I asked Brenda to take a look at her relationship with her work/career. Thank you Brenda, for writing this for us and helping us look at our own work/family/friends/fun relationships. ~ Dr. Saskia Coté, Relationship Editor
By Brenda Pearce, RN
Just this past month, I celebrated 32 years since my pinning ceremony as a RN. Wow. Where did that time go? The myriad of shifts, and specialties, and colleagues over the years, along with the many lives I have touched, in caring for and administering to, really has passed in a blur.
From a young and naïve fledgling, scared senseless and praying before every shift as I rode up the elevator to my unit. To now nearing the end of my career, and having the wisdom to not sweat the small stuff. My career so far has been a roller coaster of job security and insecurity, of lay offs, and job changes. Different roles at different times. At times I loved my career, and other times loathing going to work. Finding the right relationship with work & career is like a circadian rhythm. A dance of ebb and flow.
I remember when the children were small, working 12 hour shifts, and feeling quilty for the long shifts and time away. Missing the tender moments of my children’s youth, trying to balance being a mom, wife, chauffer, gardener, cook, housekeeper, and keeping sanity. Trying to sleep, and turn off the mom radar when the sounds of family noise would interfere with that precious time of recharge. I remember going to work and crying because I had to go to work when a child was not feeling well. Really regretting that I had this career and commitment. Then several years later, when divorce set in and thanking God for the career I had as it was solid, constant and could afford me the luxury that comes with a good career.
Relationships with work/career is truly a love hate thing. I remember trying a stint in an administrative role, thinking that the confines of a Monday to Friday job with weekends and Statuatory holidays off would be the ticket, only to find the time required of the job actually required more than the stated job description. Needless to say, the back pain that came from long hours sitting at a desk were worse than the mental and physical exhaustion that came from running around a ward, and pushing a medication cart for hours. We, foolishly, long for what we do not have, or the career advancements that do not happen, only to find that it best to bloom where we are planted. This may be the best philosophy of all.
The promise of the 40 year plan will pass whether we love our job or not. I remember in year 22 of my nursing career, that my resume had only one position on it! I had worked at the same hospital where I had started at the time of my graduation. I felt that I was missing something! That I needed to spread my wings and see where my career could go. In the confines of the career as a nurse, I had branched to working in a governmental agency, becoming a college professor, and working in various capacities in other facilities. Not being afraid of change has been my strength as change is constant. Adding these various layers to my career has helped me to add color and depth and interest to my life. My career has spanned 3 decades and although I have not always liked my career and there are things within it that may always be a challenge, it is the reinvention of myself within the career that I am most proud of.
About the Author
Brenda Pearce, RN is a best-selling co-author of The Inner Circle Chronicles Vol 1: 12 Intuitive Women Leaders of the New Economy – Transforming Lives & Businesses with Soul and Spirit, and CEO of E Factor Live On Demand Media Network and E Factor Radio. You can catch Brenda on www.blogtalkradio.com/efactorbrendapearce.