Finding a job Step 2: Start looking

November 5, 2004

A physician search firm and the Internet can help you ferret out opportunities. Or you can get by with a little help from your friends, and their friends.

The job-hunting experience is fraught with choices. No sooner do you decide where you want to practice and what type of job you're best suited for-a process that can take months of soul searching, reading, research, and discussion-than you have to determine how you'll conduct your job search. You can go it alone: networking, researching opportunities, and looking at classified ads in journals and job postings on the Internet. You can cast your lot with a recruiter. Or you can hedge your bets by working part time or as a locum tenens to test out a possible opportunity.

For this second installment of our six-part series on finding and securing a job, we asked experts about the best ways to learn about job openings, including how to access the vast network of unadvertised jobs. Here's what they said.

Making headway in the hidden job market "As many as three-quarters of professional jobs are found through the so-called hidden job market, meaning they're not advertised because candidates come to the employer's attention through employee recommendations, referrals from associates, recruiters, or job candidates themselves," says Stephen Rosen, chairman of Celia Paul Associates, a New York City-based career-counseling firm for physicians, attorneys, and scientists.

Networking encompasses far more than simply talking to colleagues, friends, and relatives. As Rosen points out, the people who are most inclined to help you aren't necessarily in the best position to do so. "Often it's the people outside your first-tier network-contacts of contacts, or even contacts of contacts of contacts-who know about job opportunities that you'd be interested in pursuing. So you might need to cast a wide net to snare a choice job." Include healthcare consultants, attorneys, and accountants in your network, says Michael J. Wiley, a consultant in Bay Shore, NY. "All three often know about an opportunity before it's posted."

"The word networking makes some people queasy, because it connotes some sort of phony effort to use people," says Andrew S. Alpart, an FP in Slingerlands, NY. "What it means, however, is that you should tap into the collective experience at your disposal to connect with potential employers and ensure that the practice you're exploring will be a good fit."