We all go through moments in life when we’re pretty sure we want the next step, the promotion, the additional responsibility, the praise. Whatever that thing is, we all experience it in some way over the course of a career. We think we know what’s next, and we run after it with everything within us.

And then we don’t get it.

We miss the mark, the promotion goes to a colleague, the praise is deferred, the next step is no longer in sight. It’s a rough spot when you’re living it; a crazy number of emotions flood into your life and work, and if you’re not careful, they can sweep you away into drowning, turbulent waters.

Sometimes, though, what we think we want isn’t actually what we want, and life does us a favor, or as I view it…God orders our steps along a much different path that perhaps shades us from the scorching sun we may not have even anticipated. It’s only in retrospect, however, that we can see the saving, the “oh my goodness…I’m so glad I missed all that” moment. I’m humming Garth Brooks’s Unanswered Prayers right now.

I think about this frequently as I move forward in my career because as I look back on my career, I can now easily see how my work and passions have shifted and how things would have or could have been dramatically different if I had chosen other paths or other work. For example, and I’ve written about this a few times, when I first became a nurse, I thought I was going to work in labor and delivery; it was only through a series of events that I became an oncology nurse, a nursing specialty that I now love deeply. I’m so thankful that what I thought was a tragedy at the time happened; I am who I am because of it.

And because of those past experiences, I am able to find the beauty in missing moments I thought I really wanted. And I move on, focusing on what is right around me…because there is always opportunity for improvement right in front of us if we look for it. It’s in those moments of working diligently to build the next steps for others around us that typically our next steps appear.

There’s an ironic beauty in it all.

Have you ever been through these unanswered prayers experiences? If so, how did you move forward when you were living those moments?

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I’ve exercised my writing muscles lately. You can find my work and words in a few other places currently:

Thanks for reading and writing alongside me!

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It’s important to pay attention to every aspect of the interview process. Be mindful of your resume and the telephone interview, which is often the first screening interview. I am always surprised by job candidates who rush through their resumes, make it through the screening process, and hit the telephone interview out of the park. Similarly, candidates who look stellar on paper but bomb the telephone interview are all-too-common. Lots of people can talk a big professional game on paper. 

If you are going to submit your resume for a job, proofread it, and ask someone else – preferably in a leadership position – to review it. Once your resume accurately reflects your awesomeness, prepare for the screening telephone interview. Be ready to briefly share about your background and why you are a good fit for the position. Don’t ask about the salary unless the interviewer mentions it first. Follow-up the interview with a hardcopy or electronic thank you note. It might sound old school, but it is important.

Make your first impression a lasting one.

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3 Out of 3 Nurses Would Still Choose Nursing

by Nursetopia on February 8, 2011

I previously asked nursing colleagues if they had the opportunity to go back in time and choose their profession all over again, would they still choose nursing. While the responses were few – three to be exact – all three stated they’d still choose nursing. That’s a far cry from the original survey that piqued my interest. Now, please don’t misinterpret my survey. It’s by no means a research study, and there are limitations upon limitations here folks. Still, it’s a pretty cool testament to professional dedication. One respondent left an inspiring comment:

Initially, I became a nurse because I needed an income. I didn’t think about much else. However, over the years I’ve grown and matured by caring for others. Through nursing, I have learned that I am resilient, resourceful, and a force to reckon with when necessary. I have saved lives. I have helped people in their time of need. Early in my career, my mentor/friend told me I had chosen a noble profession. Schmaltzy, maybe, but I’ve never lost my idealism in all of these years, and how many people can say that?

True, Dear Colleague. True.

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Leadership and Career Q&A

by Nursetopia on February 7, 2011

I previously posted an article from Marcia Zidle’s Making Waves: Leaders at All Levels e-newsletter. I received a lot of great feedback from that post mainly because Marcia’s words were spot on.

I’m delighted to share that Marcia will answer your burning leadership and career challenges/questions here at Nursetopia! Simply post your question to Marcia in the comments, and we’ll follow-up with a post and answer. Go ahead. Ask away!

Marcia Zidle, a certified career strategist and business coach, works with high potential, high impact executives, managers and professionals to advance their careers and grow their leadership capabilities.

As president of Leaders At All Levels, she has over 25 years of management, operations and consulting experience working with business, non-profits, government agencies, health care providers and community organizations. She understands how organizations function and how they dysfunction in times of change. Therefore, she can pass on her insights to help you make wise decisions regarding your career, your leadership and your organization’s future. You can contact Marcia directly at or 972-380-9181.

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