A good friend and mentor, Aliana Apodaca recently suggested I read, Work with Passion: How to Do What You Love for a Living by Nancy Anderson. Anderson (2004) stated that even what feels like trivial work, if it has significance and a sense of accomplishment can turn into meaningful work.
I began to run a mental resume inventory of the last ten years of my life. Whenever I found the work to lack meaning, I acted out. There was that one healthcare job where I thought starting a nonprofit on the side was a good idea because it was a way to fuel my passion. That same job is where I got the idea to go back to school to complete a second master’s degree. I also finished a doctoral program there. The conclusion I reached is that boredom equaled an exertion of other activities; luckily productive. When I analyze the situation, I found that I deeply associate a part of my persona with my chosen career. Having a boring and unfulfilling career meant I had a boring and unfulfilling life. Back filling that with my wonderful family was not enough. I had however, always loved working in healthcare. I am not a physician and have no direct contact with patients, yet I felt like my role as the business administrator had a trickle down effect that ultimately impacted the patient. My team felt secure, developed, appreciated. That impacted how patient care was delivered… but that wasn’t enough.
The next healthcare job I took was so chaotic and crazy that I felt like no two days were alike. This was exciting and distracting… for a little while. After a year, I settled into my version of standard chaos… and then I started a healthcare coaching business 🙂
My point is, if you are looking to move into healthcare because you are dissatisfied with your current career path, you need to think long and hard about what aspects of your current work are dissatisfying. Start by making a list of what you love about your current work and what you dislike. Then flag what you think will carry over into your healthcare career. How will you deal with the dissatisfying aspects of healthcare?
A new and exciting career in healthcare may not fill that void. It may blind you for a moment with the distraction of a new setting, and new people but ultimately if the issue you have with your current job potentially stands to be duplicated in an unknown healthcare career, then you need to take a step back and reconsider.
My final lesson in all this realization is that I still have no regrets. I learned what I did and what I did not want from all those roles. It was a path that I opted to follow. Living with regret is like living in the past. Stay present and in the moment, and at worst case, keep looking forward!
Anderson, N. (2004). Work with Passion: How to Do What You Love for a Living. Novato, CA: New World Library.