We have been brainwashed to believe that we should strive to be the best in our job, never call in, be loyal to your employer, etc. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth. Listen, be the best nurse practitioner you can be, regardless of where or who you work for… but you should not invest in a job where you are nothing more than a disposable asset. Many nurse practitioners reading this know exactly what I mean. How many folks are laid off right now or receiving only half their pay? Quite a few…
There are droves of nurse practitioners out there who are taken advantage of on a daily basis. They are simply a number in the machine that healthcare has become in this country. You are a disposable asset and there are thousands of new grads ready to replace you. This is how you are viewed by many healthcare organizations, private practices, and insurance companies. If you have ever been laid off, not hired due to market saturation, haven’t had an increase in your salary in years, had bonuses taken away from you, and other unfair workplace practices initiated against you, you have experienced this harassment perpetrated against nurse practitioners first hand.
Salaries across the board are stagnant or have actually decreased in many places. How is that fair for the experienced and hardened nurse practitioner? I hear time and time again over on The Elite Nurse Practitioner Facebook and other groups that a nurse practitioner with 15-20 years of experience is making the same amount they did a decade ago! Shouldn’t salaries keep up with inflation? Shouldn’t you be rewarded for your experience and dedication to the profession? Hah, yea right…
This is why you should invest in yourself and not your job or employer. They don’t give a rat’s ass about you, so you shouldn’t care about them. Provide excellent patient care, but outside of that, don’t go above and beyond and kill yourself. My employer knows not to call me to pick up extra or cover a shift. I am investing in myself, I don’t have time for them. I am investing in activities that will bring me financial independence and FREEDOM. I am not investing in an employer that could care less about me and to a watered-down paycheck that Uncle Sam taxed to hell.
In this day and age of nurse practitioner market saturation, you need to be aware that you have become disposable in many parts of this country. It is happening faster and faster. I do not believe the demand will keep up with the supply over the next 5 years. Therefore, if you are an employed nurse practitioner, just do enough to keep your job while providing amazing patient care. Outside of work, you need to begin investing in yourself!
This is done multiple ways: learning new skills, investing, exercising, dieting, starting a business, fostering relationships with family and friends, etc. You should strive to follow as much of the advice I have provided to my fellow colleagues through this blog. It is here to help you invest in yourself because no one else is going to invest in you but you!
The first step is to identify the apathies your employer truly has towards you. Do you feel like you are just a number or are you a valuable asset? If you work in a large healthcare system, I hate to break it to you, but you are more than likely just a number. If you work for a smaller organization, then you could provide significant value and be hard to replace. The real question to ask yourself is “how easily can I be replaced?” If that answer is hard, then you are more of an asset than the person who answered easy. I don’t like saying this, but I could easily be replaced at my part-time urgent care position. I could have been replaced at any urgent care or emergency department I have ever worked at. I am a damn good provider, but the corporation overall does not care about that. They care about revenue. I can and will be replaced… So can you more than likely.
The second step after identifying the pitfalls of employment is to figure out what needs work on in your life. After having multiple jobs as a nurse practitioner, I knew that I needed to work on building a financially independent life. The only way I could figure out how to truly do this was by starting multiple small niche practices. That is what I had to do. After I started making money, I found out I had to work on investments. Once I began working on investments, I had to work on asset protection strategies. This is how investing in yourself works, you better yourself in one aspect, and then another aspect will need improved, and so forth and so forth. This is how you become a WHOLE person.
Investing in your employer does not make you a whole person. If anything, it will bring nothing but contentment and disappointment into your life once you are laid off, the business shuts down, or you are not given a raise or bonus. Investing in your employer is a frivolous pursuit that leads to superficial satisfaction. Investing in yourself does the exact opposite.
When you invest in yourself, you improve day after day. You start becoming the “ideal you.” What is your vision of yourself? Identify that and then figure out a way to get there. Is it being a successful practice owner? Is it having a large healthy family? Is it having a home on the beach in Costa Rica you live in 3 months out of the year? I bet whatever it is, will require you to invest in yourself, not your employer.
Start small folks. Don’t unload all your ammo at once when you begin to invest in yourself. Simply getting out and taking a walk 1 hour a day is a good start. Reading a self-help book or taking a course is another good start. Once you begin doing these small investments, they will exponentially add up into larger investments. It is no different than investing money. I started with a small podunk business. It was a small investment that eventually snowballed into what I am building now. It will be no different for you either!
So, stop investing in your employer and your job. Instead, identify the true vision of who you want to become and begin making the small investments necessary to get there!