Around one-third of your life will be spent in full-time work, so you want to make sure that the work you do is actually rewarding. Nevertheless, this can still be tricky if you feel as though your dream job has fallen stale, or you’re struggling to feel very motivated regarding your career progression. Nothing is more unbearable than feeling as though your job holds no meaning for you, and it can often feel challenging to get back on track if you feel as though you’re stuck in a rut.
In regard to healthcare careers, there is no doubt that they are often very stressful and pressurized. If you’ve lost that feeling of fulfillment in your healthcare career and are suddenly finding it even harder to feel motivated regarding your work, here is a guide with how you can get back on track and work to feel more rewarded in your healthcare career — whether that’s as a doctor, FNP, surgeon, therapist or more.
Signs That You’re Feeling Unfulfilled in Your Current Job
You may be experiencing just a few of these, or perhaps all of them. Any sign is enough to be considered a red flag that something needs to change within your job role, or the right steps need to be taken to find improved job satisfaction, such as progressing to the next step, taking an online course like as an FNP, or specializing in a particular area.
- You feel as though you’ve learned everything you can in your current role. Maybe you feel as though you’ve hit a dead-end with everything you currently do. You can’t see any possibility for progression, and you don’t feel like you’re working towards anything; therefore, it’s become a little repetitive and monotonous for you on a daily basis.
- You don’t see a future. If you’re having doubts about the future of your career, whether through job risk or your own personal reasons, this can make everything feel a little disheartening or more pointless. You can also begin to fnp, which can carry the risk of increasing stress levels and anxiety in your working life.
- You don’t feel positive about your work. You’re performing your role for the sake of it without any passion or positivity. You may feel as though you’re operating on auto-pilot or just don’t feel any fulfillment through what you’re doing.
- You enjoy your work, but you’re frustrated by the lack of opportunity. If you’re very career-oriented and a hard worker, it can be very unsettling to feel as though you have no chance to work harder and better yourself. It may not be that you don’t find the role itself rewarding, but more than you’re looking for more opportunities to continue your valuable skills. Some positions, like nursing, carry opportunity with FNP progression, but others may lack further progression.
- You keep thinking about an alternative role or different kind of work. If you’re finding that your mind keeps wandering to other roles or opportunities within healthcare, it may be a sign that your own role currently isn’t fulfilling enough for you. If you’re considering what else is out there, it means you might be looking for a more rewarding position elsewhere.
- You’re beginning to dread returning to work. The lack of reward within your role may mean that you’ve come to resent your work, and you only think negatively of it when considering your next working day or your next shift.
- You feel exhausted, unmotivated, or pessimistic. Lack of job satisfaction can be one of the key causes of low mood or fatigue when it comes to your career.
- You feel on edge. Your low mood may extend to feeling constantly on edge, such as being defensive during work or responding more negatively to any work criticism or problems within your job role. You may just simply find it difficult to relax and to feel positive within your position, so you feel on edge.
- You find yourself complaining about work more. When you talk about work, you may realize that you’re starting to speak more negatively about it. You may also find you lack good things to say when it comes to how you feel about your own specific role.
- You’re beginning to feel uncertain about the future. Having doubts about the future can be very common when you’re starting to realize that your work holds no reward for you. If you’re constantly having anxiety about the future in regard to your work and how you feel about your job role, this can be a major red flag.
How to Find More Reward in Your Current Healthcare Role
Speak to a Superior to Gain Advice
There’s nothing wrong with speaking to a superior you can trust regarding any worries or issues you may have. Sometimes, it may only take a simple conversation for you to be able to voice your worries and have your superior make any possible changes to improve the situation. Your superior may be able to provide an alternative viewpoint that could improve your mood. They could also flag up any suggestions which could make you feel more fulfilled in your role, such as studying for a further qualification like an FNP or taking on more duties and responsibilities to make more of a positive difference.
Speaking to a superior about any problems within work can be a daunting task, even if you get along with your superior very well. However, there’s no shame in needing to voice any concerns you have within the work environment.
Consider an Alternative Role
If your current healthcare role isn’t working for you, that doesn’t mean that your healthcare career is going to be unfulfilling completely. A role switch may be what it takes to get your career back on track and have you feeling more reward in a role you’re really passionate about.
You should think about all the options available to you and which alternative roles you may feel will offer the most fulfillment for you. First, think about what it is about your current position you find unrewarding. Try to pinpoint any negatives that are affecting your job satisfaction so that you can then look for other roles that don’t carry the same concerns.
It may be that changing to an alternative role takes further study, like an online course to become an FNP, additional training, or maybe even returning to education after a long time. However, the effort will all be worth it if it means you can find the perfect new role for you and gain complete job satisfaction for the long-term.
It may also mean that you feel less negative about your current working position because you know that you’re studying and working towards an alternative role. This may be all the motivation you need to keep going and work hard to fulfill your perfect new role.
Consider Further Study and Development in Your Own Role
Perhaps your current healthcare role sees you working within an environment and position you’re truly passionate about, but it’s simply lost its challenge for you. Or, you may have reached the full potential of your current role and are looking for more reward. If this is the case, there may be an opportunity to continue your current role but in a higher and more specialized capacity. For example, as a registered nurse, you could consider a course to earn a qualification as an FNP so that you can step up to a new and exciting level while still maintaining similar duties and working with patients.
Further study may be all that is needed to find more fulfillment again, through a more challenging role or progression.
Try to Work More with People
A lot of the reward and fulfillment within a healthcare role specifically can come from seeing the positive effect you have on patients’ lives. No matter how stressful your day has been, or no matter how low or unmotivated you’re feeling about your current role, the gratitude and good health of a patient after your treatment can be a huge boost in job reward.
This means that if your role sees you having limited contact with others or the patients you’re helping, you may be receiving less of that fulfillment. It could be working in a laboratory or pharmacy, which sees you helping patients through your healthcare position, but not actually being able to speak with them on a more personal level and see the difference you’re making.
Your first option may be to switch to a role which sees you working more directly with people, like a doctor or FNP. Doing so means you can support patients throughout the entire journey and reap the rewards of seeing the difference and improvement you’ve made in their lives.
Alternatively, you can look for ways to gain more feedback about the difference you’re making. Maybe it would take more of a conscious effort to go and speak with the patients in your healthcare facility in order to hear how their lives have been affected by all the positive service they’ve received. Or, there might be other ways to hear positive feedback, such as patient reviews, or you could even ask colleagues about the good feedback they’ve received from patients.
Hearing more about the good work you’re doing as a vital cog in the healthcare machine can really help to boost your mood when you need it.
Take on Additional Responsibilities
If your role feels unrewarding, perhaps merely a tweak of responsibilities is all that is needed. You may want to take on extra work or duties that offer more rewards than your current role, like progressing to an FNP role. More responsibilities may also allow you to work even harder and feel the big pay off of a job well done.
Take Some Time Off
If you’ve been working within a very demanding healthcare position constantly, and you can’t remember the last time you had a day off or a vacation, you’re naturally going to feel more negative and stressed when it comes to your work. It may be that you need some time off and time away from your working environment to clear your head and think more deeply about what your job role means to you.
The distance from your work for a week or two may mean that you have more clarity about what you do daily and the reward your job offers. You may return to work feeling more appreciative of your role and more positive about it.
Try to Work Out Your Long-Term Goals
When you feel as though you’re simply working from day to day trying to get through, it can be easy to feel unfulfilled. It may be difficult to think about the future, or maybe you feel the future is murky because you’re confused about what you’re working towards within your job position.
Taking some time to plan out your long-term career goals can be very beneficial in focusing your mind and your passion. Once you know what you’re working towards long-term, it can mean you have more focus on what you are doing. If you know that your current job role will lead to a bigger role you want in the future, for example, and you have worked out the exact steps you need to get there, it can make every day more bearable and rewarding because you’ll know that you’re on the right path.
For example, if you have dreams of becoming an FNP and earning a master’s qualification, you will need to work as a registered nurse first to gain experience and work your way up. Therefore, if you’ve been feeling unfulfilled in your role as an RN, it can be much easier to handle knowing that eventually, you will gain your FNP qualification and reap the reward.
Switch to More Positive Thinking
As a final thought, it’s important to consider the power of positive thinking. There will always be hurdles to hit within any career, but healthcare is undoubtedly an incredibly demanding industry. The power of positive thinking can make a difference in any situation. It may only take a shift in perspective to better understand your role’s importance and feel more gratified by it.