New Assignment? Boost Your Confidence with these tips

The thrill and excitement of a travel assignment can quickly fade when confidence-jabbing doubts and concerns invade. After all, each assignment means a new position in an unfamiliar city surrounded by a crop of coworkers who are strangers. On top of that, the facility may operate differently from any organization the travel professional has worked in before. 

That scenario can indeed be a recipe for a dip in confidence, but it doesn’t have to be. Being confident despite a new, challenging situation is possible when we acknowledge that, contrary to popular belief, confidence isn’t born from external factors. It’s not about the where, the who, and the why of a situation. Confidence wells from a belief that we have enough knowledge or experience to handle the task before us. That, even though a situation ignites a flock of internal butterflies, knowing we’ve prepared for this very scenario arms us with the confidence to push forward. 

First, focus your mind on this truth: you were hired for this position because of what you bring to the table. The package that encompasses your skillset, characteristics, personality, and work experiences convinced the leadership at this facility that you are the person for the job. 

Much of the battle is a mental struggle. A “can do” attitude will boost your confidence, whereas a fretful, I’m-not-good-enough mindset can strike a fatal blow to anyone’s confidence. So, repeat to yourself, repeatedly: “You’ve got this!”

Then, strengthen your confidence with these practical tips. 

Control what you can control 

While any travel assignment comes with a fair number of what-ifs that lie outside your control, consciously shift your focus to those things about which you hold the deciding vote. Ensure you get plenty of rest before your first shift. Practice the driving route to the workplace and familiarize yourself with parking. Gas up the car, pack a lunch or favorite snacks the night before and stash a change of clothes in the car. Wear your favorite shoes and work attire (if a uniform is not required).

Carry a pocket notepad for recording info that you can refer to in the days and weeks ahead. Remove the fear that you’ll forget something important. Also, jot down questions about the organization, the facility, job specifics—anything that comes to mind.  

Remind yourself that it’s okay to ask for help 

No one will expect you to know everything, so ask questions and don’t apologize for doing so. If you try to power through as if the facility, coworkers, procedures, and processes are nothing new, you’ll pile undue stress upon yourself. The new team will appreciate your willingness to learn and your desire to perform your tasks to the best of your ability. 

Look for a mentor 

Often, a team member will take newbies under their wing as they gain their sea legs. Graciously accept any assistance should a situation present itself. Having a “go-to person” can make those early days confidence boosters rather than confidence drainers. If no one steps forward, keep a keen eye out for coworkers whom you feel especially comfortable going to with questions. And don’t forget to make friends along the way. Adapting to a new environment will be easier when you have friends to engage with on and off the job. 

Travel Nurses, CNAs, interim administrators, interim acute leaders, and DONs: you can approach your travel assignments with confidence when you adopt a positive attitude and utilize these practical tips.

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