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.

Selecting a Candidate to Match your Company Culture

December 13th, 2013

The hiring process is not easy and just when you think you’ve found the right candidate, you meet them in person and it’s a disaster. They don’t seem to understand your company culture and the entire interview is an awkward mess. Could this have been avoided or is it just part of the hiring process? In most cases, you can’t truly know a candidate until you’ve met them in person, and even phone interviews can be deceiving. You can’t really know someone until you meet them and see their mannerisms, hear their first-hand knowledge, and get feedback from the rest of the team.

But they Look Great on Paper!
Some candidates will have all the qualifications and then some but won’t be a smart choice for your organization for a variety of reasons. If your teams are laid-back, prank playing, work hard, play hard kind of people, someone who is a stickler for rules and protocol may not fit in with their spirited antics. It can go the other way too; if you have someone who talks a lot, or a candidate who seems to need a lot of attention, your quiet and private team members may not appreciate this new addition. When possible, have every team member meet the potential candidate and have some questions ready for the asking. Here are some to get them started:

  1. What is your work ethic? Work hard, play hard. Work is an extension of your family. All work, no play. Or work as little as possible to get the job done.
  2. What is your preferred work environment? No noise. Headphones all the way. Thrive on noise everywhere. Or just ignore everyone no matter what.
  3. Why did you leave your last job? Annoying coworkers. Too much work. Not enough of a challenge. Couldn’t please the team.
  4. Are you a team player? Work well with others. Hate team work. Do all the work. Do none of the work unless forced to.

These seem like simple questions but remind the team and yourself to let the candidate expound on their answers. If they answer in a joking manner, wait for them to clarify and if they don’t, it is safe to assume they meant their first answer. This can give you a quick overview of how they will work within the organization and the team.

Go with your Instincts!
The candidate is putting on their best face so if they come up short, it is a safe bet to say they are not qualified for the position. If they can’t seem to mesh with the team members in the interview, they probably won’t have much more success in the actual job. Yes, there are nerves involved with the interview process but they should have the necessary social skills to make small talk with your team and you, the interviewer. Their ability to communicate and observe your culture from the interview will speak volumes for their overall office behavior. 

Addressing the Importance of a Retirement Plan with your Employees

December 6th, 2013

As a manager, you can encourage employees to think long-term and establish a concrete retirement plan, which is essential to overall morale and productivity. When your team members feel secure with their future and their lives, it might be surprising to see how productive and focused they will be. Just as with any outside problems, employees can sometimes be distracted easily and not produce quality work. It could be due to the fact some people struggle with seeing the future and can only think in the short term, here and now. How can you, the employer, promote a sense of well-being and security within your staff?

Focus on the Employees
Too many times a company will focus on the perks they offer at the business rather than what they offer for the future. Sure, you may have free snacks, coffee, and even flexible scheduling but are you employees able to sleep at night because their future is secure? No one can guarantee a perfect future but you can offer ways to make it easier. While they may not express it right away, your staff will appreciate your attention to the long-term more than how many holiday parties or free lunches you provide. There’s no need for the retirement plan to destroy the company budget and communicating the benefits of it will help increase enrollment. Helping them understand why they should care is the first step in a retirement plan.

Changing Times need Changing Plans
In the past, employees used to use tools such as overtime, their mortgage, savings bonds, and valuable life insurance policies to get them through retirement; this is no longer the case. The majority of Americans don’t pay off their mortgage in full by retirement and can’t use it as equity or as a way funding their future. More and more employees are using the plans offered by their employers because it’s an easier option and usually carry tax benefits. Companies who match employees contribution are even more attractive to current employees and future ones. One of the best ways to impart the importance of future planning to your team is just simple communication. If they are aware of what is offered and how easy it is to reap the benefits, more employees will jump on board with a retirement plan.

Communication is Key
You care about your employees and want them to feel secure in their future; by simply letting them know the available plans and how it will help can convey that feeling. Gather your teams together and present the retirement plans offered, as well as how important it is to plan for the future. Most people want to prepare but don’t know how so give them the tools in order to make the best decision possible.

Have additional questions? Curious how Pinnacle Workforce can assist you and your organization? Contact us today for more information!

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