Are you among the many in the workforce employed in a job that you don’t like? And, are you in a situation where you feel you’re digging in further year after year and the likelihood of a transition is becoming more difficult? You feel trapped or that it’s too late to make a move.
Well, it’s not too late to work your passion. Facilitating a career change doesn’t have to be an arduous task. Let’s discuss a few steps to take to help make your transition a success.
It sounds cliche’, but you really need to be in a position that makes you the happiest, the most fulfilled, and something that moves the needle for you. So, what is it that you want to do? Where are you emotionally and physically?
If you’ve already arrived at the answers to these questions, then don’t wait on that next step, take it.
If you’re not sure about that next step because of uncertainly about what you actually want to do, then it’s time for a little exploration. It might sound intimidating, but look at it from the perspective of an adventure. This is an opportunity to really find YOU again. A compass is optional, but do plot out a course. And speaking of a course, why not take one?
No matter your proximity in the world or in life, we have more opportunities to educate ourselves about something new. Whether it’s a local college or university, a workshop, or a virtual educational setting, seek out an offering that speaks to you. If it’s something creative that might evolve into a hobby, then maybe this will put work-life balance into perspective, which in turn just might be what you need to have continued success in your current position.
Of course if a career change is a definite move you think is right, then seek out an opportunity that could lead you down another career path. We all hear that nursing is filled with opportunities, but do you really have a full understanding of what this field has to offer? You may if you seek out opportunities that will broaden your mind and your skill set.
Continue to evaluate your new path to ensure that you’re headed in the direction you want to go. Like I said, a compass is optional, but a plan typically isn’t. You don’t want to repeat the all too familiar scenario of getting so far into something that you feel as if you can’t back out now. The point is not to feel trapped in your new endeavor, especially if it’s not exactly what you had in mind, so use those nursing skills and continually assess your situation. Remember, you’re seeking out an opportunity to work your passion.
Now this wouldn’t be a true “career advice” article if I didn’t mention the opportunities to consult independently. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, and it’s okay if you feel that this is not the trajectory you’re on. If you do however want to pursue a freelance or consulting opportunity, then first assess your current employment situation and research whether this kind of work could be done as an entrepreneur.
Your current employer may also be unaware of this option, but it could be a win-win for both sides. Companies are often in a state of flux and with that comes the need to reallocate staff and resources. An employee might be fearful of losing hours, but what if you could look at this as a way to dip your toe into the entrepreneurial waters. If you’re aware of a potential need for your company to reallocate and you feel that you might be directly impacted by having your hours scaled back, why not approach them first with an opportunity to re-hire you as a consultant for the hours they need filled?
You might be surprised to find that many consultants actually work as contractors for a former employer. You can also take your current clinical skills and your new knowledge of consulting and seek out opportunities with other organizations in your field. With just 2-3 contracts, you could actually find yourself working more hours than you did as a full-time employee.
Regardless of whether you’re seeking out a new position as an employee or as an independent consultant, do put a financial plan together. I give a lot of career advice and one very important area I focus on (outside of job satisfaction) is money. The financial aspect of a job is a very large driving force that motivates us. It’s okay to admit it because most of us just want to have a little more financial freedom after those basic needs are met.
One caveat, it’s not as simple as getting a higher salary. What if your current employment is much farther from home? This in turn not only cuts into your personal time, but you may find yourself with more out of pocket expenses such as commuting costs, extra daycare costs, hiring out for simple chores you don’t have time for, and more importantly less time for you.
Could you take a job closer to home offering the same pay, but essentially realize as much as a 20-30% financial gain? It’s not impossible, but you might be hard pressed to find a new job in the same field with that kind of bump in pay.
From a consulting standpoint it’s likely that you’ll take a pay cut initially. Your billable hour might be higher, but it can be challenging to find “40″ billable hours each week when first starting out. Look at your comprehensive budget and see where you can trim without feeling as if you’re making a huge cut. Also, take a look at your current balancing act. If your currently paying someone to pick your kids up from school, clean your house, or run errands, are these tasks that you can now take on as a consultant due to the flexibility you have in creating your new schedule?
Finally, what is success to you?
Remember your “why” of doing what you want to do and maintain that focus. Is it financial freedom, notoriety and respect, is it a work-life balance you’re seeking? These are all motivating reasons. Just remember it’s never too late for a change once you realize you actually have a choice in working the way that most aligns with you.
Now go out and be your potential, and work your passion.
This post is part of the Scrubs Magazine Blog Carnival. If you’re a nurse blogger and would like to participate, then what are you waiting for? Supporting each other and collaborating has never been this easy.