Career advancement didn't weigh heavily on my mind when I first became a nurse. My primary career goal was to simply be a good nurse. Whatever your career path, being good at your job is essential. But advancing your career can also increase job satisfaction and enhance fulfillment. Throughout my career, in varied experiences as an employee, supervisor, mentor, and colleague, I've observed a number of key attributes that will make a career successful. See if you agree!
1. Leadership is my number one. Being a leader inspires confidence from those around you, whether it's your boss, an employee, or a peer. Leadership includes having the courage to say and do the right thing, and being able to instill those values in others.
2. Ethics are also essential. Applying rules consistently and following them yourself will earn you respect. You'll also gain status from being a trusted resource and ally--respect is an important underpinning for future advancement.
3. Knowledge serves as a necessary tool. Being inquisitive and taking the time to think about what it is you’re doing and why you’re doing it is extremely valuable. A good education provides a foundation, but learning from everyday experiences and keeping up with the latest research, technologies, and trends will position you as a savvy resource.
4. Collaboration is key! Building relationships and working as part of a team strengthens your ability to influence an agenda, discussion, project, or program. When others see you serving as a partner, they'll be more likely to help advance your goals, be they personal or professional.
5. Communication closes out the top five. Being able to communicate clearly, succinctly, and compellingly in both oral and written formats helps get your point across and helps you better engage others in your efforts.
While the ranking of these key attributes may fall in any order, making them a part of your career planning will definitely put you on a path to success!
Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN