Start Your NP Job Search with a Self-Assessment
Ask yourself five clarifying questions to identify your NP dream job and start going after it.
You may have heard the phrase “Begin with the end in mind.” When it comes to your job search, do you have a clear vision of your ideal position? If you aren’t sure, an NP job search self-assessment can be an invaluable tool for identifying your work values. It can be as simple as asking yourself a series of questions that pertain to your career, personal life, desired location, and goals.
Not only will a self-assessment clarify your ideal working environment and practice, it will also help you stand out as a nurse practitioner (NP). Employers are attracted to candidates who know themselves and have a clear goal in mind.
Ready to start? Here are five key questions to ask yourself:
- What are my strengths?
- Consider your unique skills, interests, and values. What are you naturally gifted to do? How would you define your clinical focus and area of expertise? Career experts advise job seekers to play to their strengths. The right job will let you do what you do best—increasing your chances of success and improving your job satisfaction.
- What working environment do I enjoy most?
- There are different environments that employ NPs, each with a different approach and its own staffing structure. In your past experience, what kind of healthcare facility did you most enjoy? What is your preferred specialty and level of patient care? How do you function as part of a treatment team?
- For example, if you are a nurse practitioner, do you enjoy working alongside physicians? Prefer the company of other NPs? Want to lead a nursing department?
- What aspects of the work do I find most rewarding and satisfying?
- There are many different responsibilities that are inherent in every nurse practitioner position. Every job has tasks that aren’t enjoyable, but the weight of your responsibilities should fall to those things you truly enjoy. What brings you joy on the job? Is it building relationships with patients and caregivers? Do you excel in acute care? What about leadership, research, or publishing? How do you feel about management, billing, and administration?
- Where do I want to live?
- Advanced practice providers are in high-demand, so they have great flexibility in choosing where to live and practice. Are you willing to relocate? If so, do you see yourself in a city, the suburbs, or in a rural area? Do you want to practice in an underserved area of the country? Are you willing to commute? Would a different locale give you a chance to do more of what you enjoy, be it outdoor recreation, antique shopping, or seeing Broadway shows?
- What kind of lifestyle do I want to enjoy?
- How would you define your ideal work/life balance? Some professionals want to cover as many shifts as possible. Others choose to invest more time in personal pursuits. If you have a spouse, children, or extended family, how does that affect your desired work schedule? You may also consider whether community involvement and volunteer work is something you want your next job to offer.
Perhaps the greatest benefit to conducting an NP job search self-assessment is that it reveals what you value. This knowledge can help you stay motivated and encouraged along the job search process. Then, when you have an official job offer, it can help you decide whether to say yes! Good luck!
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