Sunday, February 6, 2011

Considering a Career Change? Prepare Your Launching Pad!

Author: Heather Fork, MD, CPCC

If you are considering making any significant career changes in the next several years, you can get a head start by shoring up your launching pad. Since it takes time and energy to explore a new direction, having your personal life in good shape will enhance the likelihood of success! Here are six key areas to consider:

Degree of Burnout: To what extent are you burned out from medicine? For those who have a hit a wall, it can be hard to find the interest or energy to make any changes. By taking specific measure to reverse the burnout, you will find it easier to move forward.

Finances: Take an honest look at your financial situation. Create a budget if you don’t already have one. Determine your short and long term financial goals and address any existing debt. Decide on your minimum acceptable salary requirements and lifestyle needs.

Spouse/Partner: Having the support of your spouse or significant other regarding your career plans is of utmost importance. Take time to understand any concerns or fears he or she may have relating to a transition. With your spouse invested as a willing participant, the process will be more successful and enjoyable.

Home Environment: Are there piles of papers that need sorting? Closets or boxes full of items waiting for Goodwill? Clearing out the clutter not only improves organization and efficiency, but it also frees up mental energy that you can spend on other pursuits.

Self-Development: Making external changes requires internal change. The more self-awareness you have about your own limiting patterns of thoughts and behavior, the more your natural strengths and abilities will be guiding your decisions.

Supportive Relationships: Finding those you can trust to talk to about your ideas is not always easy, but will serve you well. Steer clear of those with negative, fearful attitudes. Whether you talk with a friend, respected colleague, mentor or coach, there is much to be gained by having unbiased reflection.

About the author:

Heather Fork, MD, CPCC, is owner and founder of the Doctor’s Crossing. As an ICF certified coach, she works with physicians who are seeking to renew and reinvigorate their careers and avoid burnout. She helps doctors tap into their natural abilities and passion to create new and inspiring opportunities within clinical medicine or through non-clinical options. Knowing that too many physicians are suffering from stress and burnout, Dr. Fork is dedicated to improving physician well-being collectively, as well as individually. Read about Dr. Fork here.

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