It’s tough to stay positive during an MPH job search, especially when it can take months to land a job. Veronica Calvin, MPH searched for eighteen months before she found her current position at Tennessee Department of Health. She shares what helped her stay positive during her job hunt:
- Volunteer: Find organizations that are based in health and offer your services. Volunteering keeps up your public health skills while simultaneously enhancing your resume.
- Expand and enrich your network: How?
- Extend yourself to other MPH-ers and learn about their work.
- Stay in touch with your references (and let them know you will be using them soon!).
- Reach out to your public health professors for job or volunteer leads.
- You never know when one of these connections will be your job gold mine.
- Be careful with your money: Many public health jobs don’t pay very well, so be careful how you spend as you wait to find work.
- Don’t be discouraged: Easier said than done, but rely on family, friends, and church to offer support.
In addition to Veronica’s suggestions, try these:
- Stay focused: If finding a public health job is your goal, stay focused! Don’t get too comfortable in a non-public health job if you are truly dreaming to find work in your field.
- Create your own opportunities: Dan Miller in 48 Days to the Work You Love suggests that you research your top interest companies and methodically contact them with ways that you will be able to contribute to their organization. In a sense, create your next job for them.
- Think outside the box: There are so many needs that MPH-ers have been trained to fill. Many times, we think we have to go through an organization to get paid to fill those needs. Have an entrepreneurial spirit? Start a campaign with a company like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to create your own solutions to the problems you see around you.