Career advice

Passion will follow after skills

A wait-and-see attitude to career planning is rarely the path to success.

Traditional careers advice tends to focus on a passive approach to finding your dream job: pick a job listing; apply; wait for a response. Get the job, perform your duties, wait for a promotion. Wait, repeat, stagnate. But a wait-and-see attitude to career planning is rarely the path to success.

Instead, be an active participant in shaping your future. Draw opportunity to you by developing your skills.

Sometimes you can find that a series of small, seemingly insignificant decisions have led you down a particular career path that you had never intended going down.

Many people fall into a job, and years later wonder how they got there. Don’t let that happen to your nursing career. Make active decisions that will guide your journey.

Work satisfaction does not necessarily come with the detail of your job, but often from the lifestyle factors gained in your career.

To build a successful career, instead of asking yourself what you are passionate about, ask: ‘What way of working and living will nurture my passion?’

Picture credit: Alamy

If you want a job that is sought after and lucrative, you need to offer something sought after and lucrative in return, and in nursing what you have to offer is your skills. This is why the systematic development of skill almost always precedes passion.

Wanting to feel passionate about your work is sound, but choosing a career path solely because you are passionate about the nature of the work is a poor strategy. It assumes matching your job to an active interest is sufficient for career satisfaction.

Perhaps we are better concentrating on developing rare and valuable skills and using them to direct our career towards the general lifestyle that resonates with us.

Don’t follow your passion, cultivate it. Rather than being remembered for your innate skill in your work, you may shine for your tenacity in trying to improve it. Develop flexible skills that will make your CV stand out.

And if things don’t go the way you planned, you can react in one of two ways: either lose hope and fall into self-destructive habits, or see it as a challenge, from which you can learn and grow stronger.

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