Final-year student pharmacists are entering the season when we will discover what’s to come in the year ahead. Many students are matching for residency, while others are activating their plan B. Some folks are beginning the job hunt in hopes of landing their first pharmacist position, and others are looking for nontraditional pharmacist jobs. This is an exciting time of year, as we are finally on the cusp of earning our PharmD degrees and can now look ahead to the many professional possibilities that stretch before us.
Sometimes, while we are busy planning for our future, the Universe is conspiring to make even bigger plans for us. It is easy to feel hurt and discouraged when life throws you a curveball, but feelings of inadequacy are ripe for fruitless thoughts of comparison and judgment. Instead of falling victim to your emotions, consider these three tips on how to overcome rejection and land your first pharmacist job.
Seek out constructive criticism
We are asked to describe ourselves on paper when applying for jobs or residency positions by drafting CVs, letters of intent, and short essay responses. The task of accurately portraying yourself on paper is incredibly challenging!
The importance of asking mentors, preceptors, and classmates to help edit your application materials cannot be understated. Send your CV and letter of intent to the people you trust most and ask for their honest feedback. They will ensure your documents are well written and that your personality shines through.
Use this as a learning opportunity
Carol Dweck, PhD, famously coined the term “growth mindset” to describe a mental state in which we are able to quickly overcome obstacles and persist in pursuing our goals. The growth mindset is contrasted with a “fixed mindset,” in which we interpret failure as objective evidence that we are incapable of achieving our goals.
The beautiful thing about it is that everyone can adopt a growth mindset! Recognize your setback, learn from it, and then get busy working to achieve your next goal.
Get back out there!
Getting rejected from a job or residency position hurts, but don’t let it deter you from putting yourself out there again. After editing your application materials, have the courage to send them on to the next potential employer and show them how awesome you are! Throughout this process, you will land a job that’s just right for you, and hindsight may prove that it all worked out the way it was meant to.
Whatever your path is, remember that comparison benefits no one and is the root of unproductive hurt and shame this time of year. If life doesn’t go your way, keep your head up and continue chasing your goal.
My question for our preceptor feedback author, Sierra Richard, PharmD: What are your top tips for students to stay resilient during the residency and job hunt season?