I’ve Been Blackballed And Can’t Get A Job

Question:
I cannot find a job in nursing being an RN. There are many jobs but I cannot get hired in my own city and I can’t get an explanation why. How do I get off the blackball list? What should I do?

Answer:
It sounds as though your situation involves much more than we can help you with in a casual response, so I suggest the following: 

1.  Talk to someone closer to you who knows you and your situation. You need to be able to talk about the background of your work problems and what has brought you to your current state of feeling black-balled. 

Be open about work incidents that might have resulted in discipline or dismissal. Be willing to discuss conflicts with coworkers or bosses, as well as your relationships with patients and others. 

Show your confidante/counselor your resume and any letters you have written to request work. Get an opinion about how those present you to others. 

If you have been interviewed, discuss the questions and your responses. Perhaps your approach to interviews is causing you to not be at your best. 

It will be especially helpful if you can talk to a medical professional, perhaps a former colleague you respect and who will be honest with you. 

2. I edited your message to us quite a bit so it would be easier for readers to understand. You are an RN, so I know you are well educated and trained. It may be that your emotions and worry got in the way of telling us enough upon which to base advice. 

You would find it helpful to write your concerns in detail, as a way to clarify your thinking. Then, talk about them to yourself, as a way to practice expressing some of the more emotional parts clearly. At some point in an interview you may need those well-rehearsed phrases. 

3. Sometimes people think they are being black-balled, when the situation is that they have something negative in their work history, or they were dismissed from a former job, and the hiring person just decides to chose someone else. 

Being black-balled implies being unfairly rejected based on something other than work quality or work history. If you are in a community of any size at all, it would seem odd for every medical facility or resource to participate in that kind of exclusion. If you think that is the case, see if you can find a medical association or nurse’s association that might be able to advise you. 

4. You may find you can use your skills in another way, at least short-term, until the past fades in the minds of others and new hiring people come in. If you keep up your training and can fulfill the work of an RN, you will be a valuable commodity to an organization again. Right now, nurses are sought in almost every community.

Best wishes to you with this matter. If you wish to do so, let us know how you work through this time. 

Tina Rowe
Ask the Workplace Doctors

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.