Tired and Busy. Are you feeling one or both?
October through December has traditionally been the busiest period of the year for me. The activities would change from year-to-year, but the resulting busyness (and associated fatigue) remained the same.
Like the year I was scheduled to present on the importance of physician self-care at 3 conferences - 2 national and 1 international - in a 6-week span while maintaining my clinical practice, family responsibilities, etc. (And no, the irony is not lost on me that I was promoting self-care while being over-committed and over-scheduled myself).
Since making the transition to a nonclinical position, maintaining a clinical practice has fallen away, but the tendency to overcommit is still present.
In reflecting on why, I find that there is a resistance to rest. It's as if someone forgot to add a "Rest Mode" switch and my internal default setting is stuck on "Busy Mode".
Although I tell myself that I want more space in my schedule...more breathing room...the "doing" feels more familiar than the "being".
I am craving rest, but it takes additional mental and emotional energy to change the habits that have previously led to an overpacked schedule of activities and commitments.
So, what helps to create new habits that allow rest? Here are a few of the tips I've been practicing to get more rest.
And here's a bonus tip: Write a personal vision for deep rest and explore how you can give yourself permission to have it.
Anne Lamott says, "When you rest, you catch your breath and it holds you up, like water wings..."
Take a break. Exhale audibly. Allow your breath to hold you up like water wings.
Tell me which of the tips spoke to you the most in the comments below.
And if you have a suggestion for what to add to the list, I'd love to hear it, Michelle@drmichellebailey.com.
Over the past 2 years there have been an increasing number of articles citing the increasing number of physicians leaving clinical practice.
While you may think that this is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the change began in the years prior. The pandemic simply accelerated the exodus.
The majority of physicians have at least entertained the thought about leaving practice. But, then the onslaught of questions begins when faced with the reality of what you could possibly do (and be qualified for) if you were to seriously pursue a nonclinical career.
If you are a physician considering a departure from clinical practice, here are 7 important questions to ask yourself before making the leap.
1. What is your honest assessment of your current career?
It's important to take a look at the bigger picture before making a decision to leave your career. Start with identifying what's currently working well. These things are usually drowned out by the louder noise of what's not working well. Both are equally important to inform your decision-making. Don't forget to ask yourself what may be missing from your career as well. Maybe it's important that you work for an organization where breaks are built into the schedule or there are opportunities to be involved in advocacy or community engagement initiatives. Create 3 columns on a page and write down your answers to each of these questions. That will give you a good overview of how well your current career is working for you.
2. Why do you want to leave your current position?
This question comes up in job interviews and it's helpful to have genuinely thoughts about this beforehand. You want to have a compelling reason for making a change. This will help keep you motivated when you come up against obstacles on your career transition journey. Know your reasons for wanting to leave (top 3). Like your reasons for wanting to leave. Being crystal clear about this will help you come across more confidently when you're talking about your decision to leave with your loved ones, colleagues and future employers. Write down or print out your compelling reason and keep it visible as a reminder while you're taking action to explore new opportunities.
3. What career is a good fit with your core values?
Sometimes physicians will focus on a nonclinical career that they saw someone else make successfully, without fully vetting the field at a high and granular level. You want to find a position in an industry that supports what matters to you and doesn't run counter to your core beliefs and values. As a pediatrician, I would never consider working for an organization that disempowers women and children. Think about the values that you uphold and look at potential job opportunities through that lens. Prioritize conversations with physicians who are in roles and organizations that you are interested in to learn what the day to day work is like. It can help you to better determine whether pursuing positions in that field may or may not be a good fit.
4. What are the most common barriers to getting your foot in the door of your desired nonclinical career?
It's typically more common to see the stories of success for physician career transitions, but the challenges present leading up to that leap may remain untold. Expect obstacles to entry and don't be afraid to fail along the way. Identify your own perceived barriers and make a list. Examples may be feeling like you're not qualified for the positions you're interested in or not understanding all of the requirements needed to be competitive outside of the clinical world. Then talk to physicians who have successfully made the leap and ask them to share what barriers they encountered and how they overcame them.
5. Beyond your career, what's most important to you in your life?
Take into account what you need for your overall life, not just in your career. Work-life balance is a myth. You are living your life when you are working; you can't separate these out. Do you need a certain salary requirement to cover your living expenses, without having to significantly change your current lifestyle? If yes, know your number as you will want to focus on positions where the minimum starting salary meets or exceeds this number. Do you want more flexibility in your schedule so that you can pick up your child from school? Look for positions where you can work remotely or work flexible hours around your child's school schedule. Set an intention to create a work opportunity that supports the things that are most important to you.
6. How willing are you to tolerate uncomfortable emotions?
Transitions mean change and challenges are typically an associated by-product. Along the way to your nonclinical position, you will encounter situations that are unfamiliar, pushing you gently (and sometimes not so gently) out of your comfort zone. You will become a learner again. Learning a new culture, new systems and applying your medical knowledge, experience and skills in a new way. This drops you into that uncomfortable space where you become acutely aware of how much you don't know (think back to first day of intern year). A key strategy to successfully making the transition to a nonclinical career and thriving in your new role, is mastering your mindset. You will need to manage your thoughts (the ones that fuel self-doubt, confusion and indecision) so as not to sabotage your success. Ask yourself on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is 100% willing, how willing are you to tolerate the uncomfortable emotions that will surface along the way to your desired career? If you're at a 7 or less, seek out a career coach, mentor or trusted advisor to help you with the skills needed to increase your rating to an 8 or higher.
7. What planning and preparation do you need to do before making the transition?
The most successful transitions (and outcomes post-transition) result from planning and preparation. Start with identifying your timeline. When you do you want to leave your current position? When do you want to start your new position? You may decide to build in some downtime in between jobs. How much notice do you need to give your current employer/practice partners? What is the expected time to start your new position once accepting the offer? Sit down and brainstorm a list of questions that need to be answered and tasks that need to be completed. Once you have your list, you can develop your personalized strategic action plan to get you to your goal.
Answering the above questions can prove helpful in your decision-making process and serve to strengthen your commitment to move forward in your search for a nonclinical career.
Which question do you find most helpful? Let me know in the comments below or feel free to send me a personal note at Michelle@DrMichelleBailey.com.
Recently in my conversations with physicians who are exploring nonclinical careers, some have expressed frustration that the job search is going as well as they would like.
They feel like their time is already so limited and the time they are spending to find a nonclinical career seems like one dead end after another.
It can be disappointing to not see the results of your efforts when your time feels so limited. So what can you do to get better results?
Here are 3 strategies that I share with my clients to help them get a better return on their investment of time and accelerate their career transition.
Implementing one or more of these strategies can significantly accelerate your career transition. I suggest making plans to incorporate all three into your job search strategy.
Which strategy will you start with this week?
Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
Einstein, considered by many to be the greatest mind of the 20th century, was known for mulling over his questions until falling into a semi-trance. In these states of deep contemplation, he made fascinating discoveries, then spent countless hours working back out of the maze to make his discoveries translatable to others.
The secret to sustainable success in any arena is not, as many believe, to be the smartest or most educated person in the room, or to be born into wealth and opportunity. Rather, the secret is to become so focused on the goal and so determined not to give up that all distractions fade into the background, and the answers rise to the top.
If you would like to see more success in your endeavors, here are 3 simple tips to help you get and stay focused so you can achieve your goals:
1. Think “Micro”
Studies have shown that humans get overwhelmed and become less productive when focusing on too many things at once. The concept of multitasking is a misnomer as we can only effectively focus on one thing at a time. So, pick one small aspect of whatever you’re doing and give it your full attention. Practice monotasking.
2. Give Yourself Permission to “Go There”
Oftentimes, we don’t give something the necessary attention because we feel we cannot disengage from all the other demands in our life. Give yourself permission to let everything else go for a while. De-prioritize to re-prioritize, and be okay with the fact that in order to say ‘Yes’ to what you want, you must say ‘No’ to something else.
3. Give Yourself More Time
With deadlines looming, it’s easy to shortchange yourself on the amount of time actually needed for excellence. Ask for more time if you need it. OR, refer to tip number 2 to create more space in your life. Progress takes persistence and persistence takes time. Practice building more margin into your schedule.
You don’t have to be an Einstein to let your genius shine through. Brilliance belongs to everyone…you just have to drill deep to get to the gold.
Which tip will you incorporate this week to unlock your brilliance and get the important things done?
Image credit: Depositphotos
We are less than 2 weeks away from entering the final quarter of the year. The year is flying by!
How are your career goals coming along for 2021?
If you just asked the question, "What career goals?" or had to think more than 30 seconds to remember what your goals were for this year, this article is for you.
Physician life is often a busy life and as a result, purposeful career advancement may get little to none of your attention. And if you are like many physicians I speak with, you may have set your career on autopilot or deferred the steering of your career to your leadership or someone else.
Here are 5 common reasons that physicians don't reach their desired career goals:
I'd like to remind you that you own your career. You earned your medical degree and you get to decide how you'd like to leverage it to support yourself and your family and make the impact that you want to have.
If you haven't set career goals for the year, it's not too late. You don't need to wait until the new year. Make a commitment to be more intentional about your career and the direction you want to take it. Take action by scheduling 30 minutes to sit down and write down at least 1 goal you'd like to achieve by the end of the year.
Share your goal in the comments below.
As the summer days wind down and we prepare to welcome fall, I made a decision to clear out some clutter in my home office. I found a stack of papers that had lists of ideas and things that I wanted to do someday.
I was pleased to see that some of the things written on the list had been accomplished, but many of them I had forgotten about.
The list of things I want to do always seem to outnumber the hours I have available to devote to them.
I am practicing a new concept as we head into the new season - CONSTRAINT.
The dictionary definition of constraint (Oxford) is "a limitation or restriction". The sentence provided as an example says it all - "time constraints make it impossible to do everything". This couldn't be more true.
When we attempt to give our attention to everything we don't accomplish as much as we could if we set priorities and limited our focus to 1 or 2 things.
Constraint helps to provide the focus and discipline necessary to achieve the outcomes we desire.
Practicing constraint requires:
It is not an easy practice, but the investment of time and energy to cultivate the skill of constraint is well worth the effort. It will pay off priceless dividends. The more you practice, the better you get at building the muscle of sustained focus to reach the goals you set for yourself. Prioritizing what matters to you helps you make the time to complete the important tasks and not just the urgent tasks (putting out fires).
So, I'm curious what your experience has been with practicing constraint. What helps you to constrain to 1 or 2 top priorities?
The Physician Career Path Reimagined
Copyright 2019-2021. Michelle Bailey & Company, LLC.
www.drmichellebailey.com. All Rights Reserved.
www.drmichellebailey.com. All Rights Reserved.
Proudly powered by Weebly