You survived undergrad,worked tireless hours during your internship and made it to the Registration Examination for Dietitians. You sat breathlessly, staring at the screen, reading the message that you passed. At that moment, you became a registered dietitian nutritionist — all your hard work, dedication and passion had paid off and your career as a dietitian commenced.
Now, whether you are a new dietitian or have been practicing for years, tap into that passion. Remember why you chose this rewarding profession in the first place! Here are three techniques I have discovered that are key to sustaining your professional journey.
Develop Your Nutrition Philosophy to Match Your Passion
Your philosophy encompasses your beliefs, ideas, tenets and school of thought. Your passion is the strong feeling and emotion you have for nutrition and wellness, which is why you became an RDN in the first place.
Your passion hopefully will be consistent over your career, but your philosophy may change and evolve as you work in different positions and settings. If you don't have a philosophy, work to define one. Your philosophy is the first and most important step to maintaining your passion. You will get asked your nutrition philosophy by someone; perhaps you will ask yourself the question. Once you know and live it each day, your job will not seem like work.
Use these three questions to start defining your nutrition philosophy:
- How do your services facilitate your expertise in nutrition, health and wellness?
- How will you educate, manage and distribute your expertise as the nutrition expert?
- What are goals as a RDN when you work with co-workers and clients?
Your First Job Is Not Necessarily Your Last Job
Be mindful of the happiness or unhappiness you feel with your current job. Perhaps you are right where you want to be, or maybe it is time for a change. To keep growing and flourishing in your profession, discover where your nutrition passions are and seek out job opportunities in those places.
Know Your Story to Live Out Your Journey
All RDNs have a story of why they became dietitians. Dietetics is a profession that flourishes from personal stories. When I was going through classes and my internship, I would ask every registered dietitian I met when they knew they wanted to be a dietitian and their personal nutrition story. They all had one to tell. We all have a connection to this profession, otherwise we would not be here today. Keeping your story in mind will keep your passion alive.
Bottom line, you are the nutrition expert. You have gotten through the hardest part of our profession by going through school and an internship. Now is the time to conquer your next and most important quest: becoming the passionate registered dietitian nutritionist you always dreamed of being.