3 Ways to Reduce the Risk of a Mid-Career Meltdown

May 30th, 2014

After working for years in the same field, a sense of drudgery and negativity can begin to take over your daily attitude. This attitude can lead to a mid-career meltdown as you realize this may not be the exact path you always wanted or you are not fulfilling the dreams you had at the start of your career.  It is safe to say that it happens to everyone at some point or another in their professional life. Maybe you see a coworker who seems fulfilled or a family member who has changed jobs and claims to have a new lease on life. Sometimes a drastic change will work but for most in the healthcare field, you’ve worked too hard to reach this point to just throw it all away.

3 Ways to Reduce

the Risk of a Mid-Career Meltdown

  1. Increase your education. You’ve heard the saying, “if you don’t like it, change it” and that applies to your professional life as well as in your personal life. As a nurse, you can choose to work in a certain area of specialty and for many nurses, this is an area in which they are truly passionate such as pediatrics, labor and delivery, or a variety of other departments but these take advanced education and training. Maybe you don’t need to change your career but rather find an area that feeds your passion and is part of the reason you became a nurse.
  2. Network with others in your field. Sometimes when a nurse feels isolated at work, they can begin to feel depressed. After all, day in and day out with people who are sick can wear on your emotions and sometimes losing a patient can be difficult to process without the help of others who understand. Your non-nurse family and friends won’t understand yet you need to have the ability to vent and talk about work with those who understand. As you network, you may even see how other facilities operate and realize yours is better or worse and you can make an educated choice to change locations or change your attitude.
  3. Do your best to improve. You may not be able to change your entire department but what if you made an effort with your immediate team?  The workplace can change and the results can be positive for your career. When the time comes around for a team leader position or other leadership option, you could be considered due to the changes you implemented. Your career can take an upward turn when you decide to stop being complacent and work on improving your surroundings.

Your career starts and ends with you and your attitude. While it’s normal to feel frustrated with the professional direction of your life, it is up to you to change it. It could something as simple as asking for a schedule change or something more complex such as transferring to another facility, but whatever you decide to do, meltdowns will not help your career and you should take the necessary steps to reduce the possibility.

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