Old dogs can learn new tricks and so too can professionals deep in their careers. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how far you’ve come; if you want to revitalize and shake up your career, you can do it. There are more tools and opportunities to take new steps in your career than ever before.
Do keep in mind, however, that to successfully revitalize your career you first need to define what you want out of it. If it’s to become a top professional in your field, that’s great. If it’s to work in a place where you don’t feel stressed and like who you work with, that is another worthy goal.
So long as your career supports you financially, everything else boils down to preference. Don’t get caught up in what you once wanted, either. Priorities change, we get older, and what we want out of our lives and our careers may look vastly different from when we first started out.
On the flip side, it’s all too easy to get too comfortable in a role and then start to suffer, slowly, because though you’re comfortable, you aren’t excited or passionate about what you do.
In order to revitalize your career in a way that improves your quality of life, you need to do some soul searching. Don’t listen to any instinctual feelings of dread when you think about the effort it will take. Our bodies want comfort and routine. Training, finding a new job, or even starting a second career are all big, new milestones. It’s natural to feel a bit intimidated, but don’t let that fear stop you from doing what you need to build the life you want.
How You Can Revitalize Your Career
There are several different ways that you can revitalize your career. Your options are going to differ, of course, depending on what field you work in. While some careers, like those in marketing, are very flexible, others aren’t. The good news is that, even if you are a nurse and have a lot of rules and regulations in place in terms of where you can work and what you can do, you still have options.
There are so many ways that nurses can revitalize their careers, meaning you can too, no matter what role you work in.
Find a New Workspace
One of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your work/life balance and get more out of your career is to simply find a new workplace. You may want something more challenging or something more calming. It depends entirely on the reason why you feel your work/life balance isn’t working.
Take nursing, for example. Many nurses are feeling burned out working in a hospital environment. Many hospitals are facing a shortage, which means more work for those who are there in an already fast-paced, high-stress environment.
If you want to slow down and reduce stress, then a good way to do that without any additional training is to simply find a job that better supports your needs. This may be a smaller or more rural hospital, or it may be a clinic. With the rise of telehealth, you can even transition into a new digital frontier.
Revitalizing your career can mean slowing it down. The point is that you feel fulfilled in your life. If that fulfillment needs to come from a lack of stress and more time and energy for your personal life, then that is a great option for you.
Work in a New Field
You may be surprised at how easy it is to change industries or focuses, even doing the same work. RNs, for example, can usually work in different units with either minimal training or onsite training to make up for the difference. Similarly, you can work outside of healthcare using your existing credentials in a variety of roles. You could work as a nurse at a research station all the way in Antarctica, for example, or be on the set of movies supervising stunts.
When it comes to working in a new field like this, you do need to keep in mind that networking will be essential. You won’t have the direct experience, nor will you have a network in that industry.
Using traditional networking techniques, reaching out, going to workshops or conferences, and being active online can all help you meet and get to know the right people.
Advance Your Education
One of the best ways to revitalize your career is to invest in your education. It can be daunting to go back to education, especially if it’s been a while. The good news is that there are many options for you today.
Earn a Certificate
For small skills, you can usually train and earn a certificate. This is available to almost every role in one way or another. You may need to go on a training workshop and earn a certificate to use a new tool, for example.
Stay Up to Date on the News
No matter what your role is, there is value in staying up-to-date with the news and latest studies in your industry. Even if you cannot directly use what you learn, having a larger understanding of your role and the industry can only help you make better and more informed decisions.
Further Your Qualifications
There are certain instances where you will want or even need to go back and complete another degree. In fields like nursing, for example, you will need to go back and earn a degree before you are eligible to take the state exam. The good news, however, is that there are many ways that you can speed up your efforts.
As a nurse, for example, you can tack on your specializations to get more done in less time. There are dual-track MSN programs and BSN-to-DNP programs that cut down the time it takes (even when committed to part-time).
If you already have an MSN, then skip the fluff. You don’t need to go back and earn a whole new degree just to change directions or expand your skillset. Instead, you’ll simply need to earn a post-master’s certificate. These certificates are, essentially, the specific units attached to that new credential. If you take this Rockhurst University Online post-master’s FNP program, for example, you will only be taking the courses that are specific to the FNP role and not the general courses involved in the MSN.
This means you can finish your post-graduate certificate in less time and for less cost. When it comes to retraining, keeping your education efforts as targeted as possible is key.
Don’t Box Yourself In
One of the key things to keep in mind when you work towards a new career direction is to not box yourself in. You may have a dream job in mind, but the chances of you getting that specific position are very low. You are more likely to find a job that ticks all of your boxes, however.
That is why you need to keep your mind and options open. You will never know where an opportunity comes your way. Not only are there many roles that you simply may not be familiar with, there are new opportunities being created every day.
Take nursing, for example; Telehealth has only just entered the stage. It brings with it massive new opportunities for patients and for those working in healthcare. If you were to stick solely with one way of working, you would completely miss this entirely new branch of healthcare.
It doesn’t matter what career you are in. Networking is essential. This even applies in industries like nursing, where a large shortage and growing demand have meant many hospitals and clinics are in desperate need of more nurses.
If you want control over your career and to take it in new and even unique directions, you are going to want to network.
Networking today looks different than in the past, thanks to the Internet. Though you can easily connect with people in your field, however, you will want to be mindful. Getting in touch with people you don’t know is essentially a cold call. You need to be aware of the imposition you are making when you reach out blind.
Be respectful, and don’t ask for much. You can ask for advice, for example, or for someone’s opinion on something if they are a specialist in that area. Keeping what you want from that person to something small increases the chances of them responding, at which point you can start a dialogue.
Other networking tips include going to events like workshops or conferences. You may also benefit from keeping in touch with your job feed. If someone is asking for help or advice, and you can help, help them.
Helping others is a great way to establish a real professional connection and can help improve your standing in your network. Do the work now so that later on, you can leverage your network to help you get your dream job.