I have worked in the same labor and delivery unit for more 20 years. Now my hospital is closing it, and we will all be out of a job. Some of us can apply to work in other departments, but I think it’s time for a change. I just don’t know how to get started. Can you help?
Just Got Laid Off
Dear Just Got Laid Off,
With all the changes in healthcare these days, including where and how care is delivered, we will likely see more situations where nurses like yourself will have to look in new directions for employment. While the process can be scary and unnerving, change can rejuvenate you and your career in unexpected ways. Read “How to handle layoffs” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Layoffs) to get the process started and take care of your most immediate needs.
Having been at the same place of employment for so long, you will need to update your resume or create one. Although this can be a little overwhelming, it’s a great way to reflect on your career to this point and focus on your accomplishments. The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses, available where books are sold, provides step-by-step instructions, including sample forms, to create a resume. It also includes job transition strategies, such as identifying transferable skills, determining job interests, interviewing and networking.
Start getting out to career fairs in your area. It is a great way to meet with many prospective
employers – both traditional and nontraditional – in one place. It is a good opportunity to
explore options and get your networking and self-marketing skills up to date. Read
“How to get the most from attending a career fair” to maximize your time when attending a career fair. See what career events are planned for your area.
You also should actively attend nursing professional association meetings in your area such as the American Nurses Association and/or the American Association of Ambulatory Care Nurses, even as a guest for now. Attending association meetings will help you to reconnect to the bigger world of nursing as we tend to get isolated when working in one specialty for so long. It also will expand your network and help get you up to date on trends and issues in the job market and the profession as a whole. Networking is known to be a great way to explore options as well as learn about job opportunities and get interviews.
Every journey starts with one step. So just keep putting one foot in front of the other and make the path as you go. A whole new world of nursing is waiting out there for you.