6 Hints for Achieving Your Dream Job in Nursing
Published: 13 April 2017
Published: 13 April 2017
What is your dream job? Why is that your dream job?
What are your values, visions, and professional philosophy?
Think about your short term and long term goals. List your strengths and things that you would like to improve on or become familiar with.
If, from your reflection, you discovered that you are not yet in the occupational role that you yearn for, you might want to do some investigating.
If you are a registered nurse but would like to become a nurse unit manager, it may be a good idea to research the roles/job descriptions of a NUM. Ensure first that it is the right role for you. Is it really what you want to invest yourself in, considering the benefits versus costs of pursuing it?
Then you could perform a job search to see what most organisations set as essential and desirable criteria for a NUM. Do you have all of the skills, knowledge and qualifications that they ask for? If not, list what you need to gain to fulfil the job role. E.g. you may need a Certificate IV Frontline Management, so you will need to plan which company you will train with, how and when it will fit into your life, how you will pay for it, and how soon you need to have the qualification.
Perhaps you don’t want to be a NUM for ten years or you know that you will be busy for the next year so you have plenty of time to commence and complete the course. Obviously, the more skills you need to gain for the dream job, the more time you need to allow to complete them all. This may mean that you need to be realistic and patient with timeframes when applying for the dream job.
If you cannot relate to the organisation, it might not be your ‘dream’ job!
Ensure that your professional and personal philosophies align with that of the organisation you are considering working for. Investigate what the values, vision and mission of the organisation are and reflect on whether these fit with you and your lifestyle. For example, some organisations may be economically-motivated, and others may be humanistic-focused. Some organisations may offer flexible working hours/conditions and promote family-friendliness. Some organisations may be more supportive of career advancement and provide more training opportunities than others.
If you think that you want to stay working with your current organisation, you may wish to consider having a discussion with your mentors, managers, and workforce development team. This may reveal opportunities for obtaining the kind of job you are searching for in your current place of work.
Unfortunately, some facilities are limited in what career advancement opportunities or planning they can offer. So you may need to think about expanding discussions on your future career with corporate workforce planners and recruitment teams, if your facility is unable to fulfil your needs. This leads on to the next section, ‘investigating the location’, because you may need to consider relocating…
Where are most of the roles you are seeking located?
If the job isn’t in a ‘dream location’, is it a ‘dream job’?
Some people don’t mind where they live, just as long as they have their ideal career. Some people want the dream location, so they will work any job. And then there are people wanting a happy medium.
Things to consider with relocating for occupational opportunities, are:
You might find what seems to be the perfect job but it doesn’t pay enough for the lifestyle you want to live. Some jobs offer relocation pay, bonuses, cars for work-related travel, free parking, childcare facilities on-site, education allowances, gym membership, accommodation or increased pay at particular intervals.
You might be doing the best job out of the options currently available to you. Sometimes timing is the key. Consider short and long term goals, as the dream short term job likely differs to the long term one. Think about what you need out of the near future and how to fit in preparations for achieving your long term goal in the expected timeframe.
Madeline Gilkes, CDE, RN, is a Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine. She focused her Master of Healthcare Leadership research project on health coaching for long-term weight loss in obese adults. Madeline has found a passion for preventative nursing. She has transitioned from leadership roles (CNS Gerontology & Education, Clinical Facilitator) in the acute/hospital setting to education management and primary healthcare. Madeline’s vision is to implement lifestyle medicine to prevent and treat chronic conditions. Her research proposal for her PhD involves Lifestyle Medicine for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Madeline is a Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE) and primarily works in the academic role of Head of Nursing. Madeline’s philosophy focuses on using humanistic management, adult learning theories/evidence and self-efficacy theories and interventions to promote positive learning environments. In addition to her Master of Healthcare Leadership, Madeline has a Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education & Management, Graduate Certificate in Adult & Vocational Education, Graduate Certificate of Aged Care Nursing, and a Bachelor of Nursing. She is working towards her PhD. See Educator Profile