When you have spent your education , training and practice following the linear path of clinical medicine it can be daunting to consider changing gears and switching to a non-clinical career in medicine, or to explore opportunities completely outside of the healthcare arena. Does the task seem so overwhelming and fraught with fear and uncertainty that you are are reluctant to take even baby steps towards a new life? The only real mistake in this process is letting these fears and uncertainties paralyze you from creating a future where you can happily use your talents; feel engaged; find fulfillment; and continue to have a meaningful impact.
WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE OUT THERE?
The organization, SEAK, offers seminars, conferences and other resources for physicians considering non-clinical careers. Some of the broad categories of traditional and non-traditional careers non-clinical careers that they list are:
Traditional Non-Clinical Careers
- Occupational Health
- Pharma, Medical Device and Biotech (Industry)
Non-Traditional Non-Clinical Careers
- Political Pundit and CommentatorTeacher
- Forensic Handwriting Examiner
- Professional Coach
- Park Ranger
- Financial Advisor
- Wall Street Executive
- Venture Capitalist
- Patent Attorney
- High-Tech Executive
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FEARS THAT ARE KEEPING YOU STUCK?
“Nothing will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.” — Samuel Johnson
Now that you know what some of the potential fields of exploration are, what is next?
Put all of the fears that are keeping you from moving forward on the table. Some of the concerns that I have heard from my clients include:
What are the potential financial repercussions of changing my job?
What will my family think?
What if I choose the wrong career, and am still unhappy and stressed?
Will I still have a meaningful impact?
What about job security?
What if I don’t have the skills that are required for a new type of work?
TAKE THESE INITIAL STEPS TO MOVE FORWARD
A. Behind these fears is a belief eg. I know that I will lose money if I change jobs. Challenge yourself by asking what doors might open for you if you let go of this belief?
B. Educate yourself about the opportunities that you think might interest you.
This can include:
- Reading as much as you can about a specific career online, in journals and books.
- Listening to podcasts and webinars.
- Going to seminars and conferences.
- Networking and reaching out to experts.
C.Meet with a financial planner to go over your finances.
D. When you communicate with significant others, try to have conversations that are fact-based, constructive, and inspirational, rather than emotional and anxiety ridden.
CULTIVATE A MINDSET OF ADVENTURE
See this as an exciting opportunity to:
Do something that you have always longed to do.
Discover ways to use skills that have lain dormant for years.
Find new ways to expand your influence and impact.
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” — Goethe