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7 Deadly Job Hunting Sins for Nurses

7 Deadly Job Hunting Sins for Nurses

Vlad Zachary | Scrubs Magazine

Losing a job is never in any nurse’s career plan. Take solace in knowing that there is a right way and a wrong way to handle unemployment and landing your next nursing job. Before the panic sets in, be sure to read through these seven deadly sins of job hunting and avoid them like the plague!

1. “Wallowing in the mire!”

If you are a nurse who has just been laid off, this can no doubt be a difficult period. Maybe you spent more than five years with your (ex) employer and assumed you would spend the rest of your life at that job. Your closest friends may still be working at your old job. You may have been really happy at your old job and you’re afraid you may not find that again.

Give yourself half a day. Take the afternoon off. Drink, cry, sleep — do whatever you do to grieve. By the evening, do your best to “get back to work.” Start building the rest of your life that very evening and try to feel optimistic, motivated and enthusiastic, just like you would with a patient — only now the patient is you. The rest of your life will be happy and full of good energy — right? You want nothing less. Taking the afternoon off will help you return to the task of job hunting with less anxiety, stress or bad moods. You are your own boss now and it’s time to tell yourself: “This is the drawing board for my future as a nurse and it starts with finding the right job.”

2. Failing to focus

As a nurse you were always busy. Now your routines are changing. You may fall into the trap of thinking that you have free time to smell the roses, go for a walk, fix the car/garden or finally get to the mall — WRONG! You only have free time if you have created a detailed plan for your job hunt. This includes a list of your daily activities for finding your next job (eight hours minimum). If your to-do list is complete before third shift, then it was too short. That’s right! Focusing and getting organized from the beginning will preserve some of your good work habits and help you cut the time of being unemployed.

3. Disregarding definition

Before contacting your next hospital, you need to know how you’re marketing yourself and to whom. Defining yourself as the best possible candidate for a job requires you to learn how your education, skills and experience apply to the expectations of nursing managers. For each application, know to what extent your background can be presented as the “perfect fit,” or at least a good-enough-to-call-for-an-interview fit. If you don’t know, and you’re just sending out resumes with the hope of getting lucky, then you’re playing a lottery. Instead, spend four hours preparing a customized resume and cover letter for one position that you see as a great fit rather than spending four hours sending 40 standard resumes to random positions from a job board.

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