One of the most frustrating parts of a nurse practitioner job search is hearing the word ‘No’. Personally, you know you can get the job done. While you may not have the experience required for an advertised opportunity, you have no doubt in your ability to get up to speed quickly. Despite your attempts, your fail to convince your interviewer of the same. Rejection in your nurse practitioner job search can quickly lead to dejection, a sure sign you won’t perform at your best in future interview attempts. How do you deal with job search rejection?
Rejection is a 100 percent expected part of any job search. Even the smartest, most qualified, best interviewing candidates hear ‘no’ from time to time. Personalities, timing, and experience all come into play in the job search. Often these components don’t line up exactly in your favor. That’s OK. Lifting your head up in the face of frustration is key to overcoming job search struggles. Here’s how to keep your spirits high and maximize your chances of landing your next nurse practitioner job.
Vent and get over it
Avoid taking job search rejection personally. Frustration and anger are totally justified feelings in response to rejection. Don’t let these feelings build, however, to the point that you carry a chip on your shoulder. Resentment and anger will undoubtedly get in the way of crushing your next interview. Buck up. Resilience is key to overcoming this challenge.
Whether you’re facing a few months without an income, or sticking things out in a less than ideal employment situation, the temptation is to fast track your job search. Many employers, however, work at a glacial pace. Often, employers don’t give a firm ‘no’, but rather a ‘wait’. Staffing needs change. Other interviewees decline offers. As a nurse practitioner, I have seen seemingly hopeless job searches turn around without explanation. Wait.
Your ideal nurse practitioner job may include never working a weekend shift or pulling an overnighter. It may involve working in a highly specialized setting or treating a specific patient population. Whatever your dreams, keep an open mind. Your ideal job may not be out there right now, or you may not be qualified for the position just yet. If you are rejected from the jobs that interest you most, consider other options. Going with plan B does not equal failure. You never know, this unexpected step in your career path may turn out to be a positive one.
Get the word out
Network, network, network. The easiest way to land your next nurse practitioner position is through a personal connection. A personal connection with the facility or individual with whom you are interviewing vouches for you, and makes the door slamming in your face a much slimmer possibility.
Ask for feedback
There’s nothing wrong with asking for feedback after a ‘no’. Constructive criticism can be tough to hear, but doing so will help you modify your job search approach moving forward. Feedback can also be reaffirming. You may learn, for example, that someone much more experienced than yourself was offered the position, and that there was nothing inherently wrong with your interview and application.
Maintain an objective view
Hearing ‘no’ seems personal. Remember to keep an objective view. Think from the interviewer’s standpoint. Would you have hired a nurse practitioner with your level of experience among more qualified applicants? Would you have taken on the risk and expense of an applicant relocating for a position, or gone with the safer, more affordable local applicant? No’s in regards to nurse practitioner employment are often based on factors other than personality, skill, and interview performance. A choice for someone else isn’t necessarily a choice against you.
Practice your approach
Practicing for job interviews is totally awkward, but it works. Seat yourself in front of the mirror. Practice sitting and speaking with confidence. Rehearse responses to questions you anticipate. Craft your responses to focus on your strengths. Pay attention to your posture. Ask a friend to help you out, acting as your interviewer. The pain of practicing will be quickly worth it when you receive an offer.
Landing a job as a nurse practitioner, particularly in competitive job markets, can be a lengthy process. Balance patience with persistence. Follow up with employers who have told you ‘no’ a few months after receiving the rejection. Have their staffing needs changed? Organized and considerate follow up keeps your name in the game despite an initial rejection.
How have you dealt with rejection in your nurse practitioner job search?
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