Its exactly one year since I made the career move to work in the UK. Needless to say, the year has been grueling, both physically and emotionally. Here are 12 important lessons I have learnt a long the way.
1. Unrush Yourself.
Probably the most important lesson of them all. Regardless of the years of experience you have as a nurse, you’ll be starting from the most elementary level once again. This will include doing tasks that may not be specific for the nursing role. You will also undergo frequent and extensive training and will work under supervision for the better part of the year. This can be frustrating especially when you know your craft. To avoid accumulating negative energy, flow with process, do only what your are allowed and don’t be in a rush. Remind yourself that it is only for a period.
2. Believe in yourself
Two things. Your employer needs you as much as you need them. Second, for you to have been offered the contract, you have proven the skills you have. You have brought your seat to the table therefore you have a right to be part of whatever is happening on the table. Remember this any time you feel purposeless.
3. Ask Questions
This is a very basic concept but it goes a long way. When in doubt, ask a question. You’d rather look like a fool but do the right thing the right way. This is one of the best ways to learn. Also, medical malpractice litigation is a thing.
4. Manage your Expectations
We all have our personal opinions and views of the first world but I can bet a majority believe its the land of milk and honey. Although there is milk and honey for sure, there is also vinegar and bile. The best way to cope is to know that it is not always going to be easy.
5. Start Saving Immediately
Money is one of the chief reasons why you made the career move. Start saving whatever you can from the very first salary. You can gain momentum and think investments once you have settled.
6. Invest in Yourself
There are so many ways to do this. Start investing in your well-being especially because your body and mind will undergo stress as never before. You may even consider this as your first investment. Eating well, going out, buying books and other good things that make you happy, therapy, sleeping, getting a coach and so on. There are many ways of investing in yourself, choose what suits you, just make sure you are a level higher than your previous self when done.
7. Speak Up
Whenever you have an issue, speak up. Know the right channels to escalate issues. This may be your line manager. Other times you may have to visit HR. Do not suffer in silence at work, this is detrimental to your well being and that of your workmates.
8. Make Friends
Loneliness is emotional cancer. It can kill you slowly and cause unnecessary pain. Identify one or two people you are in sync with and spend time with them.
9. Embrace Solitude
Despite having some friends, you will have to spend most of your free time alone. This can be excruciating especially if you are extroverted. Give it time. Eventually, you will learn to enjoy your own company. You will learn things about yourself that you didn’t know. You will discover some talents or gifts that you never knew you had and may be you may develop the courage to work on some of your hobbies. Case in point, this blog.
10. It’s a Journey
Rome was not built in a day. The same way, you will not wake up one day and find yourself settled and feeling at home. It’s a process. It’s a journey. Take each day at a time and learn as much as you can.
11. Don’t loose sight of the bigger picture
Don’t forget your goals. You will have good days and bad days. Remember the goals you had. The career goals. The financial plans. The change you want to make. Have them close to your heart and on the surface of your mind. Grab any opportunities that will take you a step towards your goals.
12. Work in Silence. Do the right thing.
As Abraham Mutai always says on his Twitter handle @ItsMutai; Work in silence. Do the right thing. The whole world doesn’t need to know your entire life. Heck, even your colleagues. Make plans and execute them but always do the right thing. After all, anything worth doing, is worth doing right.