What is your first response to being overlooked for a promotion or interviewing for your dream healthcare position and not getting it? Do you feel sad, angry or distressed? Does it produce a blow to yourself-esteem or do you view it as a reflection that somehow you are not good enough as a professional nurse/healthcare worker?
Five Techniques/Strategies that can help you cope with a career disappointment.
1.If a career setback creates more than a minimal impact on you personally, you might want to take some time for self-care in order to recuperate emotionally. Sometimes all it might take is a rejuvenating weekend with family or friends if you feel they will be supportive. I have a saying about personal relationships: -There is nothing better than a good relationship, but also nothing worse than a bad one-. If you anticipate you might be criticized or put down by certain family members/friends, it might be wise to avoid talking about the issue with them. You don’t need another assault on your self-worth!
2.Other people who may support you emotionally could be members of positive groups, such as those of a supportive church. (I call them my church family). Turning to a spiritual support system or other social group where you feel your self-worth is -fed- can be helpful for some. You might not want to get too specific about the details if you live and work in the same area as some of your group members may know some of the people at your place of employment or a potential employer, but you can ask in general for support due to a personal setback, etc. If you don’t have any of the above positive support systems available, you might consider also working briefly with a good life, career or wellness coach.
3.Sometimes just taking time for self-reflection can help you recover emotionally more quickly. Using a journal can be helpful to sort out your feelings, and can also be healing. I use a simple composition notebook, but some people like a fancy, personalized one. If you live with someone else, even a spouse, you may want to keep your journaling private. There are journals available with locks. I tend to ask myself (my subconscious) questions, such as how I feel about the career disappointment to help me focus. Then I free write the answer. Other people take time early in the morning when they first get up or just before bed to write anything that comes to mind.
4.Another effective technique for some people is just to spend some time communing with nature and/or their concept of something more powerful than themselves. Twelve step members call this their -Higher Power-, while others may use the term -God-. Remembering who we are in our essence may help some with a more spiritual background to deal with a career setback.
5.Taking care of yourself physically can also help you heal. If you tend to eat a lot of sweets for example when you feel stressed, you might want to try a piece of sweet fruit to help satisfy the craving and drink more water which helps to fill you up and also eliminate toxins. In addition, walking more or other gentle aerobic exercise can help release endorphins that can increase an overall feeling of wellbeing.
Whatever way you may choose to heal from the emotional impact of a healthcare career disappointment, viewing it as a -setback- rather than a personal -failure- may help you recover more quickly.
Disappointment is natural in a healthcare professional career, how we respond to it is what matters!