How To Effectively Make A Change INS 15

I received a pretty powerful question from a community member asking about why we as nurses seem to be paralyzed at making positive changes in our careers and our lives. I realize this might be an extremely loaded question, and definitely one that can be a sensitive topic, but in this episode I offer up a few tips on how to effectively make that change.

I understand that your career is probably one of the most critical aspects of your life, and it may even define who you are as a person in one way or another. I also know that you want to make a change, and some of them may seem like they’re going to completely flip your life upside down, while other changes may be a bit more subtle. Well, I do want to lead off with saying that entrepreneurship isn’t necessarily for everyone, however these tips I’m going to share will help you with many of the changes you’re looking to make in your endeavors.

I know you may be thinking about all of the reasons of why you can’t, so let’s focus on flipping the script to see how you CAN make these changes.

  1. I’m a nurse, so I’m supposed to love it.

Now, I’m not saying that you need to completely switch up what you’re doing altogether by leaving the nursing field as I know there are so many more options to practice your craft, but let’s take an opportunity to talk about that passion of yours, no matter what it is. First, let’s pique your interest a little bit. Take the money piece out of this initial equation and ask yourself why are you doing what you do, or working where you’re currently employed?

If you’ve answered this question, then go ahead and ask yourself what you’d want to be doing. What do you enjoy, and what interests do you find taking away your attention from what it is that you’re currently doing? If you don’t those answers right now that’s okay, because with a little investment of time and patience you’ll get there.

  1. I’ve done the same job for a long time, so how am I possibly qualified to make a move?

I’ve seen nurses continue to underestimate their skills and worth. So unless you really don’t know what’s going on at work and your employer is just keeping you on the payroll, which is highly unlikely, then just remember that you’re currently getting paid for your skills.

So to help you with step number 1, start making that list of skills and strengths you own. Yes, own these strengths as this is part of your personal brand. Start with a list of five and work your way up to ten. What is it that you’re actually bringing to the table for your organization, and if you’re looking to make a move to entrepreneurship then how can you parlay these strengths into a business?

Do you want to make a bet that you’ll actually discover how rockstar you actually are?

  1. I just think I’m too old to make this change.

You really aren’t going to let this go are you? In my years of experience as a nurse and many other industries, most of you are currently thinking or have thought that you’re just too old to make this transition.

As an entrepreneur I’m likely going to work until I just run out of air, so I’m not thinking about my age when it comes to my career, although I know this isn’t a mindset for everyone. What is your goal for retirement and what number have you established as the age that you’re aiming for in your final days of work?

Just FYI, we get plenty of inquiries from nurses who are in their 60’s and 70’s looking for a career change and we love having that level of expertise on our staff. Also, if you haven’t heard the rumor, we’re still very much in a nursing shortage and your experience may really pay off for another organization or in your business. If you still want to do something you’re really in love with, then sell that concept!

Don’t box yourself in with that number and don’t allow someone else to do the same.

Those that you either want to work for, or clients you want to work with will be more focused on your passion and drive.

  1. It’s all about the money.

Whether you’re providing the health insurance, food on the table, or the roof over your family’s heads, don’t immediately let this define your decision to make a change, although please don’t just dismiss it altogether. I know it’s important, but there are other things to consider:

  • First, instead of basing your opinion on what John’s cousin’s best friend said, do you know what the actual compensation is for this new career path? Consider speaking directly with someone from HR of a few organizations, check current job postings, or speak with a career counselor about the data they may posses. Have you done the actual research to know, for sure, what the package includes? Glassdoor is also a tremendous resource for transparency on certain companies and salaries.
  • For the entrepreneurial path, listen to The Innovative Nurse Show! But seriously, do find a successful entrepreneur that can provide you with some helpful information.
  • How much money do you really need to earn to sustain the basics, and is there a partner involved that can help support this transition?
  • What expenses can be cut and what other fringe benefits might be available? If you haven’t already, be sure to tune in to the podcast where I mention my biggest fringe benefit as an entrepreneur.
  • Even if you take a pay cut now is there an opportunity to make a much larger return in the future?


  1. This is going to be tough on my relationships, isn’t it?

No matter what your career is, it is likely impacting your marriage or partnership. If you’re unhappy at work then I’d bet this certainly isn’t helping things at home. I know that if my wife was completely miserable in her career that this would certainly have a huge impact on our relationship. It takes a toll on the individual and that life partner.

This is going to be a team effort, so start opening up the dialogue about what you’re unhappy about at work and some of the steps you’ve been thinking about to make a change. I know this isn’t going to be easy, but this should be a collective effort, as a team. If you need to work on the relationship itself, then by all means take care of this first, so that you are both stronger to take on these next steps.

  1. Find that tribe.

After you’ve really opened up the conversation with your partner, start finding that tribe. This can be your colleagues, your friends and family, or some mastermind groups. You’re going to need to brainstorm and execute on these ideas, and you’ll likely need some help from that support system. Whether it’s helping you with your resume, your new look, or helping you launch that business, think about who can be there for you through that process.

You will of course at times be inundated with information and tasks, but do remember to communicate your ongoing appreciation to this support group.

  1. Have we met?

It’s finally time to start tapping into and building that network. This is just a constant whether you’re looking for employment or launching a business, but definitely vital to your success during this transition. Attend job fairs, MeetUp groups, and take part in as many social gatherings as you can possibly fit into your schedule.

When you meet new people, lead the conversation with questions and dialogue about them. It’s likely the conversation will eventually steer its way in the direction of “what you do for a living” or “that sounds exciting, tell me more” discussions. I’ve met so many professionals at birthday parties and other social events that my company now works with.

There’s often an advantage when there’s no pressure to talk “business” even though we end up doing it anyway. You never know what kind of connections that person may have that you’re speaking to at that very moment.

So a question for the community, what’s holding you back from a career change or to strike out on your own?


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