In healthcare and nursing, there’s always so much in our career we can say no to; however, there are plenty of things we find ourselves saying yes to.
Granted, it’s always empowering to say no to things like working a double shift when you’re exhausted, accepting bullying and incivility as normal, working without adequate PPE, and unsafe staffing levels that put your license and your patients at risk. But those enlightening moments of saying yes and recognizing latent potential can open doors of perception in your mind and opportunities in your life and career.
Saying Yes to Experience
When you sit down in your first nursing class, your lifelong pursuit of building a professional network must begin. That person in the row ahead of you? He may end up being your boss someday. That other student in the back? She might be the key to an incredible opportunity when she founds her nurse-run startup in seven years.
When the opportunity arises to join an interesting committee, become an EMR super user, speak or present at a conference, or take just one more step into commitment. What we’ll call your professional maturation, you’re embracing your evolutionary growth.
If a fantastic job unexpectedly falls in your lap, but you feel reticent to take it because you don’t want your colleagues to feel “abandoned,” this is an important moment to say yes in your best interest. Remember that many of your colleagues would do the same if they were in your shoes, and most will be happy for your good fortune.
No doubt, saying yes to experience can be life-changing.
Saying Yes to Connection
In the preceding section, we mentioned joining a workplace committee. But, again, these experiences can expose you to relationships and connections you would otherwise miss out on. And going to a nursing conference is an excellent experience, especially because you’ll have the chance to meet some fabulous like-minded people.
Your professional network is like your personal brain trust, and building that network over time is an investment that can pay more dividends than you might ever have imagined.
Saying Yes to Prioritizing Yourself
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned things that are prudent to say no to a double shift, bullying and incivility, working with inadequate PPE, and unsafe staffing. Unfortunately, knowing when to say no is as much an art as saying yes.
Saying no to the above scenarios translates to saying yes to prioritizing yourself and your needs. It’s great to help out the team and pick up an extra shift if you have the energy and stamina, but not taking the shift is a win if your reason to do so would solely be guilt.
Likewise, by saying yes to civil discourse and a violence-free workplace (bullying can undoubtedly be characterized as a form of workplace violence), you’re taking a stand for your well-being, not to mention the well-being of your coworkers and patients. Telling a bully that you won’t tolerate their behavior is a resounding yes to your psyche.
Saying yes to self-prioritization is a powerful statement of self-affirmation and valuing your needs and desires. Some might call it selfishness, but you can also call it surviving and thriving.
Saying Yes When It’s Right
As mentioned, there are plenty of things to say no to in healthcare and nursing. And we have established that there’s plenty to say yes to.
Whether it’s a novel experience, a new connection with a valued colleague, or a yes to what you want and need, saying yes can be fodder for a robust, satisfying, and happy nursing career. Saying no or yes is always your right, and knowing when to do so is key to long-term success.
Minority Nurse is thrilled to feature Keith Carlson, “Nurse Keith,” a well-known nurse career coach and podcaster of The Nurse Keith Show as a guest columnist. Check back every other Thursday for Keith’s column.
If you want to be a badass nurse who confidently uses LinkedIn to accelerate your nursing career, here are ten spicy tips for success from international nurse coach Farah Laurent, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, CPXP, NPD-BC, TCRN, CPEN, CEN.
Do your research
I have been a LinkedIn member for many years; however, It was only in 2021 that I truly realized the power of LinkedIn and all that it has to offer.
First, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with over 875 million international members from around the globe. Second, LinkedIn has been voted the most trusted social media platform! If you are not currently on LinkedIn, please sign up right now!
Build And Update Your LinkedIn Profile
Build your profile by adding valuable content that lets readers understand what you are looking for professionally. What opportunities would you like to be considered for? Be clear and concise. Keep it bold and sweet. Yes, I said it, be bold. Be straightforward.
Many people are scrolling and only have a little time. A recruiter or other professional should look at your profile header and, in about five seconds, be able to tell what you want or do. For example, if you are looking for a new job, click the green “open to” tab and fill it out!! Put something interesting in your header about yourself that stands out or people can relate to.
Use Creator Mode
Please make it easy for other professionals to connect with you by turning on the creator mode option under that Resources section. People will be able to hit a green follow button instead of having to wait until you approve a connection request. LinkedIn has added many features over the years, including live streaming events, audio events, newsletters, articles, and tracking post performance metrics.
LinkedIn has truly evolved; it is more than just a place to go when looking for a job. If you take your time to network and build a community, it can be life-changing, not only professionally, but about on a personal level.
Build Your Own Personal Brand
Whether you believe it or not, you are a brand! Personal branding is for more than just business owners. A brand also goes far beyond a logo or brand colors. It is a reflection of you. So it would be best if you carried yourself in a manner that reflects a positive image.
Social media is public, and people can learn quite a bit about a person with a simple click. What do you want people to associate you with when they think of you? How do you want people to feel when they think about you? Think about how you would like to be described or known. Now go ahead and makes sure that is what is being portrayed. Again, you will only be appreciated by some, but please be intentional about the impression you leave on LinkedIn.
Share your Story
Everyone loves to hear a great story. Whether it is a failure, triumph, or journey towards a particular destination, it is worth sharing.
Share your story because other people can relate and feel a connection to you. Be tasteful, but do not be afraid to be vulnerable. Your story may serve as inspiration to someone else reading it. Again, you have to master the art of storytelling here. However, sometimes simplicity wins.
Start Posting Content
Only about 1% of LinkedIn users share posts. So imagine if you posted content on LinkedIn. This would make you part of the 1% and shine more brightly.
It can be a text post, an inspirational quote, a photo, a simple thought, or your perspective on nursing and healthcare. You can write articles on Linkedln, host audio events or live video streaming events.
“Money Flows where attention goes” is one of my favorite quotes from Steven Aitchison. It makes perfect sense. If you are not seen, you are invisible to the world. So be visible on the platform by having professional photos and videos and being seen.
Also, make your profile visible to the public under settings. Trust and believe that 99.9% of recruiters search for you on LinkedIn before they call you or book an interview. Next, have a smiling profile photo that is professional and forward-facing. Yes, you need to smile. No one wants to hire or work with a grumpy person
Stand Out From The Crowd
Put something interesting in your header about yourself that stands out or people can relate to. Use bold colors to attract readers. For example, share a video about yourself, why you chose to be a nurse, or why you would make a great “fill in the blank” nurse. Be you. Have some enthusiasm. Have fun.
Show Off A Little
Please brag about yourself. It’s your page, so you’re allowed to shine bright like a diamond. I promise it’s ok. Show off your educational background, certifications, awards, or accomplishments.
If you are part of an organization such as sigma theta tau or the American Nurses Association or volunteer, please add it to your profile! Brag and bring out that swagger.
Network and Engage
Finally, let me see you network. It is all about networking, community-building, and connecting with others. Be authentic but be strategic as well. To advance in your career and accelerate to new heights, you must be willing to network and engage with the right people. So get out of your cage and engage. I had to crack a silly joke, but sometimes you must show up and be present, and others may find you
Finding a mentor or coach can help accelerate your career success and save you time. LinkedIn is a fantastic vehicle for success, but you must get in the driver’s seat, take action, hit the pedal, and accelerate to your career destination. Your next connection could change your life.