Work With Me People!

Staying Connected...With Your Boss

Many organizations, this one included, conduct annual evaluations with their employees. Much as been written about whether or not these annual rituals actually provide value or not; and I think the main focus is often lost in the debate. The real issue is communication, not necessarily about performance.

That's's all about communication.

The challenge for most companies is the pace. The meetings, the patients, the projects, the regulatory changes, the email, the on-site inspections, the new laws, and the list goes on and on. Somehow with all of that activity going on we're supposed to connect and provide meaningful feedback.

That's right...and I believe every employee, including me, has the responsibility to make that happen.

Sure, each supervisor needs to make time to meet with their employees, but as we've seen too many times those meetings can slip by and become a faded memory faster than we realize. That is why it is so important for employees to play an active part in this process.

Feedback = Career Compass
Get yourself on your boss' calendar each quarter and make sure you review the following issues:

- expectations for your department going forward
- areas you have done well
- areas you have an opportunity to improve
- reinforce your commitment and that you appreciate the time they've taken to meet with you

Don't be afraid to reach out to your supervisor to get the feedback you need. Simply by asking for the meeting you are setting yourself apart from your colleagues and are showing your level of commitment to your organization.

Now all that is left is for you to set up that appointment!


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Building "Your" Brand

As you already know we are big fans of social media. We think you should be too. There are many reasons why organizations, particularly Human Resources teams, are active users of social tools: recruitment, staying current, engaging employees, and the list goes on. One of the other reasons we are big believers in social media however has absolutely nothing to do with us.

It's All About You
What many job seekers, as well as people established in their jobs fail to recognize, is the power of building their personal brand. How do you differentiate yourself from others? Are you active on various social channels in a professional way commenting on blog posts, writing content, sharing information with others, or participating in Linkedin groups?

These activities will help establish "your" online presence, and in effect, begin building your brand. Here's a quick little test for you to try. Google yourself and see what comes up.

If you've been active in the areas I've listed above you will see yourself and your activity. On the other hand, if the search of "you" isn't what you were expecting, it's time to get more focused.

Why Is This Important
The main reason your personal brand matters is obvious: it is a direct reflection on you as a professional. How you present yourself goes far beyond resumés, interviews and your performance on the job. There is a digital reality to who we are that needs to be cultivated and managed as well.

Dont' worry if you are new to social media and building your personal brand. Spending a few minutes each day is all it takes!


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Time To Get Social

One of the most dramatic changes in the world, including the job search process, is social media. The most important of the various tools available to job seekers is Linkedin. What surprises me is how inconsistently this powerful tool is used.

Nothing To Say
A common misconception about Linkedin is that one must have an extensive work history, or have some  world-altering accomplishments before setting up their profile. Nothing could be further from the truth! You have academic, volunteer, part-time and full-time experiences (or a combination of these) as part of who you are...take credit! Simply by setting up your account you're showing future employers that you are paying attention to what is happening in the world, and you are an active part in that world. 

Network, Network, Network
One of the huge advantages of setting up your account (for free) is the ability to join and participate in the many groups on Linkedin. As Linkedin has surpassed two-hundred million users worldwide, the number of industry groups has also grown at a meteoric rate. Once you find a couple of groups that match with your interest you should join and be active.

Ask questions, comment on others blog posts, and become someone that the other group members recognize as engaged, professional and interested in their work. This is one of the fastest and most respected ways to network with other professionals online. 

Getting Started
One of the easiest ways to get started is to check out what others have done with their profiles. Take a look at Craig Fisher's profile and tailor your own profile to maximize all that Linkedin has to offer. You can always check out our profiles too...the links are on the left hand side of the page.

Have fun setting up your account, and feel free to connect with us!

- Jay

I'm A New Nurse Series: "Nursing School Didn't Prepare Me For This!"

Recently I had an opportunity to sit down with our RN blogger Marianna Broz, RN and discuss her experiences both as a new nurse, and as an Internet sensation!  

HR It’s been a little more than six months since you joined All Children’s Hospital’s RN Residency Program. What are your impressions so far?

Marianna - It's definitely been a fun challenge. The way the critical care residency works, we're never in one place for too long. Though we're technically hired to an ICU, we stay on a Med/Surg floor learning how to be a nurse for about 9 months. And just as soon as you get the hang of day shift on your Med/Surg floor, you flip to nights. And just as soon as you start to accept your new life as a vampire, you get flipped back to days to start your "looping."
Looping is where I'm at now, and the way it works is every week I spend at least one shift with another specialty of the hospital. We don't necessarily take an assignment; usually it's shadowing and learning how that part of All Children's functions. We get to check out Radiology, Physical Therapy, Outpatient Neurology Clinic, Post-Anesthesia Recovery, OR, and pretty much every unit in between.
Once we hit all the specialties, the looping becomes more geared towards our home ICU unit. We start spending 1-2 days a week there until it's time to transition down completely, and then the orientation process begins all over again. The goal is for us to be off orientation in the ICU one year after being hired.
So to answer your initial question, my impression has been challenging, exhausting at times, but incredibly rewarding as I get to know the hospital inside and out.
HR – How is life on a nursing unit different from your experiences going through your Bachelor’s program at the University of Florida?

Marianna - To summarize: Entirely different. UF is a fantastic school and many of my coworkers will let you know how much I love wearing my orange and blue scrubs. But in nursing, it really is all on-the-job training. No one warns you in school that you're not just the nurse; you're also the therapist, secretary, mechanic, phone operator, waitress, and overall gatekeeper of the patient.
I think the biggest difference between school and the hospital setting is that in school, you learn expected outcomes; how things are supposed to work in an ideal world. In the hospital setting, you learn how to not panic when you realize that rarely do things ever go according to plan. So I guess adding "Expert Trouble Shooter" to the job description would be the best way to warn future nurses what lies ahead.  

HR – You are a brave person and agreed to start blogging about your experiences. How is that going?

Marianna - It's funny to me, because it's so out of my comfort zone. I've never really been a writer, but anyone who knows me will admit I am an avid story teller. Which is what's funny about writing a blog...the people who read it may or may not even know me, yet they know my stories.

But it actually has been pretty fun and a nice way to capture some of the stuff I'm going through now that I otherwise may not have remembered once I'm old and completely senile.

HR - What are some of the new things you are experiencing as part of your training? And will we be reading about them in future blog posts from you?

Marianna - As we're starting to prepare for transition, all the Critical Care Residents now have class every other week. These classes specifically focus on what you'll find while working in an ICU and so far have been pretty awesome, for lack of a better word. The week before class, we have online modules assigned for us to complete; each session focusing on a different body system.

In class we have lecture for a bit, then a hands-on portion in our Simulation Center, and finally tying it all together by going up to ICUs to see these complex patients up close. And then, true to form, a lunch date afterwards where we all debrief on everything we did.
As far as the future blog posts go, I don't doubt I'll have more stories. Because I'm still so new, every day there's at least one moment where I have to take a step back and ask myself "Is this really happening?" But hopefully that feeling won't go away anytime soon, because honestly that's what makes me able to get up in the morning and come back for more.

Check back each month to hear the latest from Marianna as she continues to share real life stories of what it's like to launch a professional Nursing career here at All Children's Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine.

- Jay

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