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when to start the job search?

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jayde88

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I have one more year of optometry left. I would like to know when a good time to start looking for jobs would be. I have heard that by this time next year, I should have a job secured.

The problem is, I am not sure how to approach potential employers. Should I stop by to drop off a resume/ send an email..etc? Can i drop off resumes even though they may not be hiring at the time?

I would like to have a job secured by the time i graduate.

Any advice?
 

IndianaOD

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I have one more year of optometry left. I would like to know when a good time to start looking for jobs would be. I have heard that by this time next year, I should have a job secured.

The problem is, I am not sure how to approach potential employers. Should I stop by to drop off a resume/ send an email..etc? Can i drop off resumes even though they may not be hiring at the time?

I would like to have a job secured by the time i graduate.

Any advice?


Honestly you should already have started if you want something beside a commercial gig. The good opportunities are getting rarer and rarer. So many of my classmates freaked out over the last 6 months and ended up at a commercial gig because they didn't do their homework.
 

physicslover

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Just curious, why is it bad to start with a commercial job?
What are the major downfalls of a commercial job? Is it hard to move into a different position afterwards?
 

Mewcakes

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I think they're generally low paying. But also the price at which corporations can offer exams and products is often below what private practices can afford to offer at. I'm sure every ODs dream is to drive places like eye masters out if business. So there's of course no crime in working there, but I think we'd all be a little better off if they weren't around, so it feels weird to work there. But you gotta do what you gotta do!
 

KHE

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I think they're generally low paying. But also the price at which corporations can offer exams and products is often below what private practices can afford to offer at. I'm sure every ODs dream is to drive places like eye masters out if business. So there's of course no crime in working there, but I think we'd all be a little better off if they weren't around, so it feels weird to work there. But you gotta do what you gotta do!

I don't want to start a whole commercial vs private debate but if any of you are desirous of being in private practice, you should make that your goal.

Do not fall into the trap of "I'll work commercial for a few years to pay off debt and then go to private."

You can do that but what happens more often than not is you get married, have a kid, maybe a mortgage and it's harder and harder to make the private practice dream a reality. The optometric lexicon is filled with people who thought they'd be in commercial "for a few years" who are now 10, 15, 20 years into their career and still saying "just wait till next year."

If your goal is private practice, start planning for it now.

I also disagree somewhat with IndianaOD about starting so early looking for a "job." The problem with that is that people who are looking to hire are usually looking to hire now. Also, no one knows what the future holds so you can't really say to someone a year away from graduating "I'll hire you next year" because who knows what the demand will be in a year.

Rather than looking for a job right now, you should try to build your contact list. If you know the area you want to practice, phone up some ODs and introduce yourself, tell them you're from the area or relocating to the area, will be graduating in a year and ask if they anticipate needing help in a year. Most, if not all will say NO. Then you can ask if they know of anyone who might be looking to take on an associate. Most optometrists are fairly close knit and most of us seem to know each other's businesses. If they offer up some names, call up THOSE ODs and soon you will have a list of 10-12 OD contacts that you can contact again around next winter and reintroduce yourself.
 

IndianaOD

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I don't want to start a whole commercial vs private debate but if any of you are desirous of being in private practice, you should make that your goal.

Do not fall into the trap of "I'll work commercial for a few years to pay off debt and then go to private."

You can do that but what happens more often than not is you get married, have a kid, maybe a mortgage and it's harder and harder to make the private practice dream a reality. The optometric lexicon is filled with people who thought they'd be in commercial "for a few years" who are now 10, 15, 20 years into their career and still saying "just wait till next year."

If your goal is private practice, start planning for it now.

I also disagree somewhat with IndianaOD about starting so early looking for a "job." The problem with that is that people who are looking to hire are usually looking to hire now. Also, no one knows what the future holds so you can't really say to someone a year away from graduating "I'll hire you next year" because who knows what the demand will be in a year.

Rather than looking for a job right now, you should try to build your contact list. If you know the area you want to practice, phone up some ODs and introduce yourself, tell them you're from the area or relocating to the area, will be graduating in a year and ask if they anticipate needing help in a year. Most, if not all will say NO. Then you can ask if they know of anyone who might be looking to take on an associate. Most optometrists are fairly close knit and most of us seem to know each other's businesses. If they offer up some names, call up THOSE ODs and soon you will have a list of 10-12 OD contacts that you can contact again around next winter and reintroduce yourself.

I agree with KHE that earlier on its more about the contacts and feeling out the market. To me that is part of the job search. My job was set up 6 months before the end of my residency.

I would still say starting during the last 3 months is not wise because you will get nervous and 90% of the job listings on the career sites will be commercial.

And yes, not only do I consider commercial practice terrible for the profession but like KHE said you very well may end up with golden handcuffs. It is easier to start at a lower salary in private practice than try to take a big pay cut 10 years out when you have tons of bills. It usually takes awhile before the private practice income catches and passes commercial income. It almost always does in the end though.
 

jayde88

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had dinner with an OD in my town yesterday. it was a semi-casual dinner with some business chat on the side...

she wants to know if i would be interested in "buying in" to her practice. She is looking to retire and wants someone to look over the practice. She currently has 3-4 associates working for her. She has a high turnaround -- her associates have either left for maternity leave, moved into a bigger city, or switched practices.

I was only looking for a position as an associate, but I believe that buying into a practice would be a much better opportunity. Her practice is in a good location - middle to upper class families, and in a retirement community. She is a well-established optometrist, has 5 staff members working for her, and has an optical dispensary and lab on site.

can someone explain to me the pros and cons of buying into a practice? i have a large amt of student loans to pay off after school and don't know if I will be able to afford this opportunity.

Thank you!
 

yOyOYoo

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This opportunity sounds pretty good. You should really look into the real reason that her practice has a high turnaround. Does she have a strong controlling personality? Does she seem like someone who would be difficult to work with? Get a feel for her work ethics, how important patient care is to her, versus profit.

You're right, buying into the practice would be a much better opportunity. Buying into a practice is different from a partnership, because you will be the sole owner of this practice. For partnerships, you will have somone to share the expenses and profits of the practice. Sounds like this senior doc is looking to retire, so this relationship would not be a partnership.

This new opportunity sounds pretty good to me. Well established doc and office, good staff, steady stream of patients, onsite lab. Pros - you can control the way you want your practice to be run, and how you want to handle your patients, you set your own hours, income is much better than working for someone else.

Cons - you have to cover all expenses for the office, repairing or replacing equipment, staff payroll, employee benefits like insurance, and all the stress associated with this. You have to pay for all the bills, and if finances are tight, it will affect you and your family. This is a situation where as an OD you will be taking your work home with you. If you work for someone else, when it's time to go, you're done. You do your work and you get a steady salary, regardless of production.

Again, find out why no one else has took up her offer. Maybe you could work for her as an associate for 6 months, then decide on buying in?

had dinner with an OD in my town yesterday. it was a semi-casual dinner with some business chat on the side...

she wants to know if i would be interested in "buying in" to her practice. She is looking to retire and wants someone to look over the practice. She currently has 3-4 associates working for her. She has a high turnaround -- her associates have either left for maternity leave, moved into a bigger city, or switched practices.

I was only looking for a position as an associate, but I believe that buying into a practice would be a much better opportunity. Her practice is in a good location - middle to upper class families, and in a retirement community. She is a well-established optometrist, has 5 staff members working for her, and has an optical dispensary and lab on site.

can someone explain to me the pros and cons of buying into a practice? i have a large amt of student loans to pay off after school and don't know if I will be able to afford this opportunity.

Thank you!
 

jayde88

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is it possible that you can buy a portion of the practice, lets say 20%? it didnt seem to me like she wanted to completely sell it, but she only wants to work 1-2 days a week.

i know her personally, and shes a great person. the reason why i think there is a high turnaround is because this is a relatively smaller city and people want to move into the bigger cities.

working as an associate for 6 months sounds like a good idea...

thanks!
 

IndianaOD

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is it possible that you can buy a portion of the practice, lets say 20%? it didnt seem to me like she wanted to completely sell it, but she only wants to work 1-2 days a week.

i know her personally, and shes a great person. the reason why i think there is a high turnaround is because this is a relatively smaller city and people want to move into the bigger cities.

working as an associate for 6 months sounds like a good idea...

thanks!


Yes,
I would say work with her for a year or so. That will also let you know if there are any big skeletons in the closet.
 
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