I previously discussed strategies to avoid physician burnout and that a four-day workweek will help keep your stressful job manageable. A second approach to maintaining your drive in your work is to find one aspect of your job that you find interesting and challenging. Focus on conquering it. If that challenge is compelling enough, it will keep you going.
What interested you in childhood?
Did you ever have one skill or interest that you mastered during childhood? Remember how many hours you spent learning about a particular subject? You found a means to improve your understanding of this topic, whether or not the material was easily accessible. The key to success is the hustle, motivation, and drive.
This is no different in any job you do. The magic in becoming good at your job or career is to find a topic or area that you are passionate about. This can include simply clinical practice, practice management, or administrative duties (meh!). In my experience, there is always an unmet administrative role in every medical practice that needs additional manpower (or woman power). If any of these roles suits you, you can make a side career out of hospital or medical administration.
What if you hate your job?
How can you find a challenge in your workplace to conquer if you simply hate your job? I certainly do know physicians to passionately hate their job, but those people are few and far in between. The most common reasons why people hate their jobs involve coworkers, subordinates, the income, or the environment itself. I have plenty of malicious subordinates who try to undermine the success of my department. Office politics and mounds of paperwork are also common topics that make our jobs miserable.
The most important step in finding a resolution is to consider what aspects of your workplace or coworkers that make your experience unpleasant. What variables can you influence or change? Consider the negative factors and whether improving on these issues will make you happier. For me, there were dozens of issues that need to be corrected. I made a priority list and started tackling them. It certainly made the workplace more manageable as we fixed glaring mistakes and inequities.
What if your job cannot be salvaged?
It is possible that your job still wakes you up more frequently than your newborn no matter what you’ve tried to do to salvage it. At this point, you have to decide whether you will still be able to support your family if you stopped working and start looking elsewhere if you don’t have an alternative stream of income. This is a great time to brush up on some passive income stream options and create a plan to allow yourself to retire early if you find yourself in the same situation in the future.
What other options have you considered to make your job more pleasant?