November 17, 2023
Strategizing Your Next Career Move
December 28, 2021
At the beginning of each new year, there’s a collective sense of possibility. We take stock of our lives, think about the future, and make resolutions. Those resolutions are often about bettering ourselves – working out more, eating healthier. But sometimes resolutions are about bettering ourselves professionally. January is a great time to reflect on your PA practice, spend some time updating your professional documents, and strategizing your next career move.
Wherever you are in your career, you already have an idea of what you’re looking for. Maybe you’ve just graduated, and you’re open to any full-time position. That’s a goal. Maybe you’re a seasoned PA looking for a leadership role. When you spend a few minutes clearly defining your job search goal, you’ll cut down on time when it comes to sifting through job listings.
How can you apply for a job if your resume is out of date?! You can’t. And while many people feel overwhelmed updating their resumes, try viewing it as an opportunity. Your resume is a chance to brag – you’re a highly educated, dedicated healthcare provider. Make sure future employers know everything you’ve accomplished. (And don’t forget to proofread!) If you’d like an expert to review, reach out to the PA Career Coach, who, in addition to resume review, offers additional support with interviews and negotiation.
PA Portfolio is an online storage and sharing tool that allows you to create an inventory of essential PA career documents that can be accessed anywhere, and shared with anyone you choose. It is a helpful tool during the job search process; you’ll be able to send any requested documents securely with individual links. By having all of your documents in one accessible location, you’ll be able to quickly respond to requests for information and move quickly along the hiring process.
Sometimes your perfect position is only a conversation away. Once your materials are updated and you know what job you’re looking for, start talking to friends, mentors, and colleagues. Be forthcoming on what type of position you’re looking for and be open to meeting with people. And don’t forget digital networking – AAPA’s Huddle is an online community where you can share ideas and discuss your career. The Directory feature allows you to search for other PAs or PA students by location, specialty, PA program, and more. If you’re looking for a one-on-one connection, check out Mentor Match, a career development tool where you can enroll as either a mentor or a mentee.
In addition to networking, you’ll need to search out job openings on your own. Even though applying online might feel like you’re adding another needle to a rapidly growing haystack, your stellar resume and career experience will make you stand out. And familiarizing yourself with the types of positions that are being advertised will only benefit you. It might help you remember to include relevant experience on your resume, and narrow down the types of position you’re looking for. AAPA’s PA JobSource is the place to go when you’re ready to land your next PA job. You can search thousands of job listings, apply online, and set up personalized job alerts.
Your resume or your networking contact has gotten you in the door – now you need to nail the interview. No matter how comfortable you are talking in front of people, it’s a great idea to spend a few hours practicing your responses to potential interview questions. You’ll work out the points you want to make and specific phrases you’d like to use. You’ll also be able to deliver your answers more smoothly, since you’ve already come up with the answers. This isn’t to say you won’t get a surprise interview question, but you won’t be stumbling over the easy ones.
AAPA’s Career Central offers many helpful products for job-searching PAs. In addition to PA Portfolio and PA JobSource, AAPA members can access the 2021 Salary Report, which will help you negotiate better contracts, keep pace with your peers, and get an edge when it counts. You’ll also be able to access trusted tools to protect your career and enhance your clinical practice.
2022 is here. Your career possibilities are endless.
This article was originally published in January 2019.