I quit my first job because my coworkers were mean to me. How do I get the courage to look for a new job?

By | 2022-02-03T17:27:21-05:00 January 16th, 2008|0 Comments


Dear Donna,

I am a 21-year-old who just graduated from a diploma nursing school in Singapore. I graduated six months ago and started working in a pediatric ward soon after. However, it was a bitter experience for me. I hated working there because my colleagues were all very mean to me and were constantly demoralizing me. All of them complained that I was a slow worker. I felt it was not worth working there, as I was unhappy and used to drag myself to work everyday. It’s not the work that I hated —although it was always busy and stressful. I hated the fact that I was working with horrible people. I guess I didn’t see the point in working in a hurry and not being there for the patient, which is what nursing is all about. Working in a ward makes me feel like I’m a production worker. I quit the job before my confirmation. I know that I can choose where and what kind of specialty I want to work in, although I can’t choose the people I work with. I love children and babies. I want to be there for them and spend quality time with them. Is nursing the job for me? Isn’t it too early for me to quit on nursing? Is there any specialty in nursing that matches my interests? Or should I just switch careers? I’m so confused and lost. I dream of the hospital every day, and it always provokes fear in me.

Jenna Ann

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Jenna Ann,

Many new nurses get off to a rocky start, which is what happened with you. Quitting nursing is not the solution. Please read the article “New Grad Woes” at http://www.dcardillo.com/articles/newgradwoes.html.

Pediatrics or nursery is the obvious specialty for you if you love children and babies. Of course, you don’t necessarily need to work in a hospital; but I believe that hospital nursing is a good place for you to start. It will help you to build your confidence as a nurse, put the knowledge and skills you learned in nursing school into action, and develop critical thinking skills. Please read the article “New Grads: You Can Do It!” at http://www.dcardillo.com/articles/new-grads.html.

Read my book Your 1st Year as a Nurse — Making the Transition From Total Novice to Successful Professional . The book will help you to be more assertive, assimilate into the U.S. nursing culture, and better deal with the challenges of being a new graduate nurse, including dealing with negative and nasty people. The book will also show you how to find the friendly, competent, and supportive people all around you.

Please immediately join and get active in your state nurses association (go to http://www.ana.org and click on Constituent Member Association) and/or a specialty association, such as the Society of Pediatric Nurses . You must immerse yourself in the community of nursing to be successful. If you stay isolated you will surely fail. See the article “Lean on Me” at http://www.dcardillo.com/articles/leanonme.html for more information.

I also want you to connect with the Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association . Look for role models, mentors, friends, and colleagues to help you and support you.

Read the above articles and book and create support systems for yourself in nursing and in your personal life. Then get a fresh start in a new position and make up your mind that you’ll do whatever it takes to be successful. It will be worth it for you in the long run — I promise you that. You can definitely do this!

Sending powerful and positive nursing vibes your way!

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum’s “Dear Donna” and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional. To ask Donna your question, go to www.nurse.com/asktheexperts/deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit http://events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.


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