Okay, I admit it isn't my "first" actual job, but I am still considering this as my first job. After a year and 6 months I finally have the job I have been looking for
. My start date is July 15th and l already feel really good about this.
I graduated December 2011, took boards in January 2012 and in April of 2012 I got my first nursing job. I was doing something I would only touch with a ten foot pole, pediatrics
. It's not that I don't like kids or anything, its sick kids that kind of freak me out and I get really sad when they are so sick. I did appreciate the experience I gained, I was sort of a float nurse too so I had a little bit of everything. Literally.....peds, newborn nursery, NICU, postpartum, med-surg, ICU. Jane of all trades. I enjoyed newborn nursery most of all and found the other departments rewarding in their own ways. It looks good on my resume too, it shows my flexibility. The actual hospital was a flop though, I had to get out of there. I was very afraid for my license that I worked so hard to get. So my stint there was very short, 8 months.
In May of 2013, I got another job through an agency working in a clinic/ambulatory care setting. I was surprised because I only have 8 months of experience and agencies and hospitals usually require a years worth of experience. I enjoy working there, it is a different pace to being on the floor but it isn't for me. Too repetitive and I feel as though my skills are dwindling away. Although my critical thinking skills are being refined, I am thankful for that.
But before I get ahead of myself, let me explain my journey to my "dream job". I moved from a different state back to my hometown in NY. So I felt like the new girl on the block. From December of 2012 till May of 2013, I applied to every position posted I was qualified for in every hospital in NY. I researched every job fair that had hospitals in attendance and went to them. I also signed up on job search sites like Indeed and Monster to get up to date postings from hospitals without visiting multiple sites each day. I must have applied to over 30 or more positions.
In February of 2013, I got my first interview call. It was interesting because the same day the job was posted was the same day I applied online. The very next day I got a call and 2 days later I went in for the interview. That day it was snowing SO much in NY, OMG. The interview went well, I interviewed with HR and then the nursing manager. I won't get into the details of things and besides it's a long story, but somehow that opportunity fell through even though the manager liked me and wanted me. Oh well
My second job interview was a 1 in a 100 type of opportunity. I planned to go to a job fair and I was feeling very discouraged this particular day, both by the lack of progression of the job search and personal issues. But with both my mother and one of my friends asking me if I was going to the job fair, I decided to drag myself off my bed and drive to the job fair. When I got there, I was surprised to not see a lot people and not many exhibitors either. But I walked around and placed a smile on my face and stopped at the first booth, not expecting much really.
I handed my resume to the nurse recruiter, smiled and first thing I said was "well I only
have 8 months of experience". And the recruiter said, "don't say it like that-8 months is experience nonetheless". That made me feel so much better compared to other recruiters who see my 8 months of experience, smile, say "thanks' and pushes my resume to the side
The nurse recruiter saw on my resume that I did my capstone on a PCU-progressive care unit and asked if I wanted to do telemetry. And I said with the biggest smile, YES! She said she has some open positions in telemetry and she thinks I would be a great fit. Then she said well I have your information and when I get back to the office we will call you to set up an interview for this week. At first, it was like my brain didn't register what she said or I couldn't believe my ears, but I was like "okay!!". When I got back home, I got a phone call and an interview was set up for two days later. I went to the job interview, first I spoke to the nurse recruiter who prepared me for the interview with the nursing manager. Then I had to wait an hour to speak to the nursing manager on the floor. In that time, I practiced what I wanted to say to her and how to sell myself to get the position. Long story short the interview went well (even though it didn't feel like it), the unit is amazing and it is exactly where I wanted to be. But at the same time I wasn't going to hold my breath because of what happened with the last job opportunity. I emailed a thank you letter to both the nurse recruiter and the nursing manager the same evening after the interview. I think it was a day later and the nurse recruiter called me to tell me that the nurse manger liked me and would like to hire me
. (I am thinking it was the thank you letter that helped
The nurse recruiter was so amazing. Communication was top notch and she worked so hard for me to get this position. I called her all the time
and each time, she picked up the phone and we spoke. The hiring process did go a lot slower than necessary because my references just took forever to get back to her
. Thankfully, I was able to use my current job as a reference and finally a whole month after the interview, I was offered the job.
So after 8 months of applying to multiple jobs and being proactive, I finally got what I was looking for. This job may not be "perfect", considering benefits, salary, I have to wear white shoes (I really wanted to wear black patent leather Dansko
) and the shift (I wanted nights-but they only had days), I am still so thankful and it is a wonderful start to my career. It is my definition of perfect.
Even though my career started last year , I feel like it has literally started now because I will be doing exactly what I want to do allow to take my career to the next level.
It is going to be hard work, telemetry floors are not easy but I am ready to get in there and learn!
I started out with zero, now I have two jobs. A full time and a PRN.
To everyone out there, you are not alone. The struggle is real. Yes it feels like you are just sending your resumes into the dark oblivion
but don't give up and stay strong. Go to every job fair and open house your able to go to. Take whatever comes your way (unless you feel it is unsafe-be smart about it). Be proactive and if you have a lead, hold on to it like your life depended on it. Be annoying, yeah you may drive the recruiter crazy but this is your career and you have to make sure things are getting done. You will get what you have been looking for, even if it is your first-er I mean third job