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Networking & the New Job Search in Nursing

Greetings!  Am back from the end of semester hiatus where my teaching team and I had to deal with 4,700 grades for my course this semester that had 289 students.  No, I'm not exaggerating.  Of course, there was a flurry of emails (mostly polite) about grades and points etc..  My experiences the last couple weeks inspired this post.

Like it or not, new graduate nurse or experienced one, who you know will help you get a job.  Every job search book says the same thing.  Now, you might not want to work for a parent's really good friend, like my student in the previous post was contemplating, because that will add other challenges to your first year as a nurse or other employment situation.  Nonetheless, networking is key to the job hunt.  So where do you begin?

First stop: Your Professors & Clinical Instructors

Sometimes you just find a professor or clinical instructor that you really click with and learn more from than you ever thought possible.  Most of the time, those people are also great contacts for jobs.  You never know who your instructors and professors know, and sometimes that can lead to a job.

Next stop: Personal, Non-Familial Networks

Think about who you know among your friends.  What are they doing for work?  Who do they know that works in healthcare?  Now, if you are a second-degree BSN student you probably have more connections than someone fresh out of school so that makes the networking and asking around a bit easier. Don't be afraid to go there, to ask your network who knows who and where.  Surprising results sometimes come up.

A Social Networking Cautionary Tale

Social networking sites are great and can connect you with many people you might not have stayed in touch with from various stages of life.  Those same people could help you get a job.  You just never know.

Facebook is actually there for a reason other than posting crazy pictures which a future employer might find.  If you would like to find a job, don't think a potential future employer won't find you on Facebook and read everything you've ever posted and see your "other" side. Consider the value of those beer bong pictures, spring break remnants of scenes you're not sure you remember, and like ways you may be presenting yourself to the world: Do you really need them to be public?

The same holds true for group pages related to your graduating class or anything similar.  Be cognizant that whatever you post there, even if you are mad about your grade for a course, could be seen.  And yes, faculty do get to see those pages.

The Internet is forever.  Keep that in mind.  It could wipe out your networks in the first two stops.

Nothing I've written above is rocket science, but they aren't discussed frequently in our field.  During times like this where the job hunt can take 4 to 8 months, tips are helpful!  Patience is a requirement.

When we are back to times when new graduates had jobs before graduation, that changes the dialogue.  I hope we'll be back to that hiring situation again soon!


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