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Are you ready for a career change?

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Ensure you ask yourself the right questions before moving jobs, says Andrea Robinson

You may be happy for now with your career but how long will it be before you’re thinking that it’s time for a change?

Working out a new career vision requires planning, as a goal without a plan is just a wish. Can you identify what you want? Is it a move out of nursing to try something new, or do you have your eye on your boss’s job?

Before you make a change, understand the beliefs you hold about your job, for example “I’m in the right job, I’m happy and fulfilled in my work” or “I’m unhappy about my work, there is something missing”. What do you need to believe to change your job situation? Do you have issues with confidence and believe you’re no good at your job and someone else would be better for that promotion?

Believing in yourself and your abilities to do whatever job you want means you are halfway there.

Weighing up the gains (more money, better quality of life, job satisfaction) and losses (leaving supportive colleagues and work you know and enjoy) of making a career change will give you clarity.

Think about what is important to you in a working environment. Is there a colleague or leader in your workplace who could help you in your career vision? Ask them what they think you could do better and consider if anything about you is blocking your career moving to where you would like it to be.

Develop a career vision

● Identity what you want
● Decide what you want to change
● What do you need to believe in?
● Gains and losses of the change
● Removing obstacles that are stopping you
● What do you want to achieve in your career?
● Where do you see your professional self in the future?
● What is important in your working environment?
● Who can influence your career?
● Know what makes you tick

● What can you contribute to your working environment?

Once you decide that the gains of changing jobs outweigh the losses, ask yourself “what is my commitment to change?” Research has shown that if you can’t give 75% commitment to changing, then maybe the time’s not right.

Are any obstacles stopping you? What hurdles, barriers or pitfalls need to be faced, jumped, moved or avoided? Are the gremlins in your mind holding you back from success? Allowing negative thoughts and emotions to keep you from your ambitions will lead to a lack of success.

Start by making changes in small steps, so that it is less scary and you can gain and develop confidence at a pace at which you feel comfortable.

Creating a career vision will help you. What do you want to achieve? Where do you see yourself careerwise in the future? What would you like to tell your grandchildren about your nursing career?

Understanding who you are and what makes you tick is essential for moving your career forward. Think about what more you can do to be the best nurse you can be.


Andrea Robinson worked for 25 years in the NHS as a psychiatric nurse, achieving team manager and specialised nurse practitioner positions. She is now a fully qualified life coach helping health staff reach their potential. For information see her website:

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