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Do you have any suggestions to help me find a job using my experience and new knowledge?

Wednesday November 27, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I have been in nursing for more than 30 years and have a BSN. I decided to further my education and focused on health law, thinking it would improve my marketability. Once I completed my master's degree, I obtained my doctorate of law degree.

Before leaving my job of almost 10 years, I applied to five different positions where I met much of criteria, but I got turned down for all of them. I know one of the companies hires people who do not meet the job criteria they post.

I have been applying to different companies and have not received any calls for interviews. Do you have any suggestions to help me find a job using my experience and new knowledge?

Getting Turned Down

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Getting Turned Down,

It is challenging to address your particular situation without knowing what type of positions you are applying for and what type of job you ideally want. However, it appears from your post you are relying on classified ads to find and get job opportunities. At your level of education and experience, it's time to move beyond the classifieds and take a new approach to job hunting.

While many nurses are not accustomed to using word-of-mouth networking, it is a proven way to find and get a great job, especially when you are looking for higher-level positions. Reference "The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses" to walk you through this process and help you beef up your self-marketing skills: (www.ce.nurse.com/course/7250).

Start networking with people in associations such as the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (www.ashrm.org), the American College of Healthcare Executives (www.ache.org), and even the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants (www.aalnc.org). You can attend any of these meetings/events as a guest for now. You never know where you will find a new job opportunity, contact or idea. You have to get yourself out there. Have business cards made, wear a business suit, shake hands and talk to people about what they do and about your interests. Get their business cards, follow-up afterwards and stay in touch with them.

You also should telephone everyone you know, both in and out of healthcare. Let them know what you are looking for and ask for their help by the way of leads, introductions and recommendations. The power of networking is people know people who may be able to connect you with a
job opportunity.

It sounds like you are unemployed, which is the perfect opportunity to take a volunteer position in a legal/healthcare setting that interests you while you continue to look for paid employment. Volunteering is an opportunity to learn new skills, showcase your expertise and expand your professional network. Plus, it is a way to get a foot in the door somewhere. Volunteering often leads to paid employment.

When what you're doing isn't working, it's time for a new approach. You have to be much more proactive in your job search. Review and put into action the above suggestions, including those in the referenced book and articles, and make things happen.

Best wishes,

Donna


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www. Nurse.com/Events.