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Not so new grad, still unemployed


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I graduated from PA school in August '13 and passed the board exam back in September.  I didn't take job hunting too seriously early on because I really just wanted a break after PA school.  But now that it's almost February, I'm starting to get very concerned.  I'm now applying to pretty much everything I can in my area and I've gotten several interviews over the past few months but have still not found a job.  I'm afraid that if I don't find something VERY soon, no one will ever give me a chance since I've been unemployed and out of school for so long now.  Any advice?  It would be much appreciated!

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I've been applying fo ER, primary care, ortho, and pretty much whatever comes my way at this point. I live in the dc area and I was trying to stay local but now I'm thinking I may need to consider moving. The only lead I have now is a pain management job which I would have to relocate for and honestly I have no interest in. When I go on interviews, this gap in employment that I've had since I graduated seems to be an issue. unfortunately I did not come from a strong medical background before PA school.

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 I live in the dc area and I was trying to stay local but now I'm thinking I may need to consider moving

 

 

Might be the key to your success if you're having trouble in your area.  Lots of people aren't willing to move, so this can give you a advantage for certain jobs, I would think.  There are so many jobs out there, I feel confident that if you expand your search you will have more luck.  Wishing you the best!

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I was trying to think of something I could do in the meantime that would look good to potential employers when they ask what I've been doing for the past several months.  I'm considering getting an ultrasound certification or something along those lines.  It could be useful in the future anyway.  What do you guys think?

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I was trying to think of something I could do in the meantime that would look good to potential employers when they ask what I've been doing for the past several months.  I'm considering getting an ultrasound certification or something along those lines.  It could be useful in the future anyway.  What do you guys think?

 

You will end up with an even bigger employment gap as a PA.  You should consider widening your search to other locales.

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You couldn't land not even a primary care position? Not even through NHSC? You do not sound hungry & aggressive in your search. You should expand your search. For the mean time, volunteer at free clinic or start one yourself. A Postgraduate PA residency training is an option.

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I have to agree with KMD, you don't seem as "aggressive" as I was when I graduated PA school in 2011. I ended up taking a job that was listed for an NP position but found out that the small town really just needed another provider. I had to move about 3 hours away as well. You really need to expand your search area and I would focus on underserved areas such as rural communities or inner city areas. There is ALWAYS a place for you in primary care but you may have to move to start working.

 

One more thing, start reviewing your medicine (if you have not already been doing so). The knowledge that you have quickly dissipates if you don't put it into practice. Good luck on your search. You will be working in now time!

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I graduated in August, took the boards in December, and started working in March of the next year. No one asked me about my "gap". I said I was studying for the boards and took some time off to spend with my family after I was done with school. I did have to move 440 miles away for my first job but I was glad to do it, and I"m still living in the same city after 12+ years.

My advice: pick some cities that you think you could live in, apply for every job you can find in those cities even the ones who are looking for an NP, sign up with a recruiter or placement service (travel assignments often turn into permanent jobs!), call all of your calssmates and ask for leads, ask your school for help, join LinkedIn if you haven't already, post your resume online via a job site, join the state PA organizations (they often have job leads that aren't posted elsewhere), spiff up your resume, and in the meantime, practice your interview answers and technique. Good luck!

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  I didn't take job hunting too seriously early on because I really just wanted a break after PA school.

 

 

The only lead I have now is a pain management job which I would have to relocate for and honestly I have no interest in.

 

 

Are you sure it's only the gap in employment thats holding you back at interviews? 

 

I'm not meaning to be rude, I'm sure you are motivated enough to be a sucessful PA...but based on some of the information I'm seeing...

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I graduated from PA school in August '13 and passed the board exam back in September.  I didn't take job hunting too seriously early on because I really just wanted a break after PA school.  But now that it's almost February, I'm starting to get very concerned.  I'm now applying to pretty much everything I can in my area and I've gotten several interviews over the past few months but have still not found a job.  I'm afraid that if I don't find something VERY soon, no one will ever give me a chance since I've been unemployed and out of school for so long now.  Any advice?  It would be much appreciated!

I only share this as a word of encouragement.  I've shared this story before and I realize that what I'm about to share was at a different time but here goes.  When we graduated in 1981, the PA laws in Kentucky were terrible. I actually had a job lined up.  However, (long story) when I got delayed in Pakistan after a military coup and I couldn't get a flight out of the country, my employer called my apartment and my roommate told them that they didn't know if I was ever coming home. They gave the job to someone else.  I was only two weeks late in getting home.

 

After that point, I did not work as a PA for 9 months.  I approached about 125 practices and had two interviews.  However, in my class of 15, I only knew of two PAs who did have a job at the 9 month mark.  I was as depressed as hell and extremely poor (one step away from being homeless).  I was working part time at Sears.  One of my classmates committed suicide during this time.  However, it did work out and I have had mostly great  jobs for the last 31 years.  So hard times do come, but then they pass.  Keep your mind open to moving. That is what broke the ice jam for me, moving out of state.

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I'd say go for locum or agencies. I still get daily emails from head hunters. My school also sends job listings to all its grads. Maybe contact your faculty members, or as someone else mentioned, every preceptor you had. Send Facebook messages to anybody you're friends with who works in medicine, even if not as a PA.

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I also graduated in August '13, took my board exam in Sept and began working in October.  I think it's all in what you're willing to sacrifice for that first job.  I've been commuting 3 hours a day and am leaving that first job after this month for closer jobs that I picked up as per diem/part time that are increasing my hours (leaving on good terms and made sure they were able to find someone to fill my position).  The main thing that I think is important is to remember that your first job may not always be your ideal job and that's okay.  You just need to get your feet wet and who knows what doors it'll open up later on. :)  I'm currently juggling 3 jobs this month, but I'll be down to 2 next month.  I am a strong believer in hard work + sacrifice leading to something good (which, not surprisingly, was my story during PA school).  Good luck! :)

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As hard as it it's to get into PA school and as hard as it is to complete school and get certified, it sucks to think you may not even be able to find a job. On the other hand, I would bet some areas like the DC metro area have a surplus of job seekers and I know there are many parts of the country where there are a surplus of jobs. Go where the jobs are.

 

Sent from my Kindle Fire HDX using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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