Going through a divorce can leave you feeling drained, and it can leave you struggling to know which direction to go in next. When you have known a particular way of life for so long, how can you then make changes, and how can you focus on improvement and growth? Well, to begin with, you must focus on self-worth. When you realize how much you are worth and you realize what you have to give and provide to others within your nursing career, you can achieve more, and you can expect more too.
Focusing on Yourself
Taking time out to establish what direction you want to go in is crucial. Life can become very hectic after a divorce, and when you are trying to run a house, pay bills, etc., career advancement may be the last thing on your mind. However, this does not need to be the case. When you focus on yourself and you focus on getting the best for yourself, you then start to see new possibilities and opportunities. To start focusing on yourself, you must focus on your career and on your future. Taking control of your situation is the best thing that you can do. You deserve success, and you deserve to achieve a career in nursing that recognizes your full talent and potential.
Why You Deserve More Career Success
Whether you have one year of nursing experience or you have 15, it all adds up and it all matters. You are in nursing to help others, but that does not mean that you shouldn’t focus on self-progression at the same time. You deserve to realize your full potential. You have seen a lot in your time as a nurse, and now it is time to utilize that experience and knowledge and really start putting it into action. The awareness and knowledge that you have gained from hands-on work and daily responsibilities as a nurse have prepared you for career progression. Being able to potentially lead change (when working within nursing) and being able to utilize your awareness is important. It can be difficult to see that you deserve career success, and sometimes, this barrier can be the hardest to overcome. However, looking at what you have achieved and focusing on what you want to achieve will give you that motivation, drive, and determination that you need to push your career to the next level.
What Is Motivating This Change?
Motivation can be a big and scary word; however, it does not have to be. Knowing where your motivation lies (and knowing what is driving you) is crucial for your career growth. There will be days when you feel like throwing in the towel, and sometimes, you can have a lot of these days all clumped together. However, to overcome these bad days, you must dig deep to find out where your motivation stems from. When you take some time out for yourself and really establish what is motivating your career push, you can expect to achieve more. If you are not fully aware of what is driving you and motivating change, then you may end up pushing for a career that you do not truly want. So, instead of this happening, establish what is moving you to change. Are you interested in making a tangible difference in the care of patients? Are you looking to educate new nurses, or are you looking to advance your skillset and knowledge and perhaps look at a new area of expertise?
Make a Firm and Final Decision
You may have a lot of ideas or career paths that you wish to follow on your nursing journey; however, it is important to establish what you want to do and why (early on in your journey). Visualizing yourself in a career and then pushing forward will help you achieve success. You can waste a lot of time by following career paths in nursing that are not well suited, so take a step back and see where your future lies. What do you see yourself doing in the next 30 years? What job title would you like to have, and what roles and responsibilities would you like to hold?
Focusing on Setting Short-Term Goals
When you have established where your motivation lies, it is then time to start looking at setting goals and objectives. When you have a clearer idea and vision of what you want to achieve, you then have to start breaking down the process a little more. Short-term goals can give you the clarity and focus that you need, and they can help you work towards those longer-term objectives too. When you are setting short-term goals for your career and progression, you need to look at what needs to change and happen within the next 12 months. When you have short-term goals to work toward, you can start formulating a plan of action. As you are writing short-term goals, focus on what you need to do for yourself (and for your career too). For example, will you embrace new ways of learning or new ways of working each day? Will you look at gaining more experience within the next few months? What is important to you and to your long-term objectives?
Having Long-Term Objectives
When you have completed your short-term goals, you then need to start focusing on long-term objectives. These can be tied into your career plan/action plan. For example, would you like to be a lead nurse within the next five years? Or would you like to focus on changing and introducing new nursing practices and policies? What is important to you, and where do you see yourself in the next five to ten years? Long-term objectives can keep you focused, and they can keep you on the path that leads to growth. If you do not set long-term objectives alongside short-term goals, you will find that short-term goals will feel less rewarding. Deciding what career you now want to pursue will help you create and implement long-term objectives that are relevant to you and to your future.
A Career Plan/Action Plan Is Ideal
Direction is important to push your career forward. A career plan or action plan will give you this direction. To get to your ideal career, you may need to make two or three leaps, and knowing what to do and by when is crucial to career success. An action plan will help you to stay on track with your goals, and it will help you to bring your career visions firmly into reality. Without an action plan, you could find that you procrastinate, or you could find that you fail to develop key areas of your professional offering – and this, of course, could be detrimental when it comes to promotions or even new prospects. A career plan/action plan will naturally feature short-term goals and long-term objectives, but it will also feature information on courses and areas of education that you may wish to pursue.
Self-Improvement and Self-Development are Crucial
As a nurse, you are at the core of everything – wanting to improve how your patients feel while improving standards and levels of care. To achieve all of this, you must focus on self-improvement and self-development. If you are not focusing on improving what you have to offer, then you will find that pushing your career forward gets a little bit harder. To develop and improve, you need to look at what you are currently offering – where do your strengths lie, and where are your weaknesses? When you can establish these key areas, you can then focus on change and growth. For instance, if your communication skills with team members are letting you down, then why not start working on building communication skills by practicing who you speak to and how. Investing in yourself is one of the best things that you can do. When you improve what you do and what you offer, you strengthen your offering. This then means you are in a stronger position as a candidate to go for the role or career that you want.
Focusing Your Attention and Time on Your Education
As well as focusing on self-improvement and self-development within your roles and responsibilities, you do have to focus your attention and time on your education. Advancing and enhancing your knowledge will put you in good stead for your next career move. For example, you could look at getting a master’s in nursing education, which would allow you the opportunity to train new nurses or to focus on improving nursing education and standards. Strengthening your education will help you grow both as an individual and as a professional too. As well as focusing on studying for a master’s or another degree, you must also focus on internal education too. New ways of working are always being implemented and new practices are put in place. To adhere to these changes, you must be prepared to educate yourself and you must be prepared to embrace education.
Developing Your Connections and Networks
When you are moving on with your career, it is always nice to know that you have support and guidance there to help (often when you need it the most). Establishing new connections and networks and meeting other nursing professionals may well be positive for your career progression. When you are looking at new connections and networks, you must make the most of networking. Knowing what you want to get out of networking is, of course, crucial, but so too is consistency. Building trust with your connections and people in your network is essential. If there is no trust present, you will not get the guidance and support that you need. You never know when you need a connection or to call on the help or advice of another nursing professional, so make sure that you nurture working relationships as much as possible. Attend regular networking sessions and be consistent with your approach.
The world of nursing is changing and evolving, and to stay relevant, you need to become as sustainable as possible. To be sustainable, you have to keep up with industry changes, and you have to be prepared to invest in yourself as a professional. If you are not currently sustainable or valued for your contribution – then this is something that must change. When you are sustainable, others see the value in your work and what you have to offer. They see you as a professional that moves with the nursing industry, and they also see the potential too. Sustainability encompasses education, self-growth, and periods of reflection too. Pushing forward, you can sometimes overlook small things within your career. However, often these small things can be career-changing or career-defining. So, where you can, you must remember that to be sustainable, you must be reflective when it comes to your actions and behaviors.
Self-Care Must Not be Overlooked
Even though you want to focus your time, efforts, and energy on pushing your career forward, you must not overlook the importance of self-care. Taking time out, getting regular breaks, and looking after yourself as a nursing professional are important. If you are not looking after yourself, how can you be in a position to look after others under your care. When it comes to self-care, you need to talk about what you are experiencing. Nursing (at any level) is draining, and you must learn to share these feelings and experiences with others before it becomes too consuming. Learning when to stop and learning when to practice self-care is important for you and for all the nursing professionals that you work with.
To achieve career success, you have to invest in yourself and your well-being. If you overlook your well-being, you will find that sustainability and longevity within the nursing industry are simply out of reach. Monitoring how much time you give yourself and seeing where you can positively make changes and improvements are important.