“Every moment of one’s existence, one is growing into more or retreating into less.” Norman Mailer

Over the past few years, I have had an opportunity to create beautiful friendships with people whom I have met at my workplace. Over time we have each slowly grown into our own space some of us more slowly than others but lest the same, growth has been evident. With this, it has meant that we move to different departments or regions and as much as it has been difficult it is proving to be worthwhile. John Maxwell a great American author once said, “Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not. When I see a person beginning to separate themselves from the pack, it is almost always due to personal growth.” For anyone left behind as this happens one experiences a barrage of emotions. One is happy to see them grow but then despondency creeps in. One can not fathom not seeing them for a long time. On some days despite offering our unmerited support we are left asking ourselves when is our time coming too. I am here to let you know that it is okay to feel unsure, the only difference is how you respond to it.

A few weeks ago I was helping my friend pack her household belongings ready for the big move and she came across her vision board. I was quite taken aback by the intricacies within it. I remember seeing her lips moving but honestly not listening to what she was saying. My eyes were so glued on it. As far as I could tell she had achieved some major things on it and had modified some of the goals that were yet to come to pass. This current big move she was making was directly linked to all this and through revising her previously set goals she was on the right path to achieving them. I felt proud and decided maybe it is time I put down mine too. Get all my ideas from my head to paper. Well, I did so and then this morphed into a learning process where I came across the term career mapping.

Career mapping is the process of generating methods for individual progression within a particular area of one’s choice of a career within a specified time frame. It differs greatly with professional development in that the latter only focuses on obtaining new skills and knowledge meant to remain relevant. As highlighted in some of my previous posts job satisfaction is key. It directly affects so many aspects of our lives that we cannot afford to be lax about it. We invest too much of ourselves into it and when we can do something about it I believe we owe it to ourselves to do something.

Analysis of research papers on this topic among the different databases revealed that for nurses, in particular, our career map is mainly informed by three key things;

  1.  The level of formal education
  2. The length and nature of our work experience
  3.  Competency assessment

For a better understanding of this, I suggest the analysis of the article attached to the following link nurse career mapping. As an employer, one would be quick to dismiss this but do you know this also directly affects the services delivered. The benefits of engaging or being involved with your staff in their career mapping include:

  • Reduced rates of staff turnover
  • Better service delivery through the use of current knowledge and skills.
  • Development of genuine loyalty to an organization. No trade secrets spilled
  • Better work relationships by reducing work-related conflicts 

There are so many ways to generate a career map. To obtain the best out of it do proper research on what you wish to achieve. Be open to trying what you put down as proficiencies and new skills needed and guard it. Why? because not all people you wish to share with will be ready to assist you to achieve it some are more ready to be a hindrance. Here is a simple guide to creating your own simple career guide or map. It is never too late to start. Detailed description

  1. Determine a starting point
  2. Determine a final goal
  3. Identify how to connect the two points
  4. Create a series of smaller goals within two points
  5. Put it at an easily accessible place where you can see it on a regular.

Additional resources on the above topic

As you continue developing into the best versions of self lets us identify what we enjoy doing and as Katherine Whitehorn said  “Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.” 

Our contributor Lilian Karanja is a ER-Critical care nurse. She is using each day as a learning opportunity to becoming a proficient and effective ER-Critical care nurse who formulates innovative solutions to problems in healthcare whilst providing patient-centered care and changing the nursing practice.Follow her blog for insightful topics from everyday experiences:

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