No matter how well you did in college or how much you enjoyed your classes, the real world can be a brutal place. Now, that the college is behind, you start a job search. You need to set yourself apart if you hope to get hired.
Your professors may have been impressed with your witty comebacks and spectacular term papers, but potential employers may not share their enthusiasm. If you want your current job search to be the start of a successful career, you need to learn one more thing – how to be a great employee.
There are no college courses on how to be a stellar employee, although perhaps there should be. In the meantime, recent college and high school graduates can use their own experience and talents to enhance their value to future employees. You might not realize it, but working for a nursing agency can teach you important life lessons, help you learn the ropes and allow you to be a better employee.
Here are five ways working for a nursing agency can make you a more valuable employee.
Working for a Nursing Agency Reinforces a Job Ethic
For most temporary assignments, if you do not show up for work, you do not get paid. If the absences pile up, the temporary gig could end sooner than it would otherwise, and the nursing agency will be reluctant to offer you assignments again. Nothing motivates more than a lack of cash and a threat of permanent unemployment. The strictures of temporary employment are great for instilling a solid work ethic, and that is something that every future employer, regardless of the nature of the job, will appreciate.
Temporary Assignments Can Give You a Cash Cushion
Employers can smell desperation a mile away, and the response is often negative. If you wait until you are almost out of cash to start a job hunt, you set yourself up for failure. Taking a series of temporary assignments can give you a valuable cash cushion, something you can use to finance your search for a full-time job. So, put that money away in the bank, utilize the time between the assignments wisely and build up your rainy day fund while you search for your dream job.
You Have a Safe Place to Make Mistakes
No one is born knowing how to be a great employee. You may have an innate talent in a certain field of endeavor, and hopefully you have nurtured those abilities with formal training and education, but being a great employee will mean climbing a steep learning curve in the end.
Every new employee makes mistakes along the way, but the magnitude of those mistakes and their consequences could have a negative impact on your career. Starting out with a series of temporary assignments gives you a relatively safe place to make those mistakes. As you learn the ropes and clarify the expectations of the nursing agency, you will be better equipped to handle the challenges ahead.
It Bolsters Your Resume
When you emerge as a newly minted college or university graduate, your resume will be a bit light. There is nothing wrong with that – everyone has to start somewhere, and everyone was once in your position. Even so, a nearly blank resume can be an impediment to full-time employment, holding you back from the job you know you deserve. Bolstering that resume with a series of temporary assignments can fill in the gaps and convince hiring managers to take a chance on you.
You Get to Work with All Kinds of People
Although the skills you learned in college can play an important role in your future employment, keep in mind that success at work is not all about technical ability and formal training. So-called soft skills, like the ability to get along with all kinds of people and thrive in a fast-moving workplace, can be just as important.
By working for a nursing agency, you will gain exposure to all kinds of people, from the overbearing nurse manager and micromanaging charge nurse to the laid-back coworker and introverted director of care. Learning to work with these different and sometimes difficult personality types will make you a better employee and an asset to all your future employers.
It can be tempting to jump into the job market head first, focusing your efforts on landing a perfect job and starting a great career, and for some graduates that is the right path. For others, however, learning the ropes through a series of temporary assignments makes more sense. If you want to succeed in healthcare, you need to become a valuable member of the interprofessional health care team, and working for a nursing agency can teach you important life lessons that even the most expensive colleges and universities cannot teach.