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The Latent Phase: Finding your Dream Job

By Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN

As with all things in midwifery practice, the search for the first, or the next, midwifery job must be holistic: keep in mind life’s logistics, economic demands, and the needs of your soul. What kind of midwife do you want to be? Can you do that in any practice model, or do you need one particular environment in which to practice? Is the place where you attend birth most important, be it home or birth center or hospital? Are your fellow midwives the bread and butter of your practice needs? Are you hoping to work with a specific patient population? Is the salary what makes or breaks your ability to take a job at this point in your life? Whatever your requirements may be, write them down and assess how the available jobs align with your list.

If you are currently looking for a midwifery job, I am sure you have searched far and wide and are either set-to-go or totally overwhelmed. I offer up my experience and advice as a means to re-set your strategy, to refresh your exhausted job-searching passion, and to give you a boost.

My own job search was guided by the following requirements:

  • Specific states/cities to be near family or friends
  • Necessary salary to pay student loans and expenses, as my partner and I were going down to one salary during the transition (we blog over at TheLoanVoice.com, and posted yesterday about figuring out your salary needs!)
  • National Health Service Corps (NHSC)/Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) sites for my application to the Loan Repayment Program
  • Desire to work with low-income and, ideally, Spanish-speaking populations


Make your own list, and then use my search strategies to help you find the perfect job tailored for you. The quickest way to find the highest volume of job openings is through online search engines:

  • MidwifeJobs.com. Search by zip code, upload your resume, and hang out at the career center for resume help and searching advice. There are currently 49 jobs posted as of this morning!!
  • Idealist.org. The Idealist mission: to connect people, organizations, and resources to help build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives. Midwife jobs and organizations are listed, and so are volunteer opportunities if you’d like to fill some time and build your resume.
  • NHSCjobs.hrsa.gov. This is the home site for all jobs listed through the NHSC. One important fact: this site is not updated frequently, so I always cross-checked here to find out if a site I found elsewhere was on the FQHC list.
  • Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com did generate some midwife job and company options, but I personally found these sites’ tendency to advertise and send a high volume of email frustrating.


Some other strategies I learned through the course of my search:

  • Many practices advertise by word of mouth and not necessarily through online mechanisms. Look up all midwife practices in a city or state. I really had my eye on living near my family, and so I researched and emailed just about every midwife practice in an entire state. I received a lot of responses, and had some interesting interviews. Direct communication is a great way to really know if anyone is hiring in your preferred area!
  • Reach out to former midwifery classes and your current professors. Let them know that you’re looking, attach a resume, and work the lines of it’s-all-in-who-you-know!
  • Optimize your social networks: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and the midwifery listservs. Put your name out there!


I was fortunate to find, apply for, and accept a job where I completed my midwifery integration with great support for a new grad, that fulfilled all of my job requirements and was in a city where my family and I would be happy. It turned out that in the pursuit of that first midwifery job, searching for jobs and applying and interviewing for them were two completely different things that required different strategies altogether. In two weeks, I will be back with another post full of application and interview tips. For now, get the search started! Good luck! 

Current midwives: where did you find the opening for your job? Share your best tips, sources, and job boards in the comments!


Stephanie Tillman is a recently-graduated Nurse-Midwife now practicing full-scope midwifery in the urban United States, at a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and as a member of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). With a background in global health and experience in international clinical care, the impact of public health and the broader profession of midwifery are present in all her thoughts and works. Stephanie's blog, Feminist Midwife, discusses issues related to women, health, and care. Find out more at www.feministmidwife.com and follow her on Twitter at @feministmidwife.
Posted 3/15/2013 6:29:07 PM
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Any opinions expressed in this blog are those of the individual participant(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. ACNM is not responsible for accuracy of any of the information provided by guest bloggers and/or members via the Comments section. We welcome all feedback – including comments, ideas and suggestions. We also welcome civil, friendly debates. However, any and all content that is deemed inflammatory or rude will not be posted.

 

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