Tuesday, February 09, 2016

What's Nurse Career Coaching, Anyway?

When I encounter nurses online, or at meetings and nursing conferences, they often want to know what career coaching for nurses is really about and if it can truly help them. I generally reply that, yes, career coaching can be a powerful resource for most nurses, and I describe what I actually do in my role as a coach.

This post is about pulling back the curtain on career coaching for nurses, and spelling out exactly what working with me is like and how nurses benefit from such services. Sometimes, describing how a career coach can help is enough for a nurse to spring into action, hit the books, do his or her own research, and make it all happen without the help of a coach at all! It's all good; when coaching is what you need, it can truly change the course of your life, even one conversation!

Meanwhile, click this link to listen to a companion podcast based on this blog post.

Straightforward career coaching is significantly different than life coaching in that it focuses on, well...your career. Many mainstream career coaches help with resumes, interview skills, cover letters, and other nuts and bolts, with little or no attention on the client's life outside of the workplace.

In my world, I offer holistic career coaching; that means that we can, of course, address the nuts and bolts like resumes and interview skills, but we can also delve into aspects of your lifestyle, not just your workstyle. If your stress levels are through the roof and you're completely unhappy, the best resume and LinkedIn profile won't necessarily help you land a job if you come across as dejected and flat during an interview. Coaching isn't psychotherapy, but we can still make sure you're taking care of yourself and have the resources to be happier (including a referral for therapy or counseling, if we agree it's in your best interest.

In terms of my brand of career coaching, we can focus on the following areas of your nursing career, and more:


Resumes and cover letters: I review resumes, offer feedback, and assist you in developing a resume you can feel proud of. Resumes may seem old school, but they're still important, so you have to make your resume count. Meanwhile, cover letters and thank you letters are also key to your job search processs, so they need to be strong and well-written.

LinkedIn optimization: I'm a LinkedIn expert, and I guide you in maximizing your use of LinkedIn, the most powerful online professional networking platform in the world. This blog post offers a roundup of my thoughts on LinkedIn, with links to other critical blog posts, podcast episodes, and YouTube videos.

Social media and networking: Networking is paramount in the 21st-century healthcare employment marketplace, and I can assist you in developing both online and in-person networking skills that will grow your network, improve your relationships with colleagues and contacts, and increase your exposure to powerful career opportunities.

Career transition: In times of career transition, you may need a guiding hand, a loving presence, a friend, a shoulder to cry on, or a coach who'll quietly kick your butt and move you forward by holding you accountable for the things you need to accomplish on your path. For new nurses, nurses in mid-career, or nurses moving towards retirement or self-employment, coaching can propel you, create accountability, and provide the structure you need to make things happen!

Cultivating the vision: At times, you may not want help with the nuts and bolts, mostly because you need a vision to work towards first. If things are stale and you need a new vision of what your nursing career could be, career coaching may be one of the keys that opens the door to career creativity and explosive growth and movement.

Interview preparation: Many nurses experience anxiety when preparing for job interviews, or interviews for fellowships, promotions, and other opportunities. I help you prepare for these critical meetings, including conducting mock interviews in order to practice the types of questions that make you sweat!

Entrepreneurship: Nurse entrepreneurship is exploding. As a successful nurse entrepreneur, I can guide you in the process of starting a business, from connecting you with the right resources to assisting you in arranging the building blocks of a solo business venture.

Blogging, writing, and podcasting: As a successful nurse blogger, freelance nurse writer, and nurse podcaster, I also offer coaching for nurses interested in pursuing these types of exciting ventures.

Self-care and wellness: Sometimes, ramping up your self-care and wellness are what's needed before you can begin to move your career forward. As a holistic nurse, Board Certified Nurse Coach, Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, Certified Swedish Massage Practitioner, and Kripalu Yoga Instructor, I have the background and expertise to assist you in taking your self-care and wellness to the next level.


Anyway, for those of you who've been asking for a down and dirty description of what I do as a nurse career coach, there you have it in good old black and white. I'm not your average career coach, and I have many tricks and tips in my magic toolbox. If you'd like to chat, please get in touch, and we can talk about what you'd like your nursing career to be and how to make it happen!


Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, is the Board Certified Nurse Coach behind NurseKeith.com and the well-known blog, Digital Doorway.

Keith is co-host of RNFMRadio.com, a wildly popular nursing podcast; he also hosts The Nurse Keith Show, his own podcast focused on career advice and inspiration for nurses. Keith is also the resident nursing career expert at Nurse.com.

A widely published nurse writer, Keith is the author of "Savvy Networking For Nurses: Getting Connected and Staying Connected in the 21st Century." He has also contributed chapters to a number of books related to the nursing profession, and currently writes for MultiViews New Service, LPNtoBSNOnline.com, StaffGarden, and Working Nurse Magazine.

Mr. Carlson brings a plethora of experience as a nurse thought leader, online nurse personality, holistic career coach, writer, and well-known successful nurse entrepreneur.

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