Last year, while I was in the midst of clinical retraining, I had the opportunity to "present" my post-reentry job-interviewing persona to a sympathetic-yet-worldly female colleague in a mock interview situation. Her assessment: "You need help."
This very blunt piece of advice was spot-on. What she meant by it was that my interview persona was not where it needed to be to compete in the current marketplace. I had a tendency to come across as apologetic and overly self-effacing. I got bogged down in my reentry story and had difficulty getting back to my main talking points. In short, I could not sum myself up into a nice, neat package. I needed a script. I needed to be (so help me God) a brand, to use the modern parlance.
Enter my career coach, who was recommended to me by yet another female colleague.
For $475, the coach met with me on several occasions over 3 months. She whipped my CV into shape. She forced me to speak to my pre-determined points and not ramble. She videotaped me. She gave wardrobe advice. At the end of the process, I felt as if I'd been through job-interview boot camp. I was definitely more squared-away and ready to face the job market. With 20/20 hindsight, I realized that I ought to have engaged such a coach from the very beginning of the reentry process, not least because she was an ally and a psychological boon.
Bottom line: if you are a reentering physician, and especially if you have been out of the work force for a while (or working from home), strongly consider using a coach to help guide your career back onto track. This is one reentry expense that ended up being well worth it.