Two Roads Diverged...Looking Back On Traveled Career Paths

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both”
-Robert Frost 

Looking back on past decisions with a scrutinizing mind is easy, isn’t it? Formulating a better plan much later and imagining how we could have changed our course; reminiscing with a wiser, more experienced mind. The problem is...what we know now, we didn’t then. That’s exactly what makes our look back so skewed. However, learning from other professionals, both before and after our time, is where the real insight lies.

After a number of years in any field, it’s only natural to look back at the place you currently stand and wonder how you ended up here. What if we could go back and tell our former, greener selves all about the course ahead? Would it assist in our progression or simply be a disservice to our potential growth? With all of this in mind, I peer backward in time. Examining my career decisions, reflecting a little less on what I would have changed and more on what I wish I knew then. 

Starting Out

I remember feeling lost in a sea of overwhelming possibility. I was so excited to have survived tough clinicals, graduated and passed my boards. But, what now? On to the scary part. What did I want to become? Obviously, I had to take the first step into real adulthood. For me, this meant purchasing my first set of resume worthy stationary; slate grey heavyweight paper and matching envelopes. I wanted to stand out but not stray too far from the off white standard. It’s quite easy to laugh about this “coming of age" story now, but it felt like a very serious decision at the time. I wanted to accurately and professionally portray myself. Yes, through stationary. While the internet was certainly alive and well at that time, it was not comparable the job search market we have at our disposal today.

Job Search

I learned so much in nursing school - a small hospital based program gave me countless hands on skills for my future bedside career. However, I don’t recall any mention of nursing positions aside from that role. For years, I was completely unaware of the alternative roles nurses could aspire toward outside of a hospital, MD office or school. As a new, young, ambitious RN, I was preoccupied with giving the best possible bedside care and climbing the clinical ladder. It didn’t occur to me to do any outside research. This is what I knew nursing to be and that is what I pursued.

A Grain of Salt

Over the years, I have received many pieces of advice regarding my current and future career plans. I wish I had taken advice more cautiously and less personally. Realizing sooner that it’s okay to discard some of the information being offered and keep what is prudent to my personal journey as a nurse. In the ever changing field of healthcare, it is imperative to keep an open mind and sustained flexibility can be difficult to maintain. Keeping an eye on the current job market can let you know it’s time to move on or that you are where you need to be. 

Different Path

All of this insight was provoked from my exposure to a new website After one visit, I was hooked and spreading the word to many of my fellow nurses. This innovative, full-service site not only serves nurses but many other areas of healthcare as well, including areas like administrative and legal positions in the health setting. My first visit to the job site database was nothing short of impressive. Met with a speedy platform & a text chat box for any questions, I found myself wishing something like this existed when I was looking for nursing jobs. I wonder if it would have changed my path. A place where both new and experienced nurses alike can enter distinct criteria, such as desire to work at a Magnet designated hospital, length of commute, specialty and more.

I may not have all the answers looking back at my traveled career path, but what I do know is that something like this would have changed the game by providing me with the upper hand in the healthcare job market search. A comprehensive website like LiquidCompass stands to benefit both seasoned nurses and future healthcare professionals alike.

Now it’s your turn to be amazed! Check out their website; I promise you won’t be disappointed. 

What do you wish you would have known as a new nurse on the hunt for the perfect job?



About the Author

Ashley Hay is a freelance healthcare content writer and owner of with over a decade of nursing experience in several areas of pediatric and adult oncology.


The Road Not Taken