I once heard someone say, “Life is not boring; people are boring.” The implication is that if someone feels bored, it is his or her own fault because there is always something interesting to do, see, and learn in life. The same could be said for nursing. Yet I often hear nurses say, “I’m in a rut. I get up and go to work everyday, do the same thing, eat, sleep and do it all over again.” If you are feeling bored in your job or career create some positive momentum to liven things up and breathe fresh air into your world. How can do that? Read on.
Look for a project at work (or through volunteer work or your professional associations) that showcases your special talents or where you can develop a new skill set. For example, if you like teaching or would like to gain some teaching experience, volunteer to be a preceptor, present at grand rounds, or do some community education. Don’t do it for your employer; do it because of what’s in it for you.
Look into furthering your formal education. Learning keeps you young and makes you feel alive. It keeps the blood coursing through your veins and stimulates those brain cells. When you cease to learn you cease to live. And if you’re not growing, your stagnating. Education is a gift you give yourself.
Get out to a networking event be it a career fair, nursing association meeting (you can attend as a guest if not a member) or seminar. Meet some new people and get a fresh perspective. Practice your communication skills on subjects other than your clinical specialty!
Take a risk and try something you haven’t done before but would like to do. Consider submitting an article for publication, running for office in a professional association, applying for another job, or getting on a committee at work that interests you. Every time you push yourself and step out of your comfort zone, you get a little braver, a little wiser, and a little more aware of youself, your capabilities, and the world around you.
And last but not least, nursing offers virtually endless options of specialties, types of employers, work settings, schedules, employment vs. self-employment, etc. If you’re not fully aware of all the opportunities available to you in this profession or aren’t sure where you’d fit in, take steps to learn more by reading, surfing the Internet, attending related seminars, talking to nurses doing something different from you and so on. You never know where the spark, the idea, or the inspiration – not to mention the opportunity – will come from.
If you’re feeling bored, it’s time to shake things up a little. Life is too short and too precious to not feel excited, even if a little scared, about facing a new day and looking toward your future with eager anticipation. If you’re in a rut, start moving in a positive forward direction and experience all that nursing – and life – has to offer.