A few months ago, I was laying on the beach sipping a daiquiri, watching a woman about my age. She was in her bikini, the man with her just ordered a bottle of rose, and they were laughing, clearly enjoying themselves. The woman also had her laptop open in front of her. She was "catching up on some work" - while laying on the beach drinking rose.
I, now green with envy, became determined to find out what this woman's job was. I couldn't hear much, but it was something along the lines of digital marketing - or something. Not my field. I was on that beach because I had decided after my unexpected divorce that I was going to do something just for me. The problem was, because I still worked in the Emergency Department as a nurse, I could only get a few shifts covered. I had pleaded with my coworkers to trade nights with me, and managed to get four days off. Four.
While enjoying my four days on the beach, I became slightly obsessed with this plaguing thought, "what am I really doing with my life?" This woman seemed no different than me, and here she was on the beach on a Wednesday, drinking rose with her boyfriend while "catching up on work". She wasn't on vacation. This was her life.
I had already been feeling very Eat, Pray, Love since the divorce, and decided it was time to stop accepting things I didn't want and go for the things I did. But what was I going to do?
When I got back from vacation, I was on a mission. I wanted out of a job where I had to work until 3 am, feeling beyond stressed, unhappy with the current state of things. I sent an e-mail to a contact I had from an editorial committee that I am on. I asked her if she heard of any job openings I might be qualified for, pass it on. She immediately responded with a yes! There was a position opening that wasn't even posted yet, but she believed would be perfect for me. Little did I know how perfect it actually was.
Fast forward, through multiple phone calls, e-mails, and interviews (some with the entire organization staring at me over a long conference table), I had landed my dream job. I can utilize my nursing degree and my passion for writing, research, and planning. I can do work from the beach if I want to. I can work from home. I have vacation time. I have flexible hours. There's great opportunities for advancement, and the exact kind of advancement I dreamed of. Just yesterday, I booked a week long stay at a Disney resort with my company credit card, for work.
My job, literally, is to plan things. While still using my nurse brain.
It just hit me today as I was leaving the office that I had, in some ways, become this woman. I've found my place, and I've discovered a whole new dimension to the nursing profession that I never knew about. I've found my career,
My point is, you can find your dream job. You can get out of where you are. It may take time, it may take perseverance, relentless e-mails and anxiety-causing interviews. It may take hard work and it may take passion. But you can. You can be happy. If your current situation isn't fulfilling you, start doing what you need to do to change it.