Welcome to today’s edition of the PNC podcast show notes. This week I'm offering a few suggestions to help you overcome the inertia that often slows your career search. One of the most common questions I hear from physicians considering a new career is “How do I get started? They get stuck right at the very beginning of the process.

Today’s episode will be a short one, just hitting on a few issues related to nonclinical career transition. That’s because I’m leaving for a 7-day fishing trip in northern Minnesota and I’m a bit short on time.

overcome the inertia on the rapids

Vermilion River flowing into Crane Lake in Minnesota

I want to provide you a little more incentive for taking action on your career pivot. For those that are new to the podcast, I'd like to provide suggestions for blog posts and podcasts to “consume.”

This episode will have a lot of links to follow.

My Primary Goal Today

Today I’m attempting to encourage action. If you’ve been unhappy and unfulfilled in your career but you’ve been struggling to take that first one or two steps, here are some ideas to get things rolling.

Nonclinical Careers

First read these blog posts. All of them can be found on Vital Physician Executive (vitalpe.net}:

That last one, in particular, will help you to understand how to stack new skills. Those skills will then help you develop your unique skills profile.

Then listen to these podcast episodes that address mindset and other foundational issues:

overcome the inertia mindset

Rainbow on Crane Lake

Management Careers

For those of you considering a hospital or medical group management career, start with these blog posts:

Then check out these podcast episodes:

Once you’ve read or listened to that articles posts and podcast episodes, you’ll find even more information about specific careers among the interviews. You can scan through quickly by going to PNC Podcasts for a complete list that you can pick and choose from.

At that point, you should be feeling fairly optimistic. You should accept that you deserve a career that brings you joy. And you will begin to understand that there are thousands of potential jobs out there for you.

But you need to take those first few steps.

Inspiration and Support

Unless you've already gotten deep into your career search, here are some things you can do to stimulate movement and get some inspiration.

  1. Read Michael McLaughlin's book Do You Feel Like You Wasted All That Training?: Answers About Transitioning to Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians. It describes Michael’s journey. It's in Q & A format, so it's a quick read.
  2. If you're not already a member, join the Physician Nonclinical Career Hunters Facebook Group. This is a closed group, so you will need to ask to join AND you will be asked to answer three questions to verify that you're a physician. After applying, drop me a note in the Comments Section of the show notes at Episode 42 and let me know you applied. That way, I can be looking for your request.
  3. Set up a free LinkedIn Account if you don't already have one. Then do the following:
    • Request to connect with me – I'm at John V. Jurica, MD, MPH, CPE – and mention that you're a podcast listener.
    • Join the following LinkedIn Groups: Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians, and Doxodus – A Social Network of Doctors with Nonclinical Careers.

Unfortunately, many of us don't know exactly what career we want to pursue. We're not sure about our strengths and weaknesses, and we don't know the full universe of possible careers to consider.

Let’s do some more foundational work.

overcome the inertia with coaching

Quiet evening on Crane Lake

Next Address Your Mindset

First, it's best that you address burnout and other issues pushing you away from clinical medicine. Many of us feel trapped in our jobs. We don't think that we can change our environment, so we seek something “better.”

It's best to address those feelings before you leave your current job. The grass always looks greener, but it almost never is. And you run the risk of bringing that baggage and bad attitude to any new job you pursue.

You can get some useful advice on this issue from two of the coaches I’ve interviewed by listening to the following podcast episodes.

  1. The first is with Dike Drummond in Episode 028. He is the guru of physician burnout. He has coached many burned out physicians. And the vast majority (over 90%?) decide to stay in clinical medicine after completing his program.
  2. The second bit of advice comes from Katrina Ubell in Episode 035. She believes it’s important that your burnout be addressed before leaving your current job/career. And you should make the move primarily to pursue a higher calling.

Personality Inventory

Once that's settled, you should spend some time thinking about your own strengths, weaknesses, and personality, and the kind of job you might be suited for.

You might take an on-line personality inventory such as 16Personalities. It looks like it’s based on the Myers Briggs Inventory. It will provoke some ideas around the type of job you might like. Are you an introvert or extrovert? Feeling or thinking? Analytical or creative? Then match those traits to a career after using the resources that follow.

The next step is to create a list of possible career options.

Free Lists of Career Options

I know of two blogs that provide specific nonclinical career descriptions.

The most recent one I've read is on the blog Look for Zebras. This post links to descriptions of 19 specific nonclinical careers. It can be found at lookforzebras.com/nonclinical-careers.

If you find them to be useful, do me a favor and please leave a comment stating something like this: “I'm so glad that John Jurica at PNC Podcast told me about your blog. This information is awesome!”

Another site that lists possible career choices is Nonclinical Doctors by Heidi Moawad, MD. There is a page that lists dozens of nonclinical careers. She provides specific details and physician success stories for many of the career options that she lists.

There is also  a free guide that you may already have received if you signed up for my newsletter. It's called 5 Nonclinical Careers You Can Pursue Today that has information about five nonclinical careers. If you don't already have the guide, you can go to Free 5 Career Guide to download it.

Don't forget to network widely and develop mentors.

overcome the inertia wildlife

Deer outside our cabin door each morning.

Paid Help for Career Change

Sometimes, however, it's necessary to invest a little money to overcome the inertia in your career pursuit.

A Very Useful Book

The first suggestion is very reasonably priced. It's the book Physicians’ Pathways to Non-Traditional Careers and Leadership Opportunities.

It sells for about $60.00 new, but you can find a used copy in good shape for about $28.00 on Amazon.com. At 385 pages, it's a very comprehensive look at “non-traditional” careers. It describes dozens of career options in 25 chapters categorized by broad career types.

It also addresses other topics related to physician career transition.

Physician Career Coaching

But probably the most proactive way to expedite your career pivot is to engage a physician career coach. Many such coaches are physicians who have completed their own coaching, then trained to become coaches themselves.

The costs vary. I don't have scientific survey results to reference. Anecdotally, I expect costs to range from $150 to $400 per hour, depending on the experience and training of the coach. For comparison, executive coaching for C-Suite executives generally runs $250 to $500 per hour or more.

But everyone I’ve ever talked to has found coaching to be well worth the cost, whether its executive, life or career coaching.

The benefits of coaching are numerous. Coaching opens our minds to new possibilities, helps us overcome self-limiting beliefs, maintains accountability, and accelerates progress towards progressive positive goals.

Coaches I've Interviewed

I've had the pleasure of interviewing the following life and/or career coaches: Kernan Manion, Charlotte Weeks, Michelle Mudge-Riley, Heather Fork, Dike Drummond, Katrina Ubell and Maiysha Clairborne.

They’ve all had great success with their clients and high demand for their services. Some of them may not be taking new clients, but will generally refer you to an alternate if you reach out to them.

Michelle Mudge-Riley has created a site called Physicians Helping Physicians that has three levels of paid services. I have not used them personally, but I'm a big fan of coaching.

There are hundreds of trained physician career coaches out there. With the proper vetting, usually with a free consultation and speaking with references, coaching may be the best way to jump-start your career search.

Take Action and Overcome the Inertia

I think I’ll end it there.

To Summarize

Start by addressing your attitude. Then discover as many career options as you can. Reflect and assess your personality, strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re stuck, check out one of the listed coaches, or do your own coaching research. Then start with a few sessions. The coach may be able to provide insights into your personality, strengths and weaknesses, and help you to identify a career or two that’ll be a good fit.

If you enjoyed today’s episode share it on Twitter and Facebook, and leave a review on iTunes.

And join me next week, for another episode of Physician Nonclinical Careers.

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