How I Landed My Dream Job During A Global Pandemic

The title of this seems way more ~dramatic than it actually was, but I can’t help but feel so grateful and blessed that even during these trying times, I was able to start a new job in a specialty I’ve always dreamed of. So many people have lost their jobs because of this horrible pandemic, and it was somehow written in the stars for me to land my dream job.

As most of you know, I got hired onto an adult cardiac progressive care unit upon graduating from nursing school. While I’m so grateful for everything I learned and the friends I made in my year and a half on that floor, I knew it was time for me to make the switch to pediatrics. How I’d do that in the midst of a pandemic? I didn’t know, but I started searching for positions in pediatric hospitals and hoped I’d eventually find an opening.

Towards the end of August, I found a position in a pediatric cardiovascular ICU (CVICU) at a children’s hospital that was 40 minutes away from my house. My first preceptor (turned bestie) Celine encouraged me to apply to see what would happen. While I didn’t love the idea of giving up my current 8-minute commute to work, I was willing to apply to have a chance to finally work with kids. I received a call back a few weeks later asking me if I was still interested in the position (duh!) and I scheduled an interview for the following week. While I was super excited, I was also extremely nervous. I had my interview that following week, and it went extremely well. I felt confident talking about myself and my experiences in the adult nursing world, and made it clear that although I had no experience in pediatrics, I was willing to learn and use my knowledge to my benefit and apply it in the peds world. They told me they’d let me know in one to two weeks if I got the position. I left feeling excited, confident, and eager to hear back. I obviously went for drinks after to celebrate.

Fast forward exactly one week, and I got a call from the hospital’s talent acquisition center offering me a position in the pediatric cardiac step down unit (basically the same thing I did with adults, but now with kids). This department is under the same management as the CVICU, and makes transitioning over to working there an easier process. Since I didn’t have any pediatric experience, they couldn’t hire me directly into the CVICU, but I could start in the step down unit, learn about the little kiddos, and eventually transition to the ICU side. I was thrilled! Although it was not the original position I applied for, this was still a specialty I was passionate about and it would give me time to learn and acclimate to this new world of nursing that I was diving into. I accepted the offer, and started a month later.

I know times could seem tough, but if you’re not completely happy doing what you’re doing, look for new opportunities. Even though it seems like a bad time, you never know what a company or specific entity is in need of. Don’t settle for something you don’t love; life is too short. Job applications are there for a reason, and even if you don’t see one posted, reach out to the company personally and make it known you’re interested in working for them. You never know what will happen if you just take the chance!

I hope you’ve all been staying safe and healthy. It’s crazy to think that this year is almost over. Time really does fly, and it flies faster as we get older. Do what makes you happy and surround yourself with people who bring out your best self.

Much love,

Nurse Nicki

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