September 20, 2019

Before Making Big Changes, Prepare Your Launching Pad!

Photo by Paul Stumpr

Photo by Paul Stumpr

If you’re 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 expand in a new direction, having your personal life in good shape will enhance the likelihood of success!  Here are six key areas to consider:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

When you are eager to reach your goal, it may be challenging to put time into these areas that can seem like detours.  The attention does pay off though, and often has unexpected rewards.

Often, attending to finances seems about as fun as a root canal without Novocaine, but it’s one of the most important areas to focus on.  It can be even harder for a couple with different ideas about money. In this case, a financial advisor or other knowledgeable party can be helpful, not exactly laughing gas, but it’s a place to start.

Good luck to you!

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