As medical practices are struggling to find ways to operate in the midst of a pandemic, you may question if it’s appropriate to continue your job search in these uncertain times. I think it’s even more important to continue taking steps toward fulfilling your career goals. Patient demand for Integrative and Functional Medicine will increase as a result of COVID-19. Here are my tips on how to prepare your career to meet the upcoming demand for this field.
1. Keep Learning
Keep up with your online programs, podcasts and reading. The majority of conferences in the field are virtual now. If you’re pursuing a certification program, keep that momentum going for a couple of important reasons:
- With that education you’ll present as a better candidate.
- You’ll definitely be a better prepared clinician.
And for your own mental and physical health, it’s of great benefit to keep your mind occupied with growth and enrichment topics. Think about what fills you up more – binging Netflix or studying cutting-edge medicine that will actually support patients through this crisis? That same education will benefit you and your loved ones’ health too. Continuing to pursue your purposed-filled life will help you to move through this experience with ease. We need more practitioners who are equipped to help us through this. Stay on track with your education in the field.
2. Polish up your CV
This is a good time for everyone to update and proofread their CV. Ensure you’ve included recently completed courses. Give some thought as to how you brought your education into practice and include those examples in your CV. Ask a peer to review your CV for typos, grammatical errors, and a clean, easy to read format. We’ve shared articles and eCourses that will help you.
3. Employer Networking
You want to be sensitive about how you approach employers in our field who haven’t advertised they’re hiring. Many private medical practices are pivoting to Telemedicine and figuring out their new normal. If you’ve read any of my articles you know I’m not a fan of blasting out cookie cutter communications. But, if there’s an employer you have identified that is a perfect match and there’s a compelling reason to reach out now, do so. Ensure you have a targeted communication that acknowledges these unprecedented times, expresses empathy for how their practice may be impacted, and close with why you think it would be a valuable connection for both of you to make now. Give thought to your approach and how you’ll position your communication so it fosters connection and keeps you on their radar.
4. Community Building
Now is the time to build your Integrative and Functional Medicine community. Many of us feel isolated. I’m seeing an increasing number of clinicians who are interested in the field. Practitioners have seen first-hand how our healthcare system failed them. In addition, furloughed employees and practitioners with reduced work load would appreciate camaraderie now. If you’re pursuing a Certification or Fellowship in the field, those institutions have forums and chapters you can join. You’ll make valuable connections in communities that are like-minded and they support your professional and personal development.
5. Prepare for Virtual Meetings
If a new connection or an employer wants to schedule a video call, make sure you’ve prepared for that meeting prior to the call. Remember, first impressions are last impressions. You want to make a meaningful connection and trust, which can be hard to do if you’re struggling with the technology or not looking into the camera. How you present in that video will demonstrate how you’ll present to patients virtually. You can find my article here to help with preparing for virtual meetings.
6. Maintain a Tracker
I recommend keeping a tracker of jobs you’re applying for, connections you’re trying to make, courses you want pursue, books you want to read, and podcasts you’d like to follow. Something that you can refer to each day that will keep your search and education organized. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet that has a tab for each topic. Commit to updating and reviewing your tracker each day. Set goals that require you to take action to improve your situation and hold yourself accountable. It will give you a sense of power in a situation where we all have experienced so much powerlessness. Each day you review and update your tracker, you’re taking one step closer to where you want to be.
7. Connect with Us
And finally, make sure you’ve signed up for our monthly jobs announcement and newsletter. The Integrated Connections job board has had an increasing number of opportunities and we will continue to share information in our newsletters to support employers and candidates in these unprecedented times. Explore the Integrated Connections Academy for eCourses designed to support professionals on their job search in Integrative, Lifestyle and Functional Medicine. You’ll find courses to assist in the preparation of your cover letter, CV, and to help you master an interview in the field.
Keep moving forward, one step at a time and we’ll all get through this together.