We’re wrapping up our mini Carpe Diem process! I hope you’re already seeing changes in your life from just getting started!
Today we’re covering the last stages: Preparation and Execution.
Here’s a review of the stages:
C – Commitment
A – Assessment
R – Research
P – Preparation
E – Execution
If you’re just joining us, you can catch up with the earlier Carpe Diem process blogs here.
Preparation is a key stage because what you do and don’t do here can greatly impact the success of your final stage, Execution.
Remember all the prep you did to get into medical school? You took the required courses, studied for the MCAT, volunteered in the ER or a lab, shadowed a family doc, wrote a killer essay, took time to interview, and other things as well.
You had a big goal and you likely did a lot to make it happen.
Fast forward, you may be in practice now for a few years or twenty plus, and you have some different goals.
What is the preparation that’s going to help you execute these desires now?
I like to break down preparation into three different categories.
Launching Pad Prep
Move the Needle Prep
A little pneumonic is L-M-N-O-P! Launching Pad-Mindset-Needle-On-with the-Prep. Kind of silly but I like simple ways to remember things.
Launching Pad Prep: this prep gives you a strong platform to make the changes you’re seeking. This could be decluttering your house and organizing closets and spaces. Perhaps starting an exercise routine or getting on a better sleep schedule. It might be examining your relationships and seeing which ones are supporting you, and which ones are draining your energy.
Launching pad prep could also be evaluating your finances and taking more control over your investments or spending. You may want to figure out what income you need going forward.
In order to have the time and energy to do something different, you need to have all cylinders firing. Things that distract and drain your energy are going to impede your lift-off.
Mindset Prep: The biggest barriers to making changes may not be the ones outside of us. They can be simply the thoughts inside our head. And that’s actually good news because those are the ones we have the most control over. Whether we know it or not, we’re typically coming from a fear-based or trust-based mindset. A clue that you’re using more of a fear-based mindset is that you focus more on the problems versus the possibilities of a situation. Decisions made from a perspective of trust in ourselves take us in the right direction. Fear-based decisions take us off-track or keep us stuck. For a simple approach and exercise to determine what perspective you’re in, check this blog, Fear vs. Trust in Leaving Medicine.
Move the Needle Prep: This kind of prep consists of action steps that start directly connecting the dots to the changes you want to make.
For a lot of my clients, move the needle prep involves creating a resume, doing interview prep, working on their LinkedIn profile, and networking.
Move the needle prep could also be taking a relevant course, getting a certification, shadowing a physician in your area of interest, or learning a new skill.
In the cartoon below Dr. Rachel shares a delightful cartoon that depicts some of the changes she’d like to see in her career and life.
Here is a description she wrote about some of the career prep she’s doing:
Prepping for me has involved leaning into the non-medical topics that have always interested me, even if it’s not clear how to actually forge a new career out of them. I’m trying to trust the process. If I lean into where my interests are, it’s my hope that the pursuit will organically lead me somewhere relevant, where I can still use my medical degree.
To that end, over the past two months I took a basic HTML/CSS coding class. I started auditing a class called CS50 Intro to Computer Science through EDx, even convincing my husband to join (“What if you could MAKE video games instead of just playing them?) I learned WordPress to create my own website, on which I started a fledgling blog. And I quit my current job, after giving 4 month’s notice. It was an amiable and drama-free affair, not one that involved door-slamming and expletives about “THE WORST EMR EVER!”
In a pandemic-catalyzed turn of events, my husband’s new job also has us planning a move to a different state with a significantly lower cost of living than NYC. Our housing costs alone will drop by 50%. As a result, I’m negotiating a part-time clinical job at the local medical school there. I could also see doing some remote consulting and part-time teaching. It’s my goal to decrease my clinical hours and our cost of living so that I can learn new tech skills, and also pursue creative interests such as writing and crafting. Yes, crafting! It is too an art! Have you ever seen those miniature animals made entirely from felted cat fur?
If you want to learn more about Dr. Rachel, and missed her very popular and incredibly well-written blog post on my site, you’ll find it here.
The final phase, Execution, doesn’t need any explanation. You just do it!
I’d love to hear about the prep you’re doing on the changes that are important to you, and celebrate with you when you execute those changes!
Speaking of execution, our Carpe Diem Resume Kit is officially available! This DIY kit is all you need to convert your resume into a rocking resume. You can get all the details here.
A big Thank you to Dr. Rachel for contributing her wonderful cartoon and update on her career transition.
Thank you for doing what you do, helping physicians find their path to a fulfilling life inside or outside of medicine.
Why thank you kindly Dr. Stiles. Your words are much appreciated. It is my absolute pleasure to help other physicians. It’s not easy to be in medicine, especially now, and there are so many ways doctors can contribute to improving health, and also the world in general. It’s not limited to wearing the white coat. Thank you again for your comment.