Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Navigating a career transition

Many physicians who plan a major career transition end up being successful. It may take them some time, depending on their experience, their specialty, and their geographic location. In many ways, a career transition is similar to a driving experience. If you have a map, you'll get there fairly effectively (as long as you know how to read the map and know how to find your location on the map). Using a GPS is probably more efficient and requires less effort. Plus, a GPS will automatically redirect you when you veer off the course, so you end up wasting less time.

Travel Time

Navigating a career transition is like going on any type of journey. Are you familiar with the landscape and do you plan to use a map to make sure you reach your location? Or will you invest in a GPS that can get you there as quickly and as efficiently as possible?

Career transition navigators are coaches or counselors who can guide people and also predict how long a career transition may take. A drive from Dallas to Houston may take 3.5 hrs on an average day, but if you hit traffic or end up taking many detours, then you may be in the car for 5+ hrs. Similarly, a career transition may take 1-2 months or may require 6+ months of planning for some individuals.

Your Destination

The other key component of navigating a career transition is to understand all your options as you plan your destination. If you're planning a drive to California, do you plan to visit LA? San Francisco? Yosemite? The beach? Using a map or a GPS, you can know that it may take 1 hr to drive to San Francisco or 6 hrs to drive to Los Angeles. There are so many different types of destinations for physicians who wish to transition to a new career. Identify realistic destinations and understand what they truly have to offer. Then you can start mapping out your journey.

Traffic and Delays

In general, major roads experience traffic during weekday rush hour. However, an occasional accident can jam major freeways on the weekends. Also, construction may occur at night when traffic is lighter. It's important to anticipate that you may hit some traffic in your career transition journey, especially if you're departing near rush hour. There are many physicians who are planning their departures from clinical medicine because they are burning out, they don't want to deal with the administrative paperwork (electronic records), or they are nearing retirement but they still want to maintain a certain level of productivity.

Use a GPS

If you plan to venture into uncharted territory, be sure to use a GPS. A GPS can reduce delays, minimize frustrations, and ensure that you'll successfully reach your destination. A GPS will also provide you with real-time feedback telling you how soon you can expect to reach your destination. Similarly, a career navigator will be able to give you feedback regarding your progression toward your destination. If you experience detours or delays, you'll know how to navigate around them so that you can plan your life accordingly.

Crowdsourcing Information

There's a reason why Google purchased the social GPS mobile app called Waze for $1.3 billion back in 2013. When you have a critical mass of users who are willing to share information about real-time traffic and accidents. Imagine if you could tap into that type of resource as you plan your career transition journey. If you had multiple navigators who could see your progress and provide input, then this type of crowdsourced feedback could be much more accurate than a single resource.

Coming Soon

Stay tuned to hear more as these ideas come together. We are planning to offer a "next generation" career transition navigation service for physicians interested in pursuing a change that aligns with their personal and professional goals.

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