Beginnings…your time and mine

Have you ever thought that your life and your time were not your own? I have! And, it was true in so many ways. My life is simplified now, compared to the years between 1992 and 2004, when I worked about 100 hours per week and traveled monthly to countries in Eastern Europe. At that time, I directed the office of international affairs for a large hospital alliance, and 50% of my time was subcontracted to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). My role was to foster international partnerships between U.S. hospitals and their foreign counterparts. I loved the work, I loved the people with whom I interacted, and I loved my job. The hours were extreme, and I found myself in a constant state of catching up that left me always tired. Now, with a self-imposed work week of 40 hours, I feel I have dramatically simplified my life. I have time to work, write, teach, be with family, and give back to society. I have simplified my life by keeping up with less, not more.

I’ve taken lessons learned in less developed countries to heart as I have simplified my life. In my travels, I witnessed firsthand how simple life can be. Immediately following the earthquake in Yerevan, Armenia, on December 7, 1988, the only decent housing was in a former government hotel. Although the hotel offered neither heat nor hot water, I had a roof over my head and a clean bed. When there was no food in the hospital, our hosts offered bread. We ate it with an appreciation for what we had. With neither heat nor hot water, we made do. Our colleagues lacked so much, but their refinement of spirit and passion for their work were unsurpassed. They lived a simple life and yet a life of gratitude.

Now, as I visit that same part of the world and see the progress that has been made, I am sometimes saddened by the fact that my friends are now living more complex lives, just as I once did. They too are burning the candle at both ends; they too are dealing with carpools, school-aged kids, aging parents, and work/life balance. Call it progress…I do not!

Career Coaching for Nurses

Reinventing yourself…becoming more of YOU

Career building is a life-long endeavor, and having a nurse/coach is the first step toward creating your future.  Has your path led you to a forked road where “straight ahead” is no longer an option?   Perhaps this is a personal choice or because the organization has changed and your skills no longer fit the new business focus. Or, are you merely at a crossroads where you can continue on your present course, but want to consider the options those other directions offer?  Regardless of what brought you to your present place, it may be time to step back, take a deep breath, and reflect on a new vision of what a career might mean for you.

Forward or reverse…

Realizing you need change to get out of your rut is the first step. Once you’re there, spend some time thinking about which direction you want to go. Do you want to change into a new career? Stay in the same career but move forward into a promotion? Stay in the same career but move backward into a prior job that you enjoyed, was more meaningful, and that was less stressful? Segue into an “unjob” (contract, freelance, or self-employment work) or put your career on hold (sabbatical or leave of absence) while you explore those things you always wanted to do that offer zero or minimal financial compensation. This could mean honing an art like pottery or painting or even exploring missionary work.  Take the time to reflect on how your life purpose and your dreams should direct your career choices.  And yes, it could mean redefining yourself as a nursing professional.

As a holistic nurse coach and one who has redefined myself, I look first at your employment history, your passions, and your purpose.  What would your optimal nursing career look and feel like?  How will you know that it is right for you?

How Do I Know When Enough is Enough

Take a moment to reflect on your own career.  If you were to lose your job today, how would that affect you?  If you needed a professional recommendation, who would you contact to provide it?  How would that recommendation look and feel?  Do others think of you as a resource, as a go-to person?  You may love your work, and dislike those with whom you work.  Work satisfaction studies reveal that job frustration is the #1 problem that people express.  We have all experienced the typical ‘bad day at the office’ – so when is enough just that – enough?  I recommend listening to your body; it is a great indicator.  If your job makes you ill, it may be time to look elsewhere.

Can you fix what is not working about your job?  Can you change units, or move your desk to another location?  Sometimes, even changing the position of your desk helps.  Is there an opportunity for professional growth and can you learn from this position and use that knowledge to advance your career?

What kind of work and work setting excite you?  What would give you great joy in the workplace?  Do you prefer to work alone, or as a part of a team?  What steps have you taken thus far to change your situation and what is your timeline for a change?  Put yourself in a position in which resignation is a good choice, rather than a desperate one.

As your nurse coach, I will help you to:

  • Plan the trajectory of your nursing career and a SWOT analysis
  • Identify potentially useful resources
  • Explore your motivations and desires
  • Fine-tune your resume and CV
  • Improve your cover letters and thank you letters
  • Prepare you for interviews
  • Recover from difficult passages in your career that held you back
  • Explore new career alternatives, especially more non-traditional nursing roles
  • Brainstorm entrepreneurial and business ideas
  • Review and enhance your Linked In profile and coach you on how to best utilize this platform

Nursing is a wonderful career and an honorable profession; new opportunities offer a new alternative for you as a nursing professional.  Visit http://smwgroupllc.com to learn more.

 

Follow the “Road to Stress Management”

We all have one life to live!  We all have the same 24 hours in each day, and we need to make the most of those hours and our lives. Can we separate our personal and professional lives? Can we have balance?

In B is for Balance, 12 steps toward a more balanced life at home and at work, 2nd edition, we answered that question. We did it so well that the book was awarded 1st Place in Consumer Health by the American Journal of Nursing in 2015. Now, we offer a workbook to guide the reader to an awareness of what is needed to create, and sustain balance!  This is The Road to Stress Management. 

This is it…the ultimate workbook to accompany the award-winning book – with a Stress Management Thought at the end of each chapter. Available next week at http:/smwgroupllc.com and http:/sharonmweinstein.com

Mindset…the shift that ensures success

As an eimagesmployee, perhaps you punched a timeclock, participated in huddles, followed a routine, listened to/or gave orders, and assumed that the outcomes would be great. Unless you were a director, you probably were not concerned about the bottom line. And, perhaps as a new employee, you waited to be told what to do next.  Unlike employees who work for others, you are now an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are in charge of their successes and failures.  As an entrepreneur, it’s time to shift that mindset because regardless of the type of business you are in, you are the boss/the CEO/the brand.  Ask Sharon about the  7 simple steps that can shift your mindset and ensure your success.

 

What’s your life purpose?

During the thirty-five plus years that I have devoted to being a nurse, I have interviewed many older adults (over the age of 65) about what has brought meaning and purpose to their lives. The specialty of home health nursing gave me the time and experience I needed to research this topic. Combining their wisdom with my studies in the fields of adult development and counseling psychology as a nurse practitioner, I offer my findings in this chapter. I would ask the question: “If you could live your life over again, what would you do differently?”

Recurrent themes were woven throughout all of the interviews. Many patients suggested that they would be more relaxed in order to avoid stress as well as take better holistic care of themselves, attending to their bodies, minds, and spirits. Self-reflection was another important theme as was their emphasis on building relationships and developing positive memories from their lives.

After asking my elderly patients these reflective questions over the years, I concluded that purpose naturally resides within each person’s soul. I observed that all people have a desire to contribute in life, but sometimes get lost along the way. Every one of us wants to leave footprints and feel that our lives have made an impact on the world.

I have found that life purpose is not simply our work lives, but a combination of all aspects of our lives that makes them fulfilling. Life purpose is what gives meaning to our lives and a reason why we are here on earth. Each individual life has a natural reason for being. From birth to death, each of us is on a quest to discover that reason. Many never do, yet our world is incomplete until each person discovers their own divine purpose.

Some questions you may ask yourself while getting in touch with your life purpose are: What gives your life meaning; what do you notice as the main themes in your life, and what is your contribution meant to be during your lifetime? In short, it is time to define and describe your life’s purpose!

 

Is a respite center needed in the work environment?

The author has consulted with global organizations to create respite centers within healthcare settings. Today’s work environment mandates providing respite centers in all industries.

A Hospital-Based Respite Center

Stress is overwhelming, and workplace stress has become a ‘given.’  We can overcome that stress by creating an internal respite center whose goal is to provide a safe, calm place in which nurses can regain momentum, renew spirit, and refresh themselves.  I’ve had the privilege of creating such centers in global locations; these are possible amenities:

  1. Comfort
  • Light
  • Air
  • Eye masks for dimming light
  • Healthy snacks
  • Healthy choices
  • Workout area including adjacent paths and exercise room on-site
  • Adjustable heating and ventilation
  • Noise levels controlled
  • Ergometrics
  • Room size approximately 30 x 30
  • 4 comfortable chairs with ottomans or recliners
  1. Amenities
  • Massage tables
  • Filtered water system
  • Control of lighting
  • Dark room as needed
  • Safe setting
  • Lockers
  • Showers nearby
  1. Consistent recognition and rewards for success
  • Attention, praise, and rewards are given for wellness achievements
  • Values placed on wellness
  • Values on lifestyle improvements/enhancements
  • PTO for achieving success
  • Wellness mentors/mentees
  • Peer modeling
  1.  Managers model healthy behaviors
  • Walk the walk and talk the talk
  • Weight management
  • Weight watchers on-site
  • Solidarity
  • Flexibility
  1. Ongoing health promotion
  • Consistency
  • Orientation for new students/staff
  • Participation 100%
  • Health calendar emphasis (national health holidays, i.e., diabetes, vision, heart, cancer)
  • Benefits of good health
  • Ease of access
  • Lifestyle changes

For additional information, contact info@smwgroupllc.com

Life Balance…it is what we do and who we are!

 

What are the rewards of achieving balance?

Achieving balance in your life can bring you amazing rewards. You can expect some or all of the following changes and improvements in your life as you move into balance:

  • Improved health, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Better sleep habits
  • Less stress and more happiness
  • More energy
  • Improved quality of life
  • Better relationships
  • Improved concentration
  • More free time
  • Potentially longer lifespan
  • Sustainable health
  • Simplicity in your life

Balance is an idea whose time has come and while you cannot use a device to program balance into your life, it is within reach. The exercises in B is for Balance, 2nd edition are not difficult. The difficulty lies in the commitment it takes to retake control of your life. Give B is for Balance this holiday season and help yourself, and others to begin the journey toward balance.  The rewards are yours for the asking!