How Do You Decide To Move On?


Posted to Nursing, Nursing Jobs, Nursing Specialties

Sometimes we love our jobs — the environment, the co-workers, everything comes together beautifully and we can’t wait to get to work.

Then there are those jobs that aren’t perfect (this is probably the biggest category!) but they’re perfectly adequate and pay the bills.

But what do you do when your job is just horrible? When you’d rather do anything other than go to work? How do you decide whether it’s time to move on? And what do you do if you make the decision to change jobs?

This article offers some helpful ways to approach that problem (may you never have it!)

Because fear of the unknown is a powerful force for resisting change, your major objective in considering a move should be to make the unknown “known.” Build perspective by doing the following:

• Update your resume. Make sure it focuses on your accomplishments and shows a diversity of experience. You never know when an opportunity will present itself, and you want to be ready.

• Brush up on your interviewing skills. There are many good books, including “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses” and articles on the subject online and in libraries and bookstores. Polish your skills by reading and going on a few interviews to “test the waters.”

• Launch a massive networking campaign. Start attending professional association meetings, career fairs, conventions and recruiting events. Make connections and see what else is out there. Talk to people from other facilities and specialties and see what they like and don’t like about their job and employer. Set up a LinkedIn account and use social media.

• List your strengths and assets. Take time to write down your strong points. Think about what you’re good at doing. Everyone has special talents. Look for jobs that will give you an opportunity to develop yours.

• Think about what you enjoy doing. Some nurses jump from job to job in pursuit of the elusive “niche.” Give some thought to what you love to do. Is it teaching, direct patient care or working with computers? The key to being happy in your work is identifying what you love and then finding a way to make that work for you.

• Get motivated. Listen to your favorite motivational tapes or read motivational books to get yourself pumped up. This is important, especially in a time of anticipated change. Go to the library and borrow some books or tapes on the subject.

• Don’t burn your bridges. Even if you can’t wait to get out of your current situation and never want to look back, ease out with grace and style. Anything else will come back to haunt you later. You’ll feel better about yourself, too.

• Do some soul searching. Examine how your state of mind is affecting your personal life, self-esteem and physical and emotional health. Decide whether there are things you can change in your work situation to improve your outlook, sense of purpose and job satisfaction. If so, by all means try them. If not, or if you just don’t have the energy or desire to try, then it may be time for a change.

Start looking into your options and get yourself prepared for a change, even before you’ve decided that’s what you want to do. Life is too short, and the nursing profession holds too many opportunities to get stuck in a rut. Change can be frightening, but it also can be exhilarating.

Stay or move on — the choice is yours. But remember: The door is always open.

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