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Help me figure out how to be happy!

Posted

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

This is more a mind-dump than anything else. 80% of the time, I LOVE my job. I'm really really good at it. I adore all my coworkers, and I think they feel the same about me. For the most part, the patients love me. I'm the go-to person, the pointman (woman) for our department. If someone has a question or needs something done, they come to me. If I don't know the answer, I know how to find it. I'm the expert in our clinic.

My boss relies on me and trusts me, and has given me more and more responsibility. I'm on two different leadership committees, and am heavily involved in two different QI projects that are likely to have significant positive effects for the entire organization. I'm paid well.

Yet. I'm discontent. I have career ADD. I get restless easily, and once I've mastered something, I want to discard it for the next thing. And that's how I'm feeling, even though I KNOW I have a really really good thing here. I WANT to be content with my job, at least for the next few years. And most of the time, I am. But there is that smaller part of me that wants to know what else is out there.

How do I be happy with the really good thing I have?

sallyrnrrt, ADN, RN

Specializes in critical care, ER,ICU, CVSURG, CCU.

gratittude fot your talents and resourcefullness,

best wishes

Maybe try to imagine that you actually lost this job irreparably and every job after that left you no more content than for a short period but with not such great coworkers and admin.

Or maybe hobby hop while you keep your stable job.

Or make chaos of your personal life so that you appreciate the stableness if not sometimes boriness of your job. JK!

Seriously, how about make a contract with yourself, like one year of not considering a change, with an effective consequence if you do. Then see how you feel in a year after not dwelling on it the whole time.

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

Try getting a Per Diem job. It'll get you outta Dodge, so to speak. I think it gives you a better perspective, and makes you appreciate your home turf, warts and all.

I got one, and I love it. I found out that, my insurance at my current job is WAY cheaper. It's a kick back job, and it reminds me how irritating it is to see people goof off. And, my current manager is the greatest about communication, it's like pulling teeth getting an answer to an email at my kick back PRN job.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

I'm discontent. I have career ADD. I get restless easily, and once I've mastered something, I want to discard it for the next thing.
I'm similar. I refer to myself as a malcontent when it comes to the workplace. Although the word 'malcontent' has negative connotations, it really means that I've never been content with any job I've ever had and never will for as long as I live.

I've been employed at my current place of employment for nearly five years. This is the longest length of time I have ever held a job. I stick around this place for the steady paycheck, the tolerable work environment, and the loyalty of certain staff members toward me. In essence, my job has been made easier because certain people want to work with me.

I have realized that my happiness comes from outside the workplace. I feel validated through schooling, learning, hobbies and other pursuits outside the workplace.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

Try getting a Per Diem job. It'll get you outta Dodge, so to speak. I think it gives you a better perspective, and makes you appreciate your home turf, warts and all. .

I would LOVE to do that. I would love to work per diem in L&D, just to feel like I'm not forgetting everything I've learned. My problem is that I work M-F 8-5. There's simply no time. It would leave weekends, which are devoted to school, my family, home renovations, and basically just trying to breathe. I came very close to taking a weekend per diem lactation consultant job at a local hospital 6 months ago, and then I came to my senses and declined the interview.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

Maybe try to imagine that you actually lost this job irreparably and every job after that left you no more content than for a short period but with not such great coworkers and admin.

Or maybe hobby hop while you keep your stable job.

Or make chaos of your personal life so that you appreciate the stableness if not sometimes boriness of your job. JK!

Seriously, how about make a contract with yourself, like one year of not considering a change, with an effective consequence if you do. Then see how you feel in a year after not dwelling on it the whole time.

These are really great suggestions, actually! Regarding the bolded, I had actually sort of contented myself to that in the last few weeks, but then I got an email from the hiring manager for a position I had submitted an application for several weeks ago, and she wants to interview me. So now I'm back to square one. I emailed her back, accepting the interview request. But now I'm thinking maybe I should email her and politely decline.

Ayvah, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Specialty. Has 10 years experience.

You spoke of school on the weekends but I don't know if you mean your kids' school or yours. So if you aren't currently in school:

Does your employer offer financial assistance for additional education? If so I'd go after your area certification, or, even consider additional schooling/MSN. But sounds like you are in a fabulous job right now. Don't give that up too easily. No job is perfect. 80% is really really good.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

No, I meant my school. I'm 4 months away from finishing my MSN. I'm also taking the exam for my second certification next month. :)

What about a volunteer nurse job? Maybe once you finish your masters you can find a volunteer nurse travel job for a charity, or find one closer to home.

Ayvah, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Specialty. Has 10 years experience.

No, I meant my school. I'm 4 months away from finishing my MSN. I'm also taking the exam for my second certification next month. :)
That's great! Good luck! :)

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

No, I meant my school. I'm 4 months away from finishing my MSN. I'm also taking the exam for my second certification next month. :)

My Mother, may she rest in peace, would be proud of me if I were you!

Do you have regular contact with nurses who are experts in your specialty area? I think you will find many high achievers become restless when they reach plateau points. If you are not a member of a specialty organization, consider joining and attending local chapter meetings and national conferences, also, consider presenting a poster or writing an article for the organization and/or volunteering on one of the organization's committees. Look for opportunities to be involved in clinical research and to participate on advisory boards.

OP, perhaps it is more of a recognition thing as opposed to anything else. If you do good work, and you are resourceful, that should be an administrative role. Perhaps your goal is to be DON or a supervisor of some kind. As you should be with all of your professional accomplishments.

And I can help but throw in my jaded 2 cents--but I would find myself restless if someone else is getting professional recognition for my input, my ideas, if the committees that I contribute to are ideas that are solid, but the implementation weak. I am not sure that this is happening, however, it is a thought I had as well. If you are the go to, spin doctor, morale booster, crisis manager, then I would think that warrants an administrative title.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

My Mother, may she rest in peace, would be proud of me if I were you!

That is one of the sweetest things I've heard in a long time. Thank you very much.

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

Do you have regular contact with nurses who are experts in your specialty area? I think you will find many high achievers become restless when they reach plateau points. If you are not a member of a specialty organization, consider joining and attending local chapter meetings and national conferences, also, consider presenting a poster or writing an article for the organization and/or volunteering on one of the organization's committees. Look for opportunities to be involved in clinical research and to participate on advisory boards.

Yes, that is something I do want to become more involved with after I finish my program. I am a member of AWHONN (OB/Women's/Newborn nurses association) but have not been involved with the local group. Same with ILCA (lactation).

klone, MSN, RN

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 15 years experience.

OP, perhaps it is more of a recognition thing as opposed to anything else. If you do good work, and you are resourceful, that should be an administrative role. Perhaps your goal is to be DON or a supervisor of some kind. As you should be with all of your professional accomplishments.

And I can help but throw in my jaded 2 cents--but I would find myself restless if someone else is getting professional recognition for my input, my ideas, if the committees that I contribute to are ideas that are solid, but the implementation weak. I am not sure that this is happening, however, it is a thought I had as well. If you are the go to, spin doctor, morale booster, crisis manager, then I would think that warrants an administrative title.

Yes, that is part of it, I think. My title is "charge nurse". I have applied for manager positions in the past (positions that I'm well qualified for) and I know that my resume doesn't make it past the HR bots because they see "charge nurse" and don't realize how MUCH my role encompasses, and how much administrative stuff I do (and I fully admit part of that is my fault, my resume needs an overhaul).

The good news is that my manager fully acknowledges and appreciates what I do, and HER boss, who is an associate director of nursing, was actually assigned to me as a professional mentor when I started with the organization, so I have both of them fully in my corner, and both recognize my strengths (and professional goals) and I know they want to help me achieve them.

I actually have a really exciting QI project I'm working on for my Master's capstone which I think may save our organization hundreds of thousands of dollars. It's one of those things where I'm thinking "Why has nobody else recognized that this is a huge problem??" but apparently nobody else has, or has realized the scope of the problem and how much it's costing us. My mentor (the associate director of nursing) is also very excited about what I'm doing, and I know I will have her full backing when I try to implement it on a facility-wide level (right now I'm just in the pilot phase in our little clinic, and collecting data).

Sorry, another brain dump.

I did email the manager who contacted me about an interview yesterday after reading people's posts in this thread, and politely declined the interview, citing the projects I'm currently working on that I really need to see to completion, and right now is just not the right time to leave my current position. She was very understanding and pleasant and wished me luck.

It felt good to do that, and I am taking your advice, Libby, and I'm not going to even LOOK at job postings for a year. I'm going to spend this next year finishing my degree, working on my projects, and finding things to learn within my current role that will challenge me (my manager wants me to take over the monthly budget reports - I love spreadsheets and numbers so I'm totally geeking out about that).

I really want to thank everyone who responded. I mostly come here for entertainment (and the occasional snark) but when you really need advice from people who have BTDT, nothing beats this place.

Sounds like once you are finished, you should publish the results of your QI project!