When was the last time you started a new job? How long were you at the previous one? Did you have a hard time starting over?
On January 27th, I started my new job here in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in Columbia, SC. I worked my last job (my first job as a nurse) for 5.5 years at Rex Hospital in the Special Care Nursery in Raleigh, NC. I loved it there. I loved Rex, my coworkers, and my job.
Starting over has been challenging! Not bad or icky, just hard. Don't get me wrong, I really, really like the new job. I do. The people have been kind, welcoming, and supportive. Yesterday I met the director of Women's and Children's department (my new boss's boss). She was in our department, knew I was a new employee, sought me out to say hello and introduce herself. I was feeding a baby at the time and couldn't stand up and shake hands or salute or anything. I felt irreverent. She was very nice, though, thankfully. I digress.
New job: challenging. Stay focused, BA.
It's just hard to start over, ya know? My preceptor said it well. It is hard to go from being competent, confident and self-sufficient to needing help with everything and second guessing what I thought I knew. (My preceptor has been fantastic.)
Here are a few things I'm learning during this job transition:
1) Keep my mouth shut about my opinions on everything. Nobody cares. At least, not yet they don't.
2) Stay humble and teachable. I definitely do NOT know it all. I have much, much, much to learn. This NICU is more intensive than Rex. I have a lot to learn about sicker, smaller babies and their care. I have a lot to learn about how this hospital does things. If I can keep an attitude of "I have so much to learn!" it will help keep me in check.
3) Moderate the sarcasm and snarky-ness. This is/will be a significant struggle for me. This is my go-to mode for humor and stress management. When the pressure is on, I get sassier. Have to remind myself of #1. My poor, poor preceptor...
4) Be kind and helpful, however I can. I cannot anticipate the needs of my coworkers yet. I struggle trying to find supplies simply because I'm new. But I can follow directions and offer helping hands. I came from a great teamwork environment. I've already seen a lot of teamwork on this new unit. That's encouraging.
What else would you add? What do I need to keep in mind? What advice do you have for me?
I know transition doesn't last forever. The discomfort it brings with it drives me to learn, grow, stretch and be better. I'm going to try and make the most it.