked your LinkedIn app and realized that no one who would even know what "ACLS" is has endorsed your skill. Just your dad. "Maybe that's why I don't get calls back," you think.  

You keep reminding yourself of all your friends who are Starbucks baristas because they got a master's degree in Medieval English; not you, and you chose a highly marketable skill. But no sooner do you think that until that causes you to doubt your ticking time bomb of student loans that are four and a half months from suffocating your budget. 

And in long days of internet searching you find yourself Googling, "motivational quotes" and re-realize your love of Winston Churchill and think maybe your English major friend wasn't so crazy after all.

After what seems like months (because it was months), finally, you get a call back from a normal sounding human who asks if you will come interview with the cost of your travel covered even though the recruiter you applied through didn't even give them your CV (that you had spent countless hours polishing). 

They ask you a lot of direct questions, "Well, don't you want to know how much you'll get paid?"  And you answer, "Uh, yeah?" though everything you read on how-to phone interview weblogs said to never ask about salary during a phone interview. 

You fly to the interview, end up getting a free $400 voucher from Delta (that will pay for your flight to your best friend's wedding), and you love the practice. Then you get hired at your dream job and you forget all the self-doubt you had about choosing your career. 

You then spend the next month frantically filling out paperwork and calling a medical board that you are pretty sure has not realized that the internet exists. 

Happy job hunting, friends!


Story of my life right now! Graduated in May, passed boards in September. Feel like I have applied to everything that I've seen and still nothing.  Years of experience in ambulatory care, thought that would be a plus but no and let's not even talk about the prescriptive authority fiasco.

Oh well I hope it works.

C. Kelly , FNP March 17, 2014 12:42 PM

If you are at Offutt, try working in IA. MUCH more NP-friendly.

Carol Thelen March 14, 2014 10:19 PM

Story of my life, up until the flying for free and getting a dream job. I have been applying for jobs since November, graduated from NP school in January, and still haven't gotten any offers.  I am unable to relocate because my husband is stationed at a military base.  I just moved here in September, so I have little to no network in place.  

I was in contact with two recruiters, and once they found out I was a new grad and unable to relocate, I never heard from them again. And my loving mother keeps reminding me that the longer I'm unemployed, the harder it will be to find a job.  "You'll always have a job in healthcare!" they said.  Ha. Even with a 4.0 GPA and passing the boards above the 95th percentile, nothing.  :(

Lauren March 13, 2014 5:45 PM

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