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Hey all, 

I’m a new grad PA (graduated in June) feeling really discouraged with the job market right now. I took a per diem job with an occupational med company because it was the only place that was interested in me and I’ve been working with them for the last 4 months. I have been applying to ERs and UCs with not much luck. Last week had an interview with an ER that said they’re new grad friendly. This week I was contacted asking for references and then the same day they asked for references I got an email from the lead ER PA telling me that they decided not to move forward with my application. 
 

I’m frustrated and upset about how the job search has been going. Not sure what the best approach to finding meaningful work is during a time like this. I guess I’m just on here looking for some words of advice on job hunting or similar stories so I know I’m not alone. 

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13 hours ago, rubytuesdai said:

Hey all, 

I’m a new grad PA (graduated in June) feeling really discouraged with the job market right now. I took a per diem job with an occupational med company because it was the only place that was interested in me and I’ve been working with them for the last 4 months. I have been applying to ERs and UCs with not much luck. Last week had an interview with an ER that said they’re new grad friendly. This week I was contacted asking for references and then the same day they asked for references I got an email from the lead ER PA telling me that they decided not to move forward with my application. 
 

I’m frustrated and upset about how the job search has been going. Not sure what the best approach to finding meaningful work is during a time like this. I guess I’m just on here looking for some words of advice on job hunting or similar stories so I know I’m not alone. 

 

 

Yours is a too familiar story.  My advice is to find an old PA and read him/her the riot act for pissing away chance after chance we as a profession have had to move into the 21st century, yet old ass "back in my day!" PA's in leadership would have nothing of it.  They have destroyed the job market by refusing to break away from the ridiculous "Assistant" or "Associate" name for the last 20 years, all the while NP's have lapped us 2x over laughing each time they went by.  In my entire 50 year life I have never seen a profession as committed to so much self harm to itself as PA's.

I know this is not what you wanted to hear, but it's the truth.  The next time you meet a 20 year + PA who refuses to change our name and move us forward legislatively, tell them to stick it....

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To be frank, you have to be willing to move across states and the country. 

Took me over 6 months to find a job and I ended up moving 2000 miles from home. That was in 2019, and it was bad then. I actually feel lucky now looking back to then compared to now. I still have colleagues that have yet to find a job, had a job, lost it, working as waiters/for the post, you name it. Nearly 2 years later. You’re not alone, most people are just too embarrassed to speak up or talk about it. Keep hunting and you’ll eventually land in the right spot. I know it’s tough because nobody/family really understands, they just think “aren’t there just tons of jobs for you guys?” Keep your head up, don’t take no for an answer. Ignore the noise. 

 

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I was speaking to a grad from a new program in SW Ohio.  He said only about 20% of his class which graduated this summer have found jobs.  I was able to point him in the direction of some PRN work at a UC I've been doing some PRN coverage.  The good news is that he's going to replace me.  The bad news - it's the only work he's been able to get.

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Folks!  Jobs don't grow on trees, and good jobs don't ever show up in the news sites.

- Social network IRL. This is the biggest one. I've posted on this before, and will again if anyone really needs me talking like a broken record.

- Get all your "merit badges" done before you are told you need to get them

- Invest in a skill no one else in your experience tier has.

- Capitalize on your distinctive pre-PA experience, if any.

- Never stop learning, never stop growing.  Get all the CME you can while job-hunting.

And no, don't berate older PAs.  Far better to ask them nicely to be a mentor.

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I have 18 years experience and recently applied to a handful of positions.  Most of my experience is in a specialty, and I applied for other positions not in the area I have the most experience, but did not get even one email or phone call.  I could not believe how many of the positions advertised for NP and did not even have PA in the advertisement.  I still think that I could find something in my specialty at some point, but it is not one that is hiring right now due to COVID decreasing patient visits and procedures.  

I also recently saw an add for a temp position doing COVID swabbing for 40 dollars an hour.  Wow....I haven't made 40 dollars an hour in more than a decade, probably closer to 15 years.  I know it is easy work, but it is also risky.  Shows the state of affairs of our profession.  

My husband will collect a military retirement in 6 years and we will be done working at that point in my late 40s.  I am just trying to hold on for these last years.  

Try not to get disheartened.  I agree with the above, just keep putting yourself out there, I think in the next 6 months things will improve.  Unfortunately I would not recommend anyone get into this profession, too much competition from NPs and we are too tethered to Physicians to have any sort of professional autonomy.   

Best of luck to you, you certainly are not alone.

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@rubytuesdai  You're not alone.  I graduated this summer too and have yet to find a PA job.  I've applied to a ton of positions in the nearby city, passed out resumes in person to medical offices in my more rural county, and applied to an out-of-state residency, all with no success.  In the meantime I started substitute teaching, which lasted a month until schools in my area went back to online instruction and didn't need subs anymore, and I just started working a seasonal job with a shipping company to help ends meet.  School loans are coming due soon--I guess I'll see if I can defer for a while longer.  Yeah, it can be discouraging, but let's keep up hope and not forget why we entered this field in the first place.

I haven't been looking too far out of my area, but you all are convincing me that I should.  I've toyed with the idea of working with the Indian Health Service.  Maybe I'll give that a shot.

 

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12 minutes ago, Aunt Val said:

  I've toyed with the idea of working with the Indian Health Service.  Maybe I'll give that a shot.

 

IHS is a great job, as are the vast majority of other positions through the public health service. If you are under 45, this is a great option. 

Military is an option as well. State and Federal prisons are generally always hiring as well. 

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On 12/5/2020 at 4:36 PM, Aunt Val said:

@rubytuesdai  You're not alone.  I graduated this summer too and have yet to find a PA job.  I've applied to a ton of positions in the nearby city, passed out resumes in person to medical offices in my more rural county, and applied to an out-of-state residency, all with no success.  In the meantime I started substitute teaching, which lasted a month until schools in my area went back to online instruction and didn't need subs anymore, and I just started working a seasonal job with a shipping company to help ends meet.  School loans are coming due soon--I guess I'll see if I can defer for a while longer.  Yeah, it can be discouraging, but let's keep up hope and not forget why we entered this field in the first place.

I haven't been looking too far out of my area, but you all are convincing me that I should.  I've toyed with the idea of working with the Indian Health Service.  Maybe I'll give that a shot.

 

Good gawd what a nightmare, yet the old guard still thinks everything is juuuuuuust fine.  Annoying as heck.

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Positions for speciality PAs continue to grow in many areas (Surgery, critical care), Primary care positions continue to shrink as NPs dominate the outpatient arena (agree w above).

In addition to above NETWORKING is key: 

1. Work w your state and speciality organization, volunteer for a committee, etc 

2. Volunteer w a local PA program to teach or help w physical exam.

This will get your name out there, build your resume, and possibly get you that position.  Lastly, consider a residency! 

 

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On 12/7/2020 at 5:58 PM, Cideous said:

Good gawd what a nightmare, yet the old guard still thinks everything is juuuuuuust fine.  Annoying as heck.

Hey! I recall when there were less than 40 PA Schools in this country AND jobs were scarce, the pay was low and professional status and respect difficult to gain as "new kid on the block", no licenses, prescriptive authority heck we weren't even credentialed in most jobs. I had to move across the country to find an ER job. So don't throw that "Old Guard" stool around as I was there when we PAs had to fight to get through the doors!!!

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At what point does ANY of this actually cross the desk of state and national leadership?

How many PA's have to be unemployed with little chance of initial or re-employment before we as a profession begin to realize we are NOT ok?  20%?   50%?   75%?

What will it take for PA's in every state, lead by AAPA, to form a MOONSHOT response?  

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This isn't exactly what I want to be reading while in PA school. However, I often peruse indeed and other job websites and constantly see new posts for PA employment. I am considered by many to live in a "PA saturated state" yet the job postings keep coming everyday. 

Like others have said I haven't seen many for primary care etc. Most of the postings are for critical care, surgery, etc. 

The one clause that concerns me is that the majority of them are asking for >1 year experience.

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1 hour ago, Cideous said:

At what point does ANY of this actually cross the desk of state and national leadership?

How many PA's have to be unemployed with little chance of initial or re-employment before we as a profession begin to realize we are NOT ok?  20%?   50%?   75%?

What will it take for PA's in every state, lead by AAPA, to form a MOONSHOT response?  

Do you have some stats showing widespread unemployment for PAs that I've not seen? The anecdotes of a few on here shouldn't lead you to believe that our profession is in a death spiral.

The individuals that post on here who are utterly unable to find employment seem to be constrained by either location, specialty, or most likely something we don't know about them.

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6 hours ago, MediMike said:

Do you have some stats showing widespread unemployment for PAs that I've not seen? The anecdotes of a few on here shouldn't lead you to believe that our profession is in a death spiral.

The individuals that post on here who are utterly unable to find employment seem to be constrained by either location, specialty, or most likely something we don't know about them.

I would love to see these stats also. Sure it’s anecdotal from what we’ve seen on the forum. But I’ve also experienced it first hand without the constraints you mentioned. And I’ve seen entire classes of PA classes, including my own, with only 25-50% employment within 6 months to a year. 
 

There will never be stats about this published though. Doesn’t help anyone, especially AAPA.

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I will be hiring again soon

 

Motivated new grads encouraged the apply. 
Adult primary, DOT/CDL, office based urgent care (no suture or procedures) 

 

this is in Western Massachusetts.  
 

yup job markets stunk right now.  But their are jobs our there.  

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