Tuesday Tripping: Marshmallow and Spaghetti

So this time last week I was sitting at a Best Western in Gainesville, FL at a work related nuts and bolts seminar. It was a very humbling moment in my career as I sat in a room of fellow nurses, social workers, dieticians, and corporate heads wondering what I’m NOT doing to advance my career to the next level. I have been picking up shifts for almost 6 months in an infernal limbo of applying, interviewing, and either left in the dark or declined for reasons that just do not add up.

It is triggering my memories of my short stent as a chemotherapeutic nurse. I loved my job and found value in my community contributions. The problem was I reached burn out very quickly after becoming chemo certified. Not because of the stress of direct patient care but because of the hard pace of giving at 150% for five years,of covering every weekend/holiday, of being overlooked over and over for advancement opportunity. I left 2 semesters prior to obtaining my BSN simply because I was tired of fighting to follow my personal aspirations.

Five years later and with a Baccalaureate degree now under my belt, sitting in this room, I realized that somehow I have created this same conundrum. Why am I having to fight so hard to keep my marshmallow standing?

This is not to bash my previous or current employers. This is about self evaluating the pace I set for myself, the decisions I make, and my opportunity timing. After all, to repeat the same process for ten years expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

Below is a Ted Talk video explaining the challenge and with interesting facts on who does the best and why. It’s supposed to be a team building exercise but I took away something different.

Because it really is an interesting exercise and the above picture is our winning team project, I won’t give away too much. My personal point of introspection is my lack of movement after 10 years of nursing, higher education, and a total overhaul in specialty how did I end up with the same unstable foundation and inability to hold up my marshmallow? I am on the brink of returning to scratch but am fearful of two things. One, that I am making a mistake starting over before I figure out what I’m doing wrong. Two, another decade later I don’t want to still be involved in direct patient care. I am frankly bored and frustrated.

Marshmallow Challenge

I am contemplating the highest success rate and having multiple, rapid fire, prototypes of my career path. I have been trying to step out of my comfort zones, take the roads less traveled. Does my audience have any additional suggestions for building my marshmallow tower?

-LaTisha Carbonell, RN, BSN

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