For those of you out there that worked at Taco Bell during high school or the local Target (1) for a year while in college, these kinds of service jobs may seem irrelevant to your radiology resume. But for program directors and residency selection committees, we find these “real-world” experiences to be invaluable in creating a picture of a well-rounded person. Here is a list of ten reasons why service jobs are so important to your career!
Ever had to get someone to make a final decision because they were not sure if they wanted the Dell or Acer Computer at Best Buy? Or perhaps, you had to take someone’s order at the local Denny’s. These are skills are immediately translatable to situations we encounter with people on a daily basis in our field. Perhaps, you need to convince a patient to get an interventional procedure completed. Or maybe, you must soothe a patient prior to getting their barium enema? These people skills will come in handy!
Need to get the technologist to work with you when you are doing fluoroscopy. Well, those years managing the local Subway shop will serve you well. If you can get your employees to clean the floor at your restaurant, certainly it is not a big leap to having the technologist prepare everything prior to your next fluoroscopy the way you like!
Ability To Deal With The Real-World
Is your head in the clouds because you’ve been only thinking about abstractions your whole entire life? Or do you have some real translatable practical skills? A few months working at your local supermarket will certainly cure you of living in a dream world! We, as radiologists, constantly have to manage real-world situations, not just the anecdotes we read in books!
Practical Problem Solving
Perhaps, you worked at a restaurant as a waiter and you spilled tomato sauce on your client. Or, maybe the deli slicer stopped working? How do you deal with these situations on the fly? As we practice medicine, we need to have the same ability to think on our feet and “outside the box”. Working in service jobs is great practice!
When you work at the local McDonald’s, you encounter all races, socioeconomic classes, and cultures. What do we do as radiologists? Well, we also need to take into account these factors for our patients and staff. If you never had the experience of working with a diverse population, you will not understand the nuances of daily radiology work!
Have you only experienced the artificial environment of working with others at school? Or, have you needed to work as a team to make those sales at the Gap? Working in service jobs is a fantastic way to get this experience!
Understanding of Business Bottom Line
Ever had to run a business to pay your employees and make ends meet? You don’t get that experience by reading books! Rather, you need to involve yourself firsthand. And you know what? Radiology is a service business like any other. We need to meet the bottom line too. Now, we know you can empathize with our work!
For those of you that never held a real service job, it is difficult to comprehend how to solve conflicts among your staff. A little practice at your local drug store routinely calming your clientele as they wait for their prescription to be filled goes a long way toward solving conflicts with your patients and staff as a radiologist!
Ability To Handle New Technology
Maybe, you had to learn an entirely new register at the local hardware store. Or, perhaps, the engraving tools changed. You need to learn these new tools very quickly. Guess what? This happens in radiology all the time. See, these service jobs are an introduction to our world!
Service Jobs And The Bottom Line
Working in the service industry prior to beginning a radiology residency is no joke. We, as program directors, truly value the efforts that you have made to work a real job. Whether it is conflict resolution, problem-solving, or learning how to be part of a team, the experience you have in the service industry will help to prepare you for our line of work. So, go forth, don’t be embarrassed, and add that job to your resume. It can only help your cause!
(1) Target is an affiliate of this website