for a new job. Whether the change is voluntary or not so much…emotions when changing a job can be mixed and overwhelming. If you are in the process of starting a new job, or feeling the urge to make the move, let’s discuss why changing your job can turn out to be a great next step.
Out With the Old
Have you ever noticed that you didn’t realize how stressful something was until it ended? Sometimes I look back at certain jobs and think, “How on earth did I even do that?” It’s fascinating to me that at one point something can be just what you need, and then later become the very thing you can’t wait to get away from. In your former job you may have been so focused on the “have to’s” that you didn’t realize how stress was building up. Now that you are leaving your old job behind, it’s a great time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and all the stressful things that are now history.
I was working on a GI surgical unit and I remember thinking at one point, “I’m so sick of talking about gas and bowel movements.” Granted, I had for the most part always been a float nurse, so being on any one unit all the time probably would have gotten on my nerves. But still, when it was time to move on, there were definitely things I was not sad about saying goodbye to. Can you remember a job change when you were just so happy to be done with something in particular (or someone)?
But I Loved My Old Job…
Maybe this job change is not by choice, or maybe it was, but you are still struggling with missing a job you really enjoyed. Can you identify the aspects of your old job that you miss? Perhaps the necessary change can be for a period of time, and you can look forward to having some or all of those things again. A sense of belonging, comfort in your role or your skill level, may eventually become part of your new role. In time, you may see new things you really enjoy or appreciate that you wouldn’t have been able to experience if you hadn’t moved on from your former position.
With change comes new discoveries, realizations that just don’t occur until you circumstances change. We are able to take a fresh look at ourselves, our habits, and the things that we do without even thinking. It gives us the opportunity to ask Do I still want to do this? Is it time to assess other areas of my life now that this new chapter is beginning? It’s time to learn new things, make new connections, and build on what you know, even if your new job is very different than the one you are coming from.
Often one thing leads to another, and with a new job comes the opportunity for any number of “what might come next” opportunities. Having an optimistic viewpoint, and realizing that apprehension with change is normal, will allow you to be more able to accept the learning curve, enjoy the ride, and see what ends up growing in the process. Take time for yourself. Even when the new job is a desired change, you have lots of new things to learn and get used to. Do things you enjoy and take a mental break from learning periodically. You’re working really hard. Let your mind rest and refresh, even in small doses.
That Learning Curve Life
Who of us enjoys feeling stupid? Anyone? No? Unfortunately, life on the learning curve often involves someone (even yourself) expecting you to know something that you don’t know yet, for whatever reason. For us nurses, we get lots of practice with this when conversations start with ‘Hey, you’re a nurse…’ and the person proceeds to ask anything from what tests are performed for an obscure illness, what happens if you get a certain virus in Southeast Asia, or “Why am I getting this pain in my stomach?” I can’t imagine what doctors go through. It’s helpful to remember that we are all human here, and we’re all (hopefully) doing our best. If someone expects more than that, it might be more their problem than yours.
Keep Your Goals in Mind
What direction are you going? Why are you making this job change? When difficult moments or days or weeks arise, keeping in mind your “why” for what you’re doing can get you through rough patches. What things do you appreciate about your new position? What do you like about it? If you focus on the positive things in your new environment, and leave the difficult things on the back burner, you can have more joy and work on those difficult things over time.
Changing jobs can be a source of anxiety and stress, but it can also be a time to reflect, set new goals or even an entirely new direction. What new opportunities will come your way? By embracing the change of a new job, you allow yourself to keep growing, taking the lessons you’ve learned with you for your new adventure.