The most crushing thing about failing to get your dream job, after a spell trawling the healthcare jobs boards, sending applications, and attending interviews, is that, for most candidates in healthcare, the job will likely be one that has been aimed at for a very long time. Becoming a physician, for example, involves several years of med school followed by a practical placement and finally acceptance in a role. Specialization occurs fairly early on in this process, and you thereafter work towards it. This means all the way through your education and training to become a physician, you are likely working with a single role in mind. To get to the end and find it is not available can be a real blow.
Health Jobs, an online healthcare jobs recruitment service offering physician jobs among others, say that while the current Jobseekers market puts candidates in a pretty strong position to get an available vacancy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the vacancy each candidate wants is necessarily available. Moreover, even if it is available, it could be precluded on account of the distance needed to travel, the pay, relocation, or the cost of living wherever that job is situated. Sometimes, the dream job just isn’t there.
So, what should you do if you find yourself in this position? The first thing to remember is that it might be available one day – or perhaps even soon – so biding your time can be an option. Beyond that though, there are still plenty of strategies to turn to.
Change Your Focus
And this does not necessarily mean another job or role. This focus shift can involve more careful and long-term planning. Given how demanding healthcare jobs are and how long you will spend doing them, it’s always worth considering the lay of the land in five or even ten years’ time. With this zoomed-out perspective, you might be able to determine other roles you suddenly notice are stepping stones to where you want to go.
Take one of these positions for now, and you will not just be killing time until your dream job appears, but you will also be building up vital experience and training. By the time your dream job does come around, you might well be in a much stronger position to get it than you would have been fresh out of med school.
Consider If It Was Really for You
This might sound like an exercise in loser’s consolation – and to an extent it is. Nevertheless, it is also worth considering the quite common phenomenon of healthcare workers becoming dissatisfied with a job after they have worked in it for some time. There’s no doubt that job dissatisfaction is a major problem in U.S. healthcare today, and what do you really know about a job after a chat, a tour, and a weekend on placement? The daily grind is sure to be plenty different from that.
And we mean geographically elsewhere. The same job – or a very close equivalent – might well be available in a location you had previously ruled out. Just as you don’t know much about a job until you work it, you don’t know much about a place until you go there and stay there for a spell. So, you might take an equivalent to your dream job in a place where you didn’t initially want to go, and you might be very pleasantly surprised when you go there.
Just remember this above all – you should never be so sure that your dream job is definitely your dream job, or that there aren’t highly satisfactory alternatives available.