We nurses change the course of our careers based on many factors, one of which may be money or the notion of "advancement". This is all well and good, but based on one of my previous posts about the soul work of evolving as a nurse, money and career development are only a part of the puzzle.
What Calls You?
Sometimes, a move from one aspect of nursing to another may feel like a lateral move rather than a vertical one, but there are times when lateral moves make sense because there is a calling that runs deeper than the call of your wallet.
It's often said that nursing is more of a "calling" than a profession, and this may very well be true for many of us. And what "calls" us from one form of nursing to another may be the work we need to do on a deep soul level.
Perhaps you've been working with adults for years but now feel that spending time with children is "called" for. You don't understand it, you want to question it, but the magnetic pull towards that new aspect of your life as a nurse has more power than you realize, and if you honor that magnetism, you never know what gifts may lay in store for you down that unknown path.
Or maybe you're just not feeling "right" anymore in your current position. You don't feel like you're burned out, but it just doesn't feel like it used to. All of a sudden, a new position makes itself known but you recognize that it's a small cut in pay. Do you honor your desire and take the pay cut in anticipation of the gold that may be waiting there just for you? Your life circumstances may allow you to absorb the financial hit and explore this new career option, or perhaps not. But it's worth looking at how you feel in your gut and your heart, and consider all of your choices.
There Are Multiple Bottom Lines
Of course, if you have a family, children or other dependents, your financial bottom line must sometimes take precedence over your desires. However, we can also flip that around and see that there are many bottom lines: spiritual, physical, psychic, financial, mental and emotional.
A few more dollars per hour can sometimes seem like it will make the difference for you, and that may be so on the physical plane. But what about your spiritual health and mental health? What "tax" will you pay for that slight increase in pay? What will the toll be, and will you be able to pay it day after day? Look at career change from a multifaceted perspective and the decision may become more clear.
Weighing Your Options While Caring For Your Soul
Yes, reality--especially financial reality--can hold great weight when making career decisions. And let's acknowledge that there are other realities as well, and sometimes those realities also need to be honored, weighed and figured into the equation. We also must remember that when we think there are only two paths to choose from, there are more often than not more choices than we immediately recognize.
So, if a career change is in your sights, look at it all, weigh it all, do the math (mental, spiritual and emotional), and allow your heart, gut and mind guide you as a group, disallowing only one of those important aspects of yourself to steer the entire ship without heeding the others' wisdom.
Career change is exciting and sometimes scary. Use all of your faculties and aspects to plot a path, thus making a choice that works for you on as many levels as possible. -------
This blog post was written to be included in the next edition of the new Scrubs Magazine Nursing Blog Carnival, which will be hosted by various nurse bloggers and published on a regular basis.
Thanks to Scrubs and Brittney Wilson, The Nerdy Nurse, for including me.