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Interview & Job Search Philosophy

by Dr. Sherry-Ann Brown

When you are searching for your next job as a physician or scientist or both, your goal should be multi-fold. You determine the order of priority for each of the following objectives.
You need to sit down and think through and make a mental or written list of things are most important to you in this job search and interview process. Do you care where you will live? Must it be in a certain part of the country? With a certain kind of weather? Does it need to be a big or small city? Will there need to be a large international airport hub nearby? Are you looking for farmland? Or high rises? Should there be lakes? A river? A beach? Should you have access to broadway? Shopping malls? Movie theaters? Or acres of land fit for wild life? Will you bringing your dog, cat, horses, or birds? Think all this through. 
You also need to think about the sort of opportunities you are looking for. Are you hoping to spend most of your time seeing patients, or doing research, or on administrative activities? Are you looking to start or build a program, or join in on what others are already doing? What sort of support will you need? Seek out those opportunities that will best fit what you are looking for professionally.
You will have to find a way to determine the needs in each location that you are considering for your next job. What kind of patients are seen? What kind of patients are on waitlists? What co-morbidities are prevalent? Is anyone in your field there retiring or also recently hired? Do they need you right away, in a few months, in a year? Assess the needs that you may be asked to meet or fill.
You will benefit from taking some time to consider what you are really good at, what you are passionate about, and what you have always dreamed of having more time to spend doing at work. What are your strengths? What is your professional background? What do you bring to each potential job site that they may not have, or that they may not have enough of? What is the greatest thing about your abilities or training that will make you an asset? You will need to figure that out before you go.
Where the NEEDS in the potential job site, the OPPORTUNITIES in that location, and your TALENTS intersect - that is where you may flourish most and feel fulfilled. In that sweet spot overlapping all three spheres - that may be where you ought to be. Consider that, and search for it.
What is important to you?
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