Hindsight Can Serve You
Hindsight is sometimes said to be 20/20, and I believe that this is actually a very good thing. Looking back on our accomplishments (or lack thereof) in the previous year, we can accumulate a great deal of data when it comes to making prudent choices for the new year.
As you assess last year in terms of your career trajectory, ask yourself the following questions:
- How do I feel about the way in which my career developed last year?
- What kinds of career-related choices did I make?
- If I felt stuck last year, what was it that made me feel that way?
- If I moved forward last year, what were the choices that really worked for me?
Don't Forget Foresight
We need to make career choices that are prudent and thoughtful; if our intentions are clear, we can choose more wisely. We don't want to take a certification course or enroll in a master's degree program just because someone said we should; rather, we need to assess what we want and select the most intelligent, affordable, and efficient path to reach our goal.
Career choices need to emerge from due diligence, the collection of data, the honoring of your intuition, and the assessment of how to identify the most powerful vehicle for the journey ahead. Some forms of assessment may include:
- Informational interviews with influencers and knowledgeable professionals
- Web-based research on specialties, schools, certifications, etc
- Plumbing of your own desires and aspirations
- Online and in-person networking
- Engaging with a life or career coach
- Podcasts, blogs, articles, journals
The Power of Insight
Insight emerges from the crucible created by hindsight and foresight. An insight may come in a flash of intuition, or it may come to light during an informational interview. We don't know where insight will come from, but the power of a strong realization can be enormously impactful on your nursing career.
Listening to a podcast, a thought may emerge that leads you down another unknown path of discovery. While you're reading a blog post or article, a particular link or recommendation could be the key you've been seeking. And sometimes, insights are born from hard work and tedious research.
Intention is Key
If your intention is to become a flight nurse, then your path forward will be clear. If your intention is to "quit this stupid job," you have more work to do to get there. And if you just know there's something you need but can't figure out what it is, that's a row that's more tedious to sew (but altogether possible).
Focus on your intentions, motivations, and short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals; once these become more clear, the path ahead will more readily make itself known.
Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, is a Board Certified Nurse Coach offering holistic career development for nurses and healthcare professionals. All things Nurse Keith can be found at NurseKeith.com.