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Where should I look for new career opportunities?

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I’m ready for a change but am not sure what I want to do or how to find out what opportunities are available to me. Where do I start?

In today’s nursing profession there is a wide range of career opportunities for ambitious nurses. The first thing to consider is why you need a change. Are you dissatisfied with your current work? If so, is a change what you really want or can you look at ways to improve your current situation? You could try a three-step approach.

Step one involves taking time out to seriously consider your present situation and possible future. List what you enjoy about your current job. Is it the ward routine? Patient contact? Do you enjoy the shift work and hours? What is the impact on your personal life?

Next consider what you are not so keen on. Is it the shift work? Are you just bored with your current work? Do you feel you are getting nowhere? Discuss these issues with any significant other person in your life. This is vital if you have a partner, as any changes are likely to involve them in some way.

The next thing is to consider what your strengths are. Which aspects of your work are you good at? Perhaps your managers or work colleagues have pointed these out.

All these questions and many more should start to focus your thoughts on future plans and give you some direction.

Armed with this information, you are now in a better position to move to step two, which involves seeking professional career advice. A starting point might be your manager, mentor or nursing director. Your professional organisation can also be a useful resource. The more thought you have put into your career dilemma, the better they’ll be able to help you.

Step three involves deciding career goals and how to achieve them. They must be specific, measurable, realistic and have a time frame (some will be short term, others longer term).

A systematic approach to your problem is likely to result in a satisfactory outcome and will help you build a brilliant career.

Chris Pearce, formerly a director of nursing, is a life coach with lifegoalspecialists.co.uk

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