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A long and dreadful commute can make or break your perspective about a job. But a toxic work community can plain and simple lead you to emotional and mental breakdown. Can I get an AMEN?!?!!

The commute we make to provide and manage the healthcare of those in need range in spectrum from 0 minutes (thanks to telehealth and remote work) to 2 and 3 hours for locum positions.


There is no right or wrong in terms of work commute. What’s important is the work waiting for you at the end of that commute. A long commute to a job you love, with supportive staff, in a place you can grow is vastly different than a short commute to a job you tolerate or even worse, a long commute to a job you hate.

So what do you do if you have a commute you’d rather do without. You could do just that, do without it and find a different job ✌🏾. Or you can maximize your time if you have a long commute. Use it to your advantage. Find a few podcasts that you love, whether it be professionally related or not. Audible books are another option 🎧📕. Or just jam out to some tunes and sing along like no one’s watching (no judgement here) 🎤🎶. Or…wait for it…silence 🦗🦗🦗. It’s a beautiful opportunity to reflect and decompress, one that I need to invest in more often. There’s no shortage of options thanks to technology.

And what about the community, you’re probably asking. How do you change a work environment that’s toxic or stunts your professional growth? Unfortunately, you can only do so much right. Sure, you make the best of the situation and #strivetothrive. You can change your perspective and outlook on life and that’s helpful for sure. You will grow as a person, develop empathy, have a deeper appreciation for life and those around you. But because people are slow to change, you’re dealing with human beings, and…you need your sanity to maintain a healthy you…you may need to plan an exit strategy.


But, let’s pump the brakes and back this thing up. The hiring process is a good time to identify any red flags that could indicate detriment to your professional (and personal) health. Let’s review a few tips:

Tip 💡 Ask for a shadow experience.

This is your golden opportunity to see a glimpse of the true in-and-outs of the work environment. Ya know, the real deal–outside of the corporate-level written “mission, vision, and value statements” that you looked up prior to your phone and in-person interviews. Bonus tip: this shadow experience is still part of the interview so stay professional. Don’t unpack your package, you’re not on the payroll…yet.


Tip💡💡Review and negotiate your contract.

If you discussed ABC during the interview and XYZ is showing up, revisit that PDQ 😁. Conversations are not contractual…contracts are. And they’re just that-an agreement. Meaning, by signing you agree to the terms and plan to abide by them. Bonus tip: your so-called “work life balance” is reflected in your contract.


Tip 💡💡💡Trust your gut.

Sometimes the stars 🌟 ⭐️ align just right and the wind blows just as expected, letting you know that the job was made for you. More oft than not, you find out real quick that you signed a crap deal you are obligated to for the next 2 years. Kinda like buying a lemon of a car that manifests itself shortly after your purchase 🍋🚘. (May or not still be salty about that brand new car purchase years back).

Have you tried these tips? Have any other tips to add to the mix? Agree, disagree?

About the Author

Josie Tate is a successful nurse practitioner, visionary nurse leader, and inspirational career mentor. She is the creator of Clincepts, a professional development resource that helps bridge the gap for nurses transitioning into advanced practice.

Nurse practitioners across the industry get and stay happily hired using strategies from Josie’s proven framework. At its core, Clincepts empowers and equips nurse practitioners to stand out, shine bright, and speak up as the best candidates for the job.

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