Having not needed to look for a job for the last 5 years (what with having one that I LOVED for three years, then being in school for two), I had forgotten how much I detested job hunting. The arena of nursing jobs presents its own challenges. Being a new graduate nurse is far from having the golden ticket. The challenge being that as a newbie nurse, I have oodles and oodles of enthusiasm and drive, a great desire to learn… and some skill. Potential employers know this and are hesitant to hire this type of nurse because in some cases the follow through on the part of the new employee is not worth the investment of the training. This, of course, is not always the case, but having heard this repeatedly from former preceptors/nurses in the field and current classmates (who were told that almost verbatim by HR folks), it is quite disheartening. Understandably, some of this has to do with timing and location. Times are still kinda tough economically and a lot of medical facilities are not hiring like they used to. Also, I have heard time and time again that the Boston area is 'over-saturated' with nurses.
(I have to share that as I am writing this post, the song ‘Unemployed in Summertime’ by Emiliana Torrini started playing on my Pandora Radio station. Very funny, universe, you are highlarious.)
Another tricky part with the nursing job hunt (though I am sure this applies to other fields too) is how to get the interview. I have been diligently and methodically searching for jobs on various fronts and applying to them online. Most if not all of the people I have asked about how they got their first (or most recent) nursing jobs were through networking. One former instructor flat out told me that every job she’s had was through someone she knew. I have to admit, that despite my blatantly extroverted ways, the idea of networking didn’t sit well at first. Truth be told, I am still working on a comfort level around it. One part of my brain is frustrated with my uncertainty and is saying, “Dude, get over it. Talk to people you know- there is no harm in asking.” Another part of my brain gets into the ‘yeah but’ mantra, which my fellow NCLEX survivors will know is a dangerous place to go. Yeah but what if it comes across as me asking them for a job and being so resourceful and awesome as I am, shouldn’t I be able to do this on my own? Yeah but what if they tell me that no one is hiring new grads? Yeah but what if the only job I can find is in Rhode Island or northern New Hampshire? Yeah but the last job I got I found online, shouldn't I be able to find another one just as easily? Yeah but…
Like I said, a dangerous place to go.
Getting over a case yeabut-itis requires a daily subcutaneous dose of a strong reality check. The kind that you can only get from those people around you who hold up the most honest mirrors and can call you on your most ridiculous self inflicted BS, which yeahbut-itis feeds on mercilessly. Thankfully, I have a great support system, made up of those in the trenches with me and those who are in different fields/parts of my non nursing world that are helping keep me honest with myself.
So, I started checking in with various people I know in different clinical arenas and sure enough, someone’s suggestion came through and I have an interview next week. It was slightly humbling and jarring to have such a quick response after literally weeks of sending out cover letters and resumes into what feels like a great void of unknown employment-ness. Clearly, I will see how it pans out next week, and hope for the best. I will also keep up the networking, because like all good skills, practice makes perfect.