Are you tired of going to your job?

Nursing might be one of the most exciting and dynamic careers, but that doesn’t mean you are in the right role. With so many options available in the nursing field, there’s no reason to be stuck in a job you don’t like.

If you’re starting to think about finding a new place to work or even just changing roles in your current organization, it helps to plan ahead.

Here are five things to do now if you’re thinking of getting back in the job market.

1. Decide What You Want

It won’t do you any good if you just jump from one job to another without understanding why you are making the big move. Decide what’s most important to you. Is it a bigger salary? More benefits? A less pressured environment? Are you looking for more or less work hours? Or is your work environment abrasive and difficult? Once you know why you’re leaving and what you really want, you can move forward.

2. Polish Up

Get your resume ready. If you’ve been in your current role for a while, list all of your responsibilities, duties, successes, and accomplishments. Decide how you can show what you did rather than just tell what you did. Talk about a successful change you made at work and if it saved your team time or money. Did you work with a specific population and increase their health outcomes? Did you manage an increasingly larger staff? If you aren’t sure where to begin, hiring a pro will be a good investment. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated with a current photo (no selfies allowed!) and that your social media sites are professional.

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3. Find Your Cheerleaders

You will need references, so think of the people who have worked with you successfully. Maybe you worked on a team, were the lead on an initiative, or even were active in charity work outside of your day-to-day job. You need to ask colleagues if they will act as a reference before you list them in any job application process,

4. Play Detective

Investigate the companies where you are applying for a job or where you would like to work. Find out about recent (or planned) major changes. You wouldn’t want to look for a shorter commute and find out that a facility is moving. Do they have a new leadership team of highly respected leaders? How is their financial history and do they have any recent layoffs? Google searches reveal lots of information. A thorough investigation will give you a good perspective on the place you could be going.

5. Network Your Tail Off

Job hunters can’t underestimate the importance of getting out there, making an impression, and adding to the professional and industry conversations. If you can’t get to networking events, being making well-placed, thoughtful comments on LinkedIn or Twitter. Do the best you can to connect with people, but not just for what they can give you. The best networkers are finding out how they can make positive and long-lasting contributions to the nursing industry. They are seeking ways to enhance their careers, of course, but also for ways they can add their talents. They know a solid network is multifaceted and will exist long after they find a dream job.

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Nursing Career Change and the Soul

A well-planned approach to job hunting will save time and effort in the long run. Focusing on what you want, how you can get there, and what you have to offer to the larger profession is a great first step.

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil
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