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Reality Unscripted
7 Ways to Ruin Your Job

You may be in a job you love.  You may be in a job you hate.  No matter where you're currently at, you have the potential to make the job worse.  Here are a few ways to do it:

1) Always be the needy one. If you're always the one needing help with getting everything done and never offer to help someone else, the other nurses will eventually resent you.  Now, that doesn't happen right away. New grads will always need help, and that's fine.  But as soon as you have a spare minute, don't keep it to yourself; offer it to someone else who may need a hand.

2) Don't own up to a mistake. If you mess up, AND YOU WILL, confess the problem before someone else brings it up.  A good learner recognizes a mistake and takes responsibility for it before it's called to their attention.

3) Get involved in the drama. Once you're in, you're in, and it's very hard to extricate yourself.  Just try to avoid getting involved in whatever soap opera of the month is taking place.  Don't comment on it.  Don't ask questions about it.  Don't go to lunch with the people involved in it.

4) Externalize. Do you know the kind of people I'm talking about?  The kind who always blame all their problems on everyone else.  They never take responsibility for their own stuff, be it time management issues ("I got caught by a train!" "So-and-So needed help, so I couldn't get my meds passed on time")  or relational issues ("The charge nurse has it in for me," "The PCTs are never helpful with my patients!"), or nursing skills ("That's not how I was taught by my preceptor," "The patient wouldn't let me").  Just be responsible for your own actions, behaviors, and words.

5) Talk about other staff behind their backs. Do I really need to say anything about this?  It will ALWAYS come back to bite you.  Just don't do it!

6) Cop an attitude. As a new grad, you need to be confident yet humble.  Nobody likes a newbie who thinks they know everything.  In fact, nobody likes a seasoned nurse who thinks they know everything either.  Acting like you're better, smarter, prettier, or anything else that ends in "er" is just plain annoying and will put you on the hit list.

7) Stop learning. This is as much about you as those you work with.  It's not good all the way around.  You'll stop liking what you do if it gets boring.  And it will if you stop learning.  Always be on the lookout for new things to learn.  Read the journals, take classes, volunteer for committees, ask the docs questions.  It will not only make you a better nurse, it will make both your job and you more interesting!

Now, I'm sure there are a hundred more ways to ruin a job; these are just the first I thought of.  What are some others?  Do you know from experience?  Personally, I'm trying out number seven at the moment.  I haven't stretched my brain at work in a long time, and my love for the job is waning.  Frankly, I'm bored.  I'll let you know how I work this one out.

In the meantime, fill me in on your ideas of ways to ruin your job.

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5 Responses to “7 Ways to Ruin Your Job”

  1. Learned by Mistakes Says:

    Hi there! I really don’t understand the “cop an attitude” idea. Oh, I know it’s out there because I experienced it first hand. I don’t understand why looking neat and well-polished, staying fit, being enthusiastic and friendly, asking intelligent questions so you can do a better job and just down right sharing information should rub people the wrong way. You know what it’s really called. It’s called “envy”. And that’s just a plain low-level emotion. Before I became a nurse, I had a business for 15 years. I enjoyed people who had initiative, who tried to look their best,who asked questions and who had a good positive attituted towards others. Yet in the nursing industry, your fellow colleagues try to make you doubt yourself and lower your self-confidence. This includes administration by the way. Not all-but I have seen a good deal of them. Taking intitiatives, asking questions and yes, looking the best you can are some of the many factors that make you grow. i’ve seen Nursing Directors who are slobs and are envious of people their age they have hired that look better and have positive attitudes. They regret hiring them by the way. I had one Nurse Director tell me- “you should curse some time, it will do you good!”. Well yhou know what lady, I don’t like to curse, don’t need to curse and it really doesn’t become you at all!She also said, “your happy days will soon be over!”. These words are coming from a nursing director- a person with authority and that should be an example of professionalism to others! I’ll sum this up by stating that this same person, on a conversation I had with her regarding a so called “preceptor”, this same nursing director stated-oh know older nurses like to “eat their young”! Uh! what a statement! A preceptor that likes to eat her young should not be a preceptor!

    So, I say to the new grads out there, don’t let anyone shake your confidence! While there may be come grads out there that think they know it all- which is really a bad atttitude, a good majority of the grads are humble. I included. Just the mere fact that we ask questions, that we do offer to help others and we have a smile on our face no matter what comes our way is humility at its best. Inspite of this good attitude, we get knocked around by alot of “older nurses” who should have had this attitude thing down packed a long time ago but somehow managed to survive in their jobs by being stepping on others.

    There is alot of talk about being a “teamplayer” which is really the best way to work and certainly the most professional. But I have seen very little of it in the field. Very sad!

    You have to really walk on a tight rope with these people that claim to be “teamplayers” but only think about protecting their own interests and do not put the team first.

    Well, it is what it is. I left a first career to become a nurse because I fell in love with caring for the sick. But I got to tell you, the job itself is wonderful, but those around you that are so supposed to be “teamplayers” are the ones that make your job less satisfying.

    Tis has been my experience as a new grad and it really saddens me.

    However, I refuse to become a cynic because I know that most people are good people and well intentioned. I just hope that I will meet these people soon in the world of nursing!

  2. jana Says:

    I’m adding an eighth. Having a chip on your shoulder.

  3. stumpfffff Says:

    People who come into work with a bad attitude. FYI patients don’t like grumpy nurses.

  4. DIXIE Says:


  5. SecondCareer Says:

    I agree with Learned, I do not think she has a chip on her shoulder at all! She brought a wealth of experience to her new career and it was shot down. There are alot of ADNs out there who are frankly intimidated by anyone who had a career in another field and left that field to become a nurse. Many of these folks, like Learned have advanced degrees and then add a ADN or a BSN, or a N.P. While we certainly need to respect the wisdom and experience of seasoned nurses, by the same token, new grads who have some gray at the temples or skills in another field may bring valuable judgment and/or work ethic to staff. Give them a chance…

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