Congratulations on finishing medical school and your residency! That long-awaited time in your life is finally here. Now you’re saving lives while working full-time to pay back those large student loans. Here are some tips for balancing it all those first few years post-residency:
One of the first things you’ve noticed is that you’re in a new tax bracket. While it may be hard to hold back with all of that extra cash in hand, refrain from jumping in and buying a big-ticket item such as a new car right away. Instead, make sure you’re saving for unexpected expenses. You likely moved after your residency and depleted what reserves you had. Start building those up again.
Still in your residency? Start saving now for the first years after. When you’ve got the cash flow to cover the unexpected expenses, your first years out will be less stressful.
Take time for yourself. It may seem contradictory right out of residency to do this; you’ve likely been conditioned to hit the ground running as a new physician, right? But you’ll be seeing real paychecks for the first time, which can make it easy to fall into the trap of taking on too much overtime. Definitely give 100%, but also allocate time to de-stress. Make time for yourself. Start exercising again (remember that routine that you forgot about during residency?) Be aware of the balance in your life now and you can avoid early burnout.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your colleagues were new grads once, too. If you have a mentor or you’re working with a staffing company and a recruiter, lean on them your first five years out of residency. You’ll have a lot of questions and it’s better to ask someone with more experience than to assume and make an error or mistake on the job.
You’ve just started getting your footing but consider your personal career development, too. Join a leadership development program or keep in touch with your mentors from residency. Eventually, consider becoming a mentor and give back to your specialty.
Hiring managers at facilities and large hospitals often need positions filled fast. As a result, many use applicant tracking systems, or ATS, to electronically filter through a large number of resumes quickly. To help ensure your resume is selected for consideration, look at the job description and update words on your resume to match the language in the job description. This is the best way to get the attention of a hiring manager and possibly an interview. Alternatively, locum tenens and physician staffing companies have the connections with facilities and hospitals you need to get your foot in the door. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them to let them know what you’re looking for.
Have questions about applying for a position post-residency? Contact us today at 800-226-6347, we’re here to help!