For residents and practicing physicians on the job search, there are plenty of issues to keep an eye on. But what is most important?
"Understand and order your career priorities -- money, work-life balance, mentorship needs, etc.," advises Rebecca Dallek, M.Ed., ACC, CPCC. "Understand your career values, like helping others, intellectual curiosity, creativity."
But lastly, she suggests job seekers try to understand where their natural career interests lie and what is behind those interests. What makes a doctor want a particular physician job? "The work of a general surgeon requires different skill sets and interests than a general practitioner. These jobs attract people who fall in very different places on the career spectrum."
Dallek, who works as a career coach, says the more data a job candidate can collect about herself up-front, the less likely she is to find herself in a less-than-ideal work situation.
Beginning a job search
Before even beginning a job search, it's best to do a gut check on what really matters.
"Use the data you've gathered about yourself, such as career values and career purpose, to create a lens for your job search," Dallek says. "When you look through your lens, what jobs make sense? You can't make any decisions without a criteria."
International medicine? Working in underserved communities? Making top dollar to help support family? Having predictable hours to spend time with a spouse?
"Once you know that, don't expect the Internet to magically provide you with all of your jobs," Dallek cautions. "You need to do some legwork. Think about anyone you know who might be able to mentor you, provide you with connections, or help you get your resume to the top of the pile."
Dr. Koushik Shaw has written a book on helping connect physicians with the job that's the best fit. He offers three pieces of advice for MDs on the job search:
- Know yourself, and keep this in mind as to the type of practice you are looking at
- Apply the same to the geography of practice you seek
- Look at the short term (income, etc), but pay more attention to the long-term, 5- and 10-year goals you have and how they fit with the job you seek
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