If you’re considering a location change for your next nurse practitioner job, you’ve got a lot more to consider in your interview process than just the job and workplace itself. Relocating means evaluating a potential new living situation and the practicality and personal fit of the geographic area. You might have the job of your dreams, but if you’re socially isolated or otherwise not a fit for the community in which you live, life can take a miserable turn for the worse. So, how do you assess potential nurse practitioner job opportunities away from home?
In the vast majority of cases, prospective employers give nurse practitioners the chance to interview in-person for job opportunities if they’re a top candidate. Maximizing your time on such on-site interview trips increases the likelihood that you’ll make the right decision when it comes to your next career move. So, before your spend all of your time outside of the interview on recreation, consider evaluating these aspects of your next employment location.
1. Check out local living options
I talk to a number of nurse practitioners who find and accept jobs, only to be faced with high anxiety when it comes to their actual move given local living options. In some cases, local housing is too expensive to be feasible on an NP budget. In other cases, a rural geographic location simply means there aren’t many local housing options whatsoever. Check out the local rental and real estate markets when you’re in the area for an interview to see what your housing situation might realistically look like should you accept the position.
2. Evaluate your potential commute
A lengthy commute can be a drag and in many geographic locations it’s a reality. Even if your job interview isn’t during rush-hour, drive the route(s) you anticipate being close to your typical commute should you accept the job. This will give you an idea of what your day-to-day life will be like should you move forward with relocating and also shed some more light on the best housing location options. In some cities you may even decide that the potential commute is hairy enough that you want to forgo a potential nurse practitioner position.
3. Loop-in family and/or significant others
If you’ll be relocating with family members or a significant other, it’s a good idea to bring these individuals along on your trip so they can also survey the area. While you shouldn’t expect that significant others or family members will be included in the interview process, your family and/or sig-o will have a major impact on your happiness in a new location and therefore, even if indirectly, on your work experience. These people also know you best and can help you honestly decide if a location and job opportunity are a good fit for your personal and career goals.
4. Assess the social and recreational scene
Alright, so you do have an excuse to go out for a bite to eat. Check out local recreational activities and attractions when you’re in the area for a job interview. Recreation and downtime is an important part of life and significantly contributes to your happiness in a given location. What will you do on the weekends in this new location? Does the location lend itself to your favorite hobbies and interests or at least some you think you might be interested in? Is the community too rural or too urban for your comfort? Decide if the local social and recreational options fit your preferred lifestyle. You might consider asking your interviewer for a few tips on where to get started in assessing these options.
5. Live a day-in-the-life
Job shadowing can also be a great way to decide if a nurse practitioner position is right for you. If you’re early in the interview process, it may not be appropriate to ask to job shadow another provider in a position similar to the one you’ll be taking. But, if you’re late in the process or have received a job offer, this can be a good way to meet potential colleagues and get a feel for the expectations of the job you’re accepting. What does the company culture look like? How busy is the practice? How smoothly do things seem to run? What is the patient population like? I suggest job shadowing for a few hours rather than a full day as it can be cumbersome for someone to show you around for 8+ hours and you can typically get a feel for the pulse of the practice in a shorter length of time.
Don’t let your on-site interview experience go to waste. If you’re considering making a move for a job, use the time outside of your interview to see if the position and location as a whole are really a good fit.
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