Newsletter by Barbara Mintzer

Barbara Mintzer's Newsletter
The Power of a Vision... a Leader's Journey

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October / November 2008
A Blueprint For Your Career

Wow, what an amazing six weeks it has been since I last touched base with you. In the last Newsletter we discussed how to stay motivated and energized at work. Now, we are wondering if we will still have our jobs at year's end. However, as rough as the ride has been, there are still things we can do to control our careers, regardless of the circumstances around us. In this Newsletter we will look at questions to ask and strategies to implement to stay focused, hopeful and resilient during difficult times.

"We can let circumstances rule us, or we can take
charge and rule our lives from within."
                                        Earl Nightingale

The first strategy is to simply sit down, take stock of the situation, and ask yourself the following questions:  During these uncertain times, am I afraid of losing my job? What are the consequences if I do lose it? What concrete steps can I take now to prevent the loss? How prepared will I be to move on should this loss occur? The answers to these questions will help YOU control your destiny, not the circumstances around you. If you are afraid of losing your job, knowing the consequences would be a difficult and frustrating search to find another,  what can you do NOW to make sure that you or your position will not be eliminated should a reduction in force take place where you work? Everyone reading this Newsletter must be able to answer the following questions:

  • How can I add VALUE to the services I now perform?

  • Where is the NICHE in the work I do that has not yet been developed?

  • What is the future for the work I do, and what must I do now to prepare for it?

Think about it...what is a "value-added" component you could bring to your job? What else could you be doing that could add to the positive outcomes for your patients or the bottom line of your hospital/organization? Think about your daily routine and visualize what else you could be doing to bring more joy and comfort to those you serve. If you don't know, or you think you are doing all you could now, why not ask a few of your patients. It may be something very simple that would not take much time from your busy schedule. A staff nurse told me that when she did this, a patient with very poor eyesight asked her if she would read a quote from the patient's bible each time she checked in on her. It took about five minutes more of the nurse's time, but it meant the world to the patient. Think of what you could do.

For those of you outside of healthcare, what is a "value-added" component that you could bring to your job? What can you add to your job that would make you more customer oriented? In today's volatile economy, we need to retain all of our loyal customers
and keep them safely in our backyard. What more can you do to show YOUR loyalty to your customers? How can you be more efficient and/or productive in your job? What can you do to effect the bottom line? Think about these questions and formulate a plan to do one more thing to add value to the work you already do.

Many of you have very specific jobs that only someone with your particular training could do. What could you be an EXPERT in that has not already been developed? What expertise has your training given you that you could share with your colleagues that would be a new and innovative way to do the work you do? Can you carve out a NICHE for yourself that would insulate you from any layoffs, should they occur? A NICHE is your particular area of expertise that distinguishes you from the rest. What is yours?

We live in such a fast-paced world, that what was once "state of the art" is obsolete in no time. Could this happen to your job? Could the work you do become obsolete, replaced by technology or another innovation? If so, you must be one step ahead of this pace. When a company has a need for a reduction in force, those in charge must look at the position, not the person. You may be a wonderful person, liked and respected by many. However, if your position, i.e., the job functions you perform, are being replaced by more state-of-the-art methods, your company may be forced to let you go. They must look at the bottom line and think in terms of position, not person. So...stay ahead of the curve. Read all you can about your industry, your profession in your industry, and your particular job function in your profession.

I know for the nursing professionals reading this Newsletter, most of you belong to the National Association of your nursing specialty. I know this because I have had the privilege of addressing your Associations throughout the years. Many of you also belong to your local and state Chapters, which put on vibrant and informative meetings and conferences. Get involved with others. Learn what they are doing to stay on top of their professions. The same holds true for all of you outside of healthcare. Know your industry, know your position in your industry, and get involved with organizations and associations that can help you stay on the cutting edge.

What we have learned from these volatile times is that it is up to us to take charge of our lives. The government can't do it for us, the people and companies we work for can do just so much...if it is to be, it's up to me! Let's take a deep breath, step back and realize we have so much to offer this world. Then map out a strategy by which you offer the world what you alone can give.

"You can't do what I do, and I can't do what you do.
But together, we can make beautiful music for God."

                                        Mother Theresa

As I re-read this Newsletter I see that it is full of question marks. These questions are very important because they provide a context for you to honestly take a look at who you are and how you show up in the world. Take the time necessary to answer these questions and you will have a blueprint to help you in the years ahead. If you have any insights, comments or experiences you would like to share, please e-mail me. I would love to hear from you. National Nurses Week is only seven months away. I would love to customize a powerful and inspirational message for your nursing professionals. Please contact me for more information on my programs.

About the Author

Barbara Mintzer is a nationally-recognized speaker and consultant with over 35 years in business and health care. Her how-to programs provide participants with immediately applicable skills and strategies for getting buy-in and commitment from staff in today's competitive and constantly changing workplace. Barbara presents keynote talks and breakout sessions for international, national, regional and state conferences. She also conducts management retreats and in-house seminars. She facilitates panel discussions and roundtables...a good investment for your meeting/training budget. To explore the possibility of having Barbara speak at your next event, or work with your staff/leadership team, please contact her office.

Phone: (805) 964-7546
FAX: (805) 964-9636

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