My “Ah-ha” Moment
Before moving to the big city, I’d worked for several months at a rural hospital where, when it came to getting a job, you took what you could get. While nurses are in high demand in many places in the country, my home town was flush with new grads thanks to the excellent nursing school which was stationed there. While working at this hospital I learned a lot about the things I like about nursing-and the things that I didn’t. So, when I left that job to move on to something new, I was full of thoughts and ideas about what made a job right for me.
I moved, jobless, to a new, urban, expansive city and was terrified of job hunting. In a city with so many people, how could there possibly be a job for me? At dinner, a professional friend recommended I contact a recruiter and, with a little research, I found that health care recruiters were plentiful and, rather than scramble to land an interview with them, they were eager to meet with me!
Expecting a high-stakes interview, I showed up to the meeting dressed in my very best, practiced interview questions the night before, and spent a few hours brushing up on my nursing knowledge. While I know this made an excellent impression on the recruiting agency, I realized that this meeting was less of a critical assessment of me and more of a counseling session. My recruiter asked me about my strengths, the areas of nursing that I was most interested in, and what skills I felt like I needed to work on. They helped me get together my paperwork, make an appointment for a physical exam, and checked up on me at least once or twice a week.
It quickly became clear that the nurse recruiter wasn’t there to judge me, but to find the best fit for my skills. This was that “Ah-ha” moment when I realized that interviews aren’t just for the employer but for the potential employee too! Rather than feel the need to brush over or keep quiet about my perceived problems – hating nightshift and wanting to avoid oncology for example, the nurse recruiters encouraged me to be honest about where I stood as a nurse. It’s such a freeing feeling to work with a professional who is actively helpful in finding you a career.
So far, my recruiter has assigned me to several jobs, and I’ve had nothing but great experiences. Working as a nurse with the help of a recruiter has given me even more insight into the things I love about nursing. I’ve learned I can get the experience in the nursing fields I love, like maternal-infant health.
I’ve learned that I don’t have to settle for a job that I dislike and that I can make money while I’m learning. I’m still working with my recruiter, mostly because I’m still trying to decide what I want out of my career, they’re also helping me find a placement that will hire me as a permanent employee.