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4 Ways to Stop Stressing Out While Job Hunting

Looking for a new job is a stressful experience. Even more so if you happen to be without a job. We spoke with Dr. Phyllis Quinlan of MFW Consultants about four practical ways to help ease your mind, relax your body, and improve your outlook when looking for your next perioperative position. “Nurses are caretakers and doers, which is a tough combination when the goal is removing stress from your life,” explains Quinlan. Here are four ways to help you feel more relaxed and prepared during your next job search.

1. Know Yourself & Be Prepared

Perioperative nurses are knowledgeable clinicians, engaged patient advocates, and dedicated educators. However, most are not as skilled in the art of personal brand management. Quinlan recommends making a list of all the things you think people would say about you if you weren’t in the room. She also suggests making a list of what you have contributed and also writing down what you do each day from start to finish. “This will give you a sense of the important impact you make every day, which helps to build your confidence,” states Quinlan. She also believes in preparing a 90–second “elevator pitch” which will help put you at ease whenever you’re asked about what you’re looking for in a new position and what you can contribute. Whether you’re at your kid’s basketball game or literally on an elevator with a nurse executive at your current facility, it’s important to make it clear, passionate, and compelling.

2. Reach Out to Your Network

Looking for a job is a team sport. It’s a stressful time and you shouldn’t take it all on yourself. For starters, Quinlan suggests creating an AORN Career Center job seeker profile as well as joining membership associations, like AORN, the only perioperative association, as a way to connect with like-minded professionals. Utilize the AORN Career Center with its many resources to get the support you need and she also suggests joining perioperative-specific online communities, like ORNurseLink. Attending the AORN Global Surgical Conference & Expo is another effective way to connect with your perioperative peers about potential job opportunities.

3. Maintain Balance with a Healthy Lifestyle

This one is easier said than done, but its ability to help alleviate stress is second to none. By nature, nurses are care givers. When looking for a new job, it’s necessary to let yourself be cared for by others. This could be letting another family member cook dinner or make their own lunch while you’re focusing on this new career goal. Make an effort to delegate in your personal as well as your professional life. Quinlan stresses that nurses are also doers by nature. Hop off the stress train and take time to literally just be still even if for only 2-3 minutes a day. And, the most important stress reliever of all…breathing. Yep, just take time to notice your breathing and how it may be contributing to your physical stress.

4. Rely on the Professionals

It's an exciting time to be in health care but it’s also a stressful time because of the numerous mergers and acquisitions happening. Quinlan wants to assure you that you're not alone during this time of uncertainty. Having professional support is an effective way to deal with the stress of a new job hunt. Things are changing and for some change is hard. She stresses finding ways to keep feelings of uncertainty from turning into resentment, which she cautions can quickly turn into fear. She shares that, "Fear is hard to cover up when interacting with recruiters and potential employers and it can easily turn people off." She suggests working through these feelings with a professional career coach, who can serve as outside sounding board and can also help devise an action plan to help you reach that next career milestone.