What should I expect when I start the job search......


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I am a student taking the AAPC online CPC course. I have a current LPN license, a BS in an unrealted field and am currently working for a clinic helping convert their pt charts to EHR. I have no coding experience per se.

I have been following several threads on Linkedin and the talk is about how difficult it is to find a job - any job, in the billing and coding field. It all sounds so bleak, yet I read about the job growth in this field. Can someone tell me if it will really be this difficult? I'm not in a position to be unemployed for an extended length of time - already went through that. - Thanks!
I think it really depends. It took me 6 months to find something, but when I started looking I was still in school, so I didn't devote as much time to job searching as I did a few months later when I graduated. About 3 months into it I started emailing doctor's offices, sending to every hospital, even filled out volunteer applications. I had a couple of interviews which didn't turn out. I also put my information on my local AHIMA chapter and AHIMA web site. A couple of weeks after doing that someone saw my information on my local AHIMA chapter and called me, a hospital. They were looking for help in Radiology because their current coder was trying to concentrate on outpatient surgical cases and Pain/GI. It took a little over a month but eventually I was hired. I am in charge of Radiology coding and I've also begun to help on Pain/GI cases as well as cancer registry. You have to be very diligent, and network, can not stress networking enough!! :)
From what I read it appears most of the complaints from job hunting is from members who passed their CPC examination and can not get hired as a coder because emplyers do not want to hire without experience (The old scarlet "A" of the CPC-A). Then the problem they see is how can you get experience without being hired without experience. If you are willing to take jobs outside of coding you should be fine, coding is not really an entry level job and as with most jobs that are not entry level most employers want experience. Like any career out there it will be difficult and with unemployment as high as it is you will need to work extra hard and stand out that much more. It can be done. My advice, is apply to any position you want and think you are qualified for, drop off your resume to any billing company, dr office, hospital, etc. Be willing to relocate, use carious meand of job searching and take advantage of resources available with your local chapter. This includes going to the meetings and getting your name out there. When you go to the local meeting dress as you would for work. A lot of people there are hiring managers or in contact with those that hire. You never know. It takes time. Where I work we are willing to hire CPC-A or not yet credentialed coders due to lack of people applying. But, those that do not have experience seldom last a year. Do not get discouraged, and if this is really what you want keep at it. It may take time, it probably will take time and make you want to pull your hair out, but if you want it you can do it. GOOD LUCK.