Prepping for the Future – A Timeline for Residents

Knowing what needs to be done to prepare for the job market and when each task should be completed can become overwhelming. For some residents, this is part of what keeps them pushing the process further away. With long, rigorous clinical hours, it is easy to lose sight of how quickly the end of training is approaching but allowing the job hunt to go sight unseen will only make the process more difficult.

Our timeline will not only give you an idea of where to start, but help guide you through the job search process. Knowing what to do and when will ease much of the unwanted stress as you get ready for life after residency.


Explore Locations and the Different Types of Jobs

Choosing a few places you want to live is one of the easiest ways to start your search. It is also important to know what type of job you are looking for – independent contractor vs. employee. Start by doing a little bit of research on the different types. (Wrap this up by September)

Write Your CV and Set Goals and Priorities

Your CV is one of the first things a potential employer will see from you, so make sure all of the information is accurate and informative. It should paint a clear picture of your education and experience up to this point. This is also a great time to define your goals and set priorities for your future job. Write down what is important to you and identify what you are looking for in a practice environment. (Ongoing)

Write a Cover Letter and Start Sending Applications

Writing your cover letter is a completely different process than your CV. Once you know where you are applying, customize the letter appropriately and send with your CV and application. Your cover letter should be tailored to the position you are applying for so you might have more than one version. (Wrap this up by September)


Prepare For and Start Interviews

Preparing for your interview is extremely important. If you have a bunch of opportunities, go back and look at the list of goals and priorities you defined, locations and the type of job and narrow down your interviews to those that fit within the parameters you have set. Preparing to answer questions should not be your primary focus. Be sure you are asking all of the right questions for your personal goals. Use our guide found in the Beyond the Salary blog post as a resource. Multiple stages of interviews will be held, but with each stage remember to be confident in yourself and your abilities. (Wrap this up by November)


Get References

References are a great way for your potential employer to find out more about you through the eyes of another professional. Ask two to four physicians who know you professionally and personally for their permission to be used as a reference. (Ongoing)

Compare Your Offers, Then Accept The Best Position for You

Now that you have completed your interviews and offers are starting to roll in, compare each of the offers before making a decision. In doing so, you may find you have additional questions and this is the perfect time to ask. (You should make a final decision by December.)

Negotiate Your Contract

Congratulations on accepting an offer! Before you can jump into work, you have a few more things to do and negotiating your contract is a big one. While yes, you can get an idea of what the contract says and any limitations, it is best to have an attorney review it. (Wrap this up by December)


Finalize Your Employment

Finalizing your employment can take a good bit of time. You will need to complete all of the necessary paperwork, start the licensing and credentialing processes, get insurance obligations in order and more. In some states, acquiring a license can take at least six months, so prepare for the situation ahead of time. (This should be completed by March.)

The job hunting process is long and demanding, but don’t lose sight on the end result. It will all be worth it in the end. Download the full version of Prepping for the Future – A Timeline for Residents to get even more information about the process.
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