Coming out of the Closet

So, today I’ve decided to share with you a little bit more about myself. I’ve always been a little reserved about revealing what I do besides Florence Finds and although it’s no secret behind the scenes, I’ve never shared my day job with my readers. Occasionally people ask what it is when I mention the generic ‘day job’, or every now any then someone will pop up who has come across me in that role. In my day job (and sometimes at night too for that matter!) I’m a doctor.

So why spill the beans now? Firstly, I don’t have any real reason to hide it. I trust you all not to bombard me with questions about your fungal toe nail while I’m eating (oh yes, standard dinner party fodder!) I’m also finally in a place in my career where I don’t feel my blogging needs to be a secret at work.

I’ve mentioned before that my job is a vocation; it affects nearly every aspect of my life including the way I see the world. Being a doctor offers me a unique perspective on life’s trials and tribulations and it is without doubt an honour to play a small, but sometimes pivotal role in so many people’s lives day to day. Many an opinion I share on the blog and in fact my whole perspective on life, is influenced by my daily practice, my training and the things or people I see. That can range from feeling positive that I am fortunate enough to have my health, to observing people’s personality traits that I have learned about as part of communication training. Sometimes I feel like it’s hard to truthfully and fully explain why I feel the way I do about some things, without you guys knowing why.

Lastly, I hope it adds another dimension to Florence Finds. I’ve often talked about the intelligent conversation you might find here (on a good day) as modern women. I speak to you, the readers, as my contemporaries, women who might be striving for career sucess but still want to indulge in glamour and creativity. I’m not a ‘fashion type’, just an ordinary wife and worker bee, daughter and friend, like all of you.

Because so many of you are pursuing careers or striving for quality of life, I thought I’d share a little bit about mine today, then move on another day to how it impacts on me as a blogger.

I’m 29 now and started medical training at University in 2000. It took 6 years of medical school (due to a spectacular first year flunk setting me back) before I was a fully fledged ‘junior doctor’ and I absolutely loved it. At that point I already knew I wanted to do ‘women’s stuff’, or Obs and Gynae. I was obsessed with the natural miracle that is pregnancy and the potentially disasterous birth. I loved the idea of dragging babies into the world kicking and screaming and never failed to marvel at the fact that I had the first pair of hands touching this new life. When it came to working in that area though, the reality was different. Whilst I loved the work the environment was difficult and the politics unbearable. It was the first time I hated going to work. I still applied for specialist training in O&G but by then had escaped, rotating into a GP job and I started to love the relationship you build with patients there so applied for GP training too.


The glamorous ‘Addison Montgomery’ of Greys Anatomy and Private practice, V. make up-less me on an A&E night shift a couple of years ago.

In the end I got both, but I opted for GP. Within medicine, General Practice is often looked down on, the poor relation of being a big shot hospital Consultant. In the past, and still now when people can’t get into competitive speciality fields of medicine and surgery, they take the GP route, looking for an easy life, which in reality it couldn’t be further from. For me it wasn’t a poor second choice at all, in fact it was a greater challenge. I am by nature a surgeon, act now, think later, all efficency in a black and white world. Pursuing a career as a GP for me was taking the more difficult route, and I haven’t regretted it. Of course the lifestyle can’t be knocked, although I never minded the night shifts so much it’s great not having to check my diary to see if I’m working this weekend ;)

Even back then I had ideas of wanting to do something else too. I wasn’t dissatisfied, but I enjoyed so many things and harboured secret fantasies of owning a florist’s shop part time or the ubiquitous cupcakery. Little did I know blogging would be the answer to my creative needs.

When RMW came along (The wedding blog I worked on for the 18 months before Florence Finds) there it was, the diversion I was looking for, the thing I could do alongside medicine! The timing was awful though, with more than 18 months left of my training to go. As RMW grew, my life became a cycle of work-eat-work-sleep-work. I’d spend the day or night at the hospital then come home and blog or do business admin and emails all evening. Without doubt the hardest time was 6 months of working in A&E and the brutal weekend and night shifts that I had to balance with getting blog stuff done. The final year of GP training is a registrar year in a GP practice and to say it was stressful was an understatement, exacerbated by the lack of sleep and general down time that my ‘other life’ meant I got. Final exams and assessments came and went – I was counting down the days to completing my training in August last year and going part time to spend more time on the blog.


It’s unlikely I’ll ever work somewhere this fancy, with coffee on tap and look this good at work, but I live in hope!

Of course it hasn’t quite worked out like that and my life since August when I finished training has been a rollercoaster of new experiences, thankfully all of them positive. I’m working towards becoming a ‘Portfolio GP’ – a fancy term for a GP who doesn’t settle into a daily job at a regular surgery but has lots of different roles. I have a regular part time job, do locum work in different surgeries and Out of Hours emergency GP sessions (so I still haven’t got rid of those pesky night and weekend shifts!) My quality of life has improved so much – no more sleepless nights due to stress and I actually have a life! Instead of blogging about things I’d like to see and do or try, I actually do them and blog about it later… of course. And the business skills I’ve developed whilst bogging and learning the ropes of GP management also complement each other well.

Working less (and being self employed) has brought financial insecurity but has been worth it so far. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been happier and in part that’s to do with Florence Finds… I’ll be expanding on that in another post soon. My personal happiness and fulfilment impacts on my patients too. Not only do they get a happier doctor, but I love the fact that I can really identify with the women of all ages who inevitably gravitate towards female GP’s, occasionally admiring their shoes and lending my experience of hospital gynaecology to (hopefully) solving their contraceptive, fertility and gynaecological problems.

So that’s me.

I’d really love it if you would share your career choices by leaving a comment today… I know several of you have emailed me about trying to make better choices, career changes or of course my fellow medics who read Florence Finds too.

Don’t leave me hanging!

Love,
Rebecca
xo

131 thoughts on “Coming out of the Closet

  1. Obviously I already knew this ‘top secret’, and I think that Rebecca’s career makes her incredibly empathetic and also very practical!! I am sure that I have benefited ‘behind the scenes’ from advice that R has given me just from a friend’s point of view that has been tinted by what she does for a living – which has absolutely been my good fortune!! I’m never going to ask her about gross medical stuff though ;) xx

    • obvs Rebecca Rebecca is NOT a typo, because an editor wouldn’t make one, but rather a post-modern allusion to the duality of her life and her two identities as blogger and doctor ;) x

  2. I knew you were a doctor (don’t know how I knew that come to think of it) but can I just say – a GP with an actual INTEREST in obs/gyn is surely some kind of holy grail! I am very jealous of your patients!

  3. Chartered Surveyor. I had no life plan, or great work ethic, I knew I wanted to do a vocational degree, and not wanting to be an accountant, teacher or solicitor, I plucked for Property Management. I worked as a Surveyor for almost six years, but found out that no job is ever safe, and with the recession, was made redundant. I then became Freelance, as I needed to earn a living, and had some surveying skills in place.

    Hats off to you though. You have clearly achieved a great deal, and work terrifically hard. xx

  4. Scientist (ish, have a PhD but never actually worked as one) turned science TV researcher, soon to turn chemistry outreach coordinator. My path since finishing university has been somewhat meandering to say the least. My latest move is far more what I feel is me, and although it’s just maternity cover I’m hoping it’ll lead on to good things!
    Ideal world I’d work 4 days a week, spend one day doing all the things I never seem to have time for and finding a passion in life that isn’t work-related. Or maybe this new job will be it??
    Sounds like you have a good idea of what you want from your job, and obviously put in the hard work to do it.

  5. I sooo didn’t know (realise?!) this, but suddenly it makes sense! So pleased that you have managed to find the whole work / life / blog balance, what an inspiration! I’m lucky that my day job (commercial interior designer) has so many parallels with my wedding blogging life (trends, fashion, networking & teamwork) but to achieve the perfect balance is still a far off dream! Oh, and I wish you’d come and work at my local surgery, they could really do with a human touch! xo

  6. Wow, I can’t believe you have time to be a doctor and blog twice a day! Always wondered what your “day job” was and I’m hugely impressed.

    I’m a solicitor…like you it’s taken years of training and hard work, but unlike you I can’t say I love it! While I love working in London and don’t have to worry about money too much (although still can’t afford the gorgeous Issa dress you showed a few weeks ago…) I don’t love the hours (technically I don’t work evenings and weekends, but it happens more often than not), the stress or the expectation that the job is everything. It isn’t. I feel like my “real life” starts when I get home to my husband!

    • Pips, reading your post was like reading about myself! Note to self: try to spend less time reading blogs whilst in the office and focus on working out what job I could do instead of this one that would make me a bit happier!

  7. Ah brilliant Rebecca I am so pleased you’ve written this post as I totally agree that knowing this about you and your life helps your readers to connect with you fully and understand the basis of your opinions, as well as the things that have shaped your life so far.

    You should be incredibly proud of all that you’ve achieved and the hard work you’ve put into both your vocation and your creative outlet, I love the fact that us women can be ambitious and successful in more than one area, you are living proof of this and it is very inspiring.

    As for me, my background is marketing, however I didn’t follow the usual route of school, college, uni. Oh no, I took the hard route too and went into full time working (for my family business) instead of uni, and then studied part-time (basically every night and weekend) to gain my qualifications. I’m now the proud owner of a postgraduate in Marketing as well as a few others I foolishly added to the list along the way, and I don’t have the inevitable student debt plaguing me. I’ve always worked hard but wanted that creative outlet too, so like you I blog to give me that, as well as now moving out of full-time employment (Argh scary) into self-employment with my events and wedding design business.

    It is at once the scariest and craziest but most fulfilling thing I have ever done, some say foolish given the current economy, but I just know I can make it work. I also would not change a single decision I’ve made along the way. I have grown as a person and every day I literally cannot wait to jump out of bed and start the day. It has also connected me with so many like-minded and inspiring women just like your good self, and this is what makes the hard days worthwhile.

    Big hug.

    Michelle xx

  8. I had a feeling you were a doctor, and I’m very impressed that you have the time to keep up this excellent blog with that job. I am a solicitor too and find it hard to accept how much of my life it can take over! I would LOVE to work part time and do something more creative alongside the day job but have no idea what that would be and also am no where near the financial position I would have to be in to do that. Keep up the inspiring work!

  9. It is really great to hear about your day job Rebecca, and how you have managed to achieve the balance between your vocation and an outlet for your creative skills!

    I am a PR manager by trade but have (not so) secret yearnings to get involved in the wedding industry (hence the wedding blog). I am still feeling my way with that and working out how I am going to get to where I want to be but it is so inspiring to read about your journey…can’t wait to read more of the same :) xx

  10. By day I am a social housing manager and by evening (and weekends!) I am a photographer. I’ve been working in the social housing sector for nearly 10 years and a lot of what I do there is quite useful in terms of running a photography business believe it or not (business planning, strategic planning, budget management etc) but I’m looking forward to making the break and concentrating on my own business in the future.

  11. Hi guys!
    I’m not at work today :) so thankfully I can sit around and read the comments! I’ve been a little nerves about sharing this, you never know how people are going to react, but the truth will out as they say!
    Thanks for all the words of encouragement :) especially you Gemma!

    Laura, Michelle, Katie, Pips and Linsey, thanks for sharing your career choices too, I love finding out what my readers do, it’s fascinating!

    xo

  12. I knew you were a doctor but it’s really nice to get to know you ‘behind the scenes’.

    I’m a designer for a weekly celeb mag – not as glamourous as it sounds! I love it but I’m stuck in a bit of a rut now as there are no jobs/promotions created until someone leaves! Annual review coming up and this is the biggest thing I need to address with my art director… where do I go from here?!

  13. I also knew you were a doctor and I have such amazement that you manage to juggle as well as you do and total respect that you have worked so hard in your career. I would blimming love you to be my doctor! I also think it’s great you wrote this piece as it’s so important to show different sides of your personality. In my industry people love to label you creative or non creative and this just proves there is no such thing. You are not defined by your job and no one is one dimensional! (Interestingly I get branded non creative – they don’t know about my blog!)

    So I work as a production co-ordinator in TV which means I work on different TV programmes setting up filming, doing logistics, budgeting and bringing it all together. I’ve been so lucky to have worked on some great programmes, seen many interesting things and worked with lots of amazing people and some very annoying ones!! I always wanted to work in TV and started work experience at 17! Although I work in a creative industry, my job isn’t really that creative ( and is totally unglamorous – phone calls from presenters at midnight anyone!!?) and is more about logistics, hence the need for A Chi Chi Affair which was started during an incredibly busy/frustrating point in my career. Although my career hasn’t changed hugely since the blog (although I have gone freelance) I find the balance and creativity that A Chi Chi Affair now gives me means that I am happier in my day job… However I don’t think I could imagine giving it all up so I’m happy just blogging on the side for now…

  14. Rebecca, firstly my girl crush on u has got a it bigger today :)
    I was suprised and then not at all suprised to learn u are a doctor, if that makes sense?! I bet u are a GREAT doctor to have – v jealous of ur patients!
    I don’t have a “career” as such, I finished my a levels, got myself a job for a local waste disposal/demolition company and worked up from office junior to Transport manager whilst funding my travels. I was however the first female manager with a company car to boot, but the misogyny & sexual inuuendos did me in so after 4 years i threw in the towel and do my big one to Oz & Asia I came home and settled into another job (procurement) which I’m still doing just on a part time basis now as I am lucky enough to be Mum to a gorgeous little girl.
    It’s not to say I lacked career ambitions, I just didn’t know what I wanted to do apart from Travel and I am luck enough to have ticked a good few of my must gos (I worked on a Game Reserve for 3 months in South Africa amongst other things!)
    I’ve started blogging now to do something just for me and be creative and love that Florence Finds is such an awesome eclectic non-judgemental place. Bravo to u Rebecca on all ur achievements :)

  15. Thanks for sharing Rebecca! I’m another impressed reader – training to be a doctor *and* doing all the blogging stuff, where you get all your energy is astounding.

    *deep breath* as for me, well I’m a 32 year old associate director of a careers service for an international business school. Got here via a four year science degree, one years postgraduate study in careers guidance and a further “on the job” job qualification. I’ve been in the sector for over 10 years and have worked with clients of all ages (14 – 68), in a vast range of careers and seniority. I love it and am passionate about it.

    Really interested to hear about what everyone else does!

  16. I love reading about everybody’s day jobs because, as you say, I think it’s hugely affects how you view the world. As a doctor and a blogger I’m mega impressed by your multi taking abilities.

    As for me, by day I work as an editor writing copy to promote courses at a university. But one day a week I’m back at University training to be a counsellor. It’s taken me years to pluck up the courage, but frankly it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Fitting studying in with a busy day job and still having a life can be really tough. (And I need to work on being more organised.) However it’s worth it for how satisfied I am to finally make a difference. I’ve always wanted to love what I do and now I finally do :)

  17. Finally! I knew you were some sort of brainiac! Totally osessed with Greys Anatomy too!!! My Husband is a Murse, so cant believe you managed to study work and blog a the same time! We never see each other and when we do he is toally cream crackered! I would love to give up my easy salary job to do something that I really love, for myself, and at the same time manage my schedule around my husbands shifts so that when hes off on a Wednesday I am too!
    Totally bricking it to take the plunge, its very scary to give up the security of the salary! Also I hate helping to line other peoples pockets, really pisses me off!

  18. I have known Rebecca since that first day at medical school but it was obvious even then that her creative side wasn’t going to be fully fulfilled by being a doctor and as her best friend I am so pleased she has found the balance in life that makes her happy.

    But despite knowing you for so long Rebecca, I had a split second of ‘what the ?!?!’ when ur better half text me to say you were coming out of the closet on Florence today!!! Great post xxx

  19. I know you’ve told me before that you were a GP, but I honestly thought it was an act when you were in fact a NINJA.

    Ok, I’ve had too much coffee methinks. Being a GP is something to be proud of. It’s not like shooting a wedding is all glam all the time (try editing). I gave up a small little admin job during a recession to go full time with something I love. Not looked back – it’s ace.

    Miss your face.

  20. Really enjoyed this post! I had an inkling that you were a Doctor too Rebecca, but I am still very impressed that you manage to do both an amazing day job AND keep up an extremely interesting Blog!! Give yourself a pat on the back lady!!

    I am always wary about giving too much away also, I don’t really know why. I work full time at the moment and I love my job. I basically promote the beautiful city in which I live to the rest of the UK and try to get them to bring their conferences here. That makes it sound quite boring actually but I always love showing people round this city and getting their amazed reactions – it makes me feel so proud to be from here!

    I am also currently working on something else to fill my creative desires and I cannot wait for it to launch. Unfortunately I cannot give much away at the moment but would be happy to hopefully in a few months time! Cannot wait!

    Sx

  21. What a great post – really adding to the community feel that I think you’re establishing here on FF Rebecca. These are probably my favourite type of posts – I don’t think I am alone in almost constantly wondering where my life is going to take me, particularly in the world of work. I don’t have a recognised profession (like the classic teacher/doctor/lawyer) and sometimes wish I did (if only that it would make filling in insurance forms etc easier!) but I do like my job, even though it is rather niche. I work for an exam board, which, in a rather roundabout way, means I work in Education – a field I always sort of thought I’d end up in, despite knowing 100% that teaching was not for me. I studied Anthropology at university, so not using my degree in that sense at all, but of course, a degree gives you all sorts of skills so it’s not all about the subject knowledge. Still wish I had a vocation though – I don’t know the answer to “When I grow up I want to be…” and I’m not sure I ever will!

    Katie x

  22. I knew you were a Doctor Rebecca… not sure how though! Hats of to you for successfully managing to juggle day job, blogging, studying and everything else… just how do you do it?!

    I’m a PR Director by day… studied hard, had a brief stint as a journalist and migrated into PR. People often struggle with the fact that I’ve worked my way up and still 26 (almost 27)… have been told on more than one occasion that I mustn’t know what I’m doing as I’m so young (looking about 12, probably doesn’t help!).

    By night, I’m a music loving, interior design fan who enjoys writing. I tell myself that I don’t have the time to create my blog… but clearly, just by reading your post, and every one else’s posts about what they do and juggling things… I do!!!

    xoxo

    • Oh I get that all the time. I regularly get people looking past me for who they think ‘head of marketing’ should be and often I get asked about teas and coffees!

      After getting sick of it I now love that I can continue to surprise people and challenge their preconceptions.

  23. Amazing post! Honestly, I wouldn’t have guessed that you were a doctor… but I think it’s pretty awesome that you are :) I’m an agency copywriter and freelance writer by day so not too far away from blogging really… I am working on some children’s books though which feels entirely different to both. Sometimes you have to do things for you, and it doesn’t mean you’re any less dedicated to other things – in fact, it usually makes you better I think :)

  24. I am a town planning consultant. Which – in theory – I love. The concept of getting to influence what your surroundings are like for a career is great. However, the economic climate has pretty much taken the fun out of things for the moment, people just aren’t building very much stuff!

  25. I also knew you were a doctor from the YAYW days but actually I still used to say to Fran that I must have gotten you mixed up with someone else, it’s simply not possible to have blogged RMW and be a doctor… You must have some serious time management skills!

    My day job is as an accessory buyer although I am at the moment on indefinite maternity leave. In my day job I do have to travel a lot and when your young and child free, travelling to India, China, Japan is exciting and fun but when you are leaving your babies behind its really not a perk. For this reason I decided I couldn’t go back in the same capacity.

    We’re lucky enough to be in a position where I can be a mum, a blogger, house maker and admin assist to my husbands fledgling business so I am enjoying it whilst it lasts :) )

    In the mean time, I have this pain in my knee, if you’ve got fi.. ;)
    Xx

  26. This post was just what I needed today! I’m in the final year of a PhD in Chemistry (which I’m hating – always skint despite working 7 days a week, every week!).
    I love to hear (or should that be read?) people achieving everything they want and properly getting the work-life, professional-creative balance sorted, it gives me hope for life post-uni :-) keep up the good work Rebecca! X

    • Yay! Good for you – stick at it, you will feel soooo amazing when you finally get there and finish your (whisper it) thesis. I got my chemistry PhD in 2009 but unfortunately haven’t been able to use it, which makes me sad – thinking of cancelling my RSC membership to save a bit of money…

  27. I love this post, Rebecca I think you must be more than a little superhuman to have been blogging so much (and so brilliantly) at RMW whilst completing your training. Just reading about it makes me need a lie down!

    Me? It would be a gross over-exaggeration to say I have a career as such. Currently I’m doing a Research Masters in Structural Biology, which means I spend my days in a lab, playing with pipettes and bemoaning the fact that nothing ever goes as planned in science. I’m also a freelance scientific editor and academic writer, and a part-time swimming instructor. In the past I’ve been a journal production editor and a science TV researcher.

    I’m having trouble finding my niche. I love science, but I’m not a brilliant bench scientist. I’m trying to find the right middle ground between communication and hard science. Basically, I really don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

    K x

    • Katie, I feel exactly the same as you about not being a great bench scientist but still really wnjoying science. I’m currently working in science tv but just got a new job in outreach, which is more related to chemistry but less directly involved with research, but it’s such a hard thing to balance and I feel your pain. Feel free to email me for science career-cased rants if you want!

      • I would really love to email you and find out more about the outreach stuff, I’m currently looking at jobs in writing/editing the scientific information that is produced by charities (particularly cancer charities), but I’m still looking at all options to figure out what is my place! If you really don’t mind my rambling career agonising, I’ll email you later

        K x

  28. I also somehow (osmosis?) knew you were a doctor Rebecca. It fits nicely, I think. You always seem so sage and considered!

    I used be a script editor for television, and worked in film and TV for years until ITV shut down a lot of regional drama and put me (and a ton of others) out of a job. Faced with bouncing up and down the country and scrabbling for contracts for the rest of my life, I made the jump into fitness as a stop gap, which is still not really paying the bills even 3 years down the line!

    I desperately miss the creativity of my old job, and have known I would need to write for a living since I was old enough to hold a pen. I’m now trying to break into something similar to Zoe – freelance copy-writing – although I’m stumbling round like a clueless idiot at the moment trying to get a foot on the ladder. Ideally I would balance bits of my fitness work (which I’m still very passionate about) with writing and somehow getting paid for it. Luckily, I’m very low maintenance and don’t require a lot of money to function!

    Px

  29. I am a district nurse and have worked hard to get there, in our area I am considered quite young to do what I do. (I am the youngest in our team by 20 years!!) But I love it and wouldn’t/couldn’t do anything different. I still enjoy lines such as “Have you left the real nurse in the car?” brightens up my day! :D

    I kind of knew you were a doctor Rebecca from RMW days and think you are amazing to juggle everything you do. It’s so interesting to see your readers have such varied lives and yet we all come to visit florence.

    xXx

  30. I have loved reading others comments so here’s me. I’m Assistant Head in a large primary school in East London. My specialism is Early Years & I love that I have found my niche in that age group, that I help make a difference, receive a good salary & enjoy it. I’d taken evening art classes for years for my adult creative outlet & think my blogging days started when those classes ended. Great post, well done you Rebecca & everyone else.

  31. Just came back here to nosey at the comments others have left. Love hearing what other people do and that there’s such a variety of people on here!

  32. Hi Rebecca. I did know what you do for a living as you directed me here from DNUK. I promise that not all hospital docs look down on GPs.
    I’m a consultant radiologist and could never do your job in a million years.
    I’ve really enjoyed reading about everyone else’s jobs – they all sound so interesting. I too am in awe of your time management skills…

    • Awww thanks Rhian – I loved Radiology when I did it (an F2 stint that was surprisingly involved and I got a lot out of,) but don’t think I could deal with the lack of light!

      I reciprocally think Radiologists don’t get much respect, but its a real skill.

      My time management isn’t great. I just work quickly! ;)

  33. Wow, thanks for such an interesting and insightful post! It’s great to get to know the ‘real’ person behind the blog. I had a bit of an inkling you were a doctor too, especially from the way you talked about your passion for your vocation and the horrendously long training it involved. I wish there were more young female GPs like you, there are too many old dinosaurs out there who are too patronising and don’t credit patients with the intelligence to want to understand more about their condition and not be fobbed off with pills. (Although that said I did find it a bit disconcerting the first time I went to the docs and realised the GP was younger than me – made me feel very old, and I’m only 31!)

    For my part, I’m an engineer, working in biomedical research. It’s a job I love more and more as time goes on, and I find every day fascinating and lots of fun, and full of variety. I kind of stumbled into this career after another failed at the starting post many years ago, but I think I’ve been lucky and it’s been the best cloud with a silver lining. It’s not been an easy ride however, and I’ve worked bloody hard to get here. For the past 7 years I’ve been doing a part time PhD alongside a full time job, and also trying to complete my professional qualifications to get chartered. Add to that a nasty break up just before my wedding three years ago, losing my Dad last year, and having to move house umpteen times in the meantime, its certainly been a rollercoaster. But things are definitely on the up, I have a lovely new partner, a nice house again, and the PhD is (finally!!) nearing an end!

    I can empathise with you on the ‘need’ to do something creative outside of work. I love making things, sewing, knitting, DIY, as well as sports, and fitting in the time to do it all just seems impossible sometimes, but I don’t want to stop any of it because I get so much of a buzz out of the sense of achievement it all brings.

    Keep up the good work – the blog is fantastic, and you’ve opened my eyes to Whistles this morning, had never been in before, but liking their clothes a lot!

    xx

  34. I knew you were a Doctor, like others not quite sure how I knew but think it was something I saw on twitter or a comment made on one of your blogs.

    I’m 29 too and I worked for a well know car manufacturer as a customer service manager for about 7 seven years before my husband and I set up our own MOT and Service center around 14 months ago now. I was supposed to help out to begin with but ended up staying and ploughing all my motor trade knowledge into the business. Perhaps not the ideal situation to work with your husband but we make a good team! However like yourself I have dreams and plans for fulfilling my creative side in the pipeline, watch this space as they say!

    x

  35. Wow, I was genuinely shocked to find out you’re a doctor – all these people higher up in the comments are way more perspicacious than me! I have no idea how you managed to do so much work on RMW while doing an A&E rotation – my husband is also a GP (but a year behind you – he’ll finish his training this August) and he was just useless after work when he was in A&E! He’s sitting his final CSA exam in March and is starting to get really stressed about it- have you got any tips you can share?

    As I said above in my reply to Lynsey, I completed a PhD in biological chemistry (studying a protein from the RSV virus) in 2009 – I had always wanted to be a scientist, and in particular to follow my dad into forensic science. However given the job market in 2008/9 this wasn’t to be- thought about relocating to find work, but didn’t feel I could since my husband (then boyfriend) had moved to be with me for his F1/F2 training.

    So I am now doing yet *more* exams and and training to be an accountant (woo!) in the public sector. I mourned my old ‘scientist’ identity for quite a while, but I’m now starting to enjoy it, although the organisation I work for is being abolished under the government’s quango cull, which adds a new dimension of stress to everything. I also found out last week that I failed one of the exams I sat in December, so will have to resit that one. I’d been feeling a bit depressed today about everything, but reading everyone’s stories I feel a little bit better and more inspired to succeed in my career, even if it’s not what I wanted originally.

    • Keep going! Finding balance is hard and sometimes the hardest bit is figuring out how to do it rather than working towards that, but one thing I would say is that time is great for allowing you the space to think – my allotment really got me thinking when I first got it… there was just nothing to interrupt my thoughts :)

      Re your husband. All I can say is role play role play role play. I had a study group for my CSA and we did it 1-2x weekly. But on the day after all that prep it’s not as bad as you think it’s going to be. Drop me an email if you need any more help :)

      x

      • I earnt money to support my (nowhere near as difficult as medicine) degree by being a pretend patient for diagnostic role-play!!! I loved it!!! I’d sit there thinking ‘you’re never going to find out I’m pretend pregnant if you don’t ask me the right questions…’ Perhaps I could change careers and be a professional pretend patient? ;)

        • You laugh Gemma but the others who were there were probably actors. I think it’s a unanimous feeling from medics everywhere that the actors who do it were soooo annoying. They could totally screw our results by simply being awkward and took the roles so seriously – It was a nightmare! Of course I know they have to follow their ‘role’ but some of them seemed to take it to the extreme. ;)

          • I, of course, was EXCELLENT and followed the Stanislavsky acting method – before being called in for a ‘pretend consultation’ I’d be wandering around doing vocal exercises and ‘finding my centre’ ;) actually the program at our uni was run by some really fantastic, sensible, switched on GP trainers and the baby doctors who were practising all found my portrayal of ‘young mother who is a vegetarian, anaemic and doesn’t want to immunise her baby’ very convincing ;)

      • Oh yeah, they have a study group – I had to pretend to be the mum of a bed wetting boy the other week! Considering we have no children I thought I did rather well. They had to ferret out that I was worried about diabetes! ;0)

  36. Employment lawyer by week. Second shooter for my fiance wedding photographer on weekends. Not quite as poetic a transition as Lucy’s! Love doing the photography stuff as its my creative outlet from the serious world of law! Great post Rebecca x

  37. Hi Rebecca,

    Found your blog a few weeks ago and absolutely love it – I’m a daily reader now! Been meaning to comment for a while now and thought this was a great post – had an inkling you were a doctor from your RMW posts although as many others have said here not sure why! I too am a doctor (GP training – 2nd year!) and whilst I love my job, what you have said in your post really rings true with me, I always have wondered about indulging in another part time pursuit – my fiance even bought me vouchers for a floristry course for Christmas (I have become obsessed with flowers planning my wedding!).

    It is truly impressive how you managed to find time for fantastic blogging and GP training (I know how stressful it can be) so keep up the brilliant work and I look forward to reading loads more posts in the future.

    Amy x

    p.s. already planning the Whistles S/S purchases I’m going to make!

  38. Wow, echoing Helen’s comment above, I genuinely had no idea that you were a doctor! I thought you must have a job in design, or publishing, something like that as your posts are always so well put together, figured you must have a background in graphics and IT! I am mega impressed that you have the time and dedication to do both your job and the blog. If you put as much effort into your day job as you do your blog, you must be an incredibly thoughtful and understanding doctor.

    I am an agricultural consultant. I spend my days marching round fields, getting chased by a variety of livestock, getting covered in cow poo, taking soil samples, measuring hedges, chatting to farmers etc, so I love a bit of blog pretty to make me feel feminine again! I was always into art when I was younger and had a really tough decision when it came to deciding what course to do at uni, but I figured I could always be creative in my spare time, and make a living from conservation/biology, whereas it’s harder to make a living as an artist (or so I thought, conservation, it turns out, isn’t that well paid either!). I blog and make cards in my spare time to keep me feeling creative, and I get a huge sense of accomplishment from both my hobbies, and my day job. Happily, there’s space in my life for both :-)

    • M-J, somthing similar to me, Freelance Rural Practice Surveyor. I mostly do ELS and HLS work for farmers. Love a bit of pretty too.

    • oh my gosh, I would LOVE to do something like that. At the moment I am a logistics field specialist for the company who do the logistics for Marks and Spencer, I’d be really interested to find out how you get into your field of work! x

      • Becki – you are most likely better paid than we are!!

        The government agencies, Natural England et al, are not recruiting at the moment, so it’s a case of working for Agricultural Consultants / Land Agents in the private sector, to get the experience. Others who do similar jobs to me, have degrees in conservation / environmental science / agriculture.

        I have always muddled along, with life, with no great plan. RICS accredited degree, worked for auctioneers then land agents, qualified as Chartered Surveyor, then four years after qualification set up on my own (freelance).

        xx

        • Becki,
          I started out with an apprenticeship with BTCV, they were running what they call “Natural Talent” apprenticeships, basically training with a range of organisations in farmland conservation for 18 months. I was with FWAG Scotland (now bust!), RSPB and Edwin Thompson chartered surveyors. I did that for 18 months then got offered a job at my last placement, which I did until I got married. When I moved in with my husband I had to get a new job as it was too for to commute, and managed to get a job with the Scottish Agricultural College, which is fab. I love it. They seem to be recruiting fairly often as it is a large company, but depends where you live! I’d suggest a bit of volunteering always goes a long way, I got my previous placement and then job by offering to work for free, and it worked out really well. Good luck! x

  39. I also had a memory from YAYW about you being a medic Rebecca but also thought I must have misremembered. V impressive and no wonder you create a lovely intelligent blog!
    I’m a speech and language therapist with children in east London. Trained in Australia and my only ambition was to travel. Floated along but it is all good. I find that creative enough. My husband is a lawyer but brilliant amateur photographer (which makes our travel photos amazing – perfect combination!)
    Loved everyone’s sharing. Maybe I’m just a bit nosy!

  40. Wowee…..comments on fire! Fantastic post Rebecca, I was hooked from the start and I already knew it all. In the few years I’ve known you, I can honestly say that you’ve provided me with more after care and bedside manner than all of the Dr’s I’ve seen in my 33 yrs through friendship and your blog posts.

    As for me….. Company Director/ Florist/ Buyer/ Accountant/ Delivery Woman/ PR Agent/ Admin Assistant/ HR Manager/ Tea Lady/ Visual Merchandiser/ General Dogsbody/…..take your pick, I do it all.

    Before the flowers I trained for 5 years to gain a degree and diploma in Landscape Architecture & Town Planning. Being a Landscape Architect led to designing predominantly on the computer which didn’t fulfil my creativity – the point where the flowers stepped in.

    Before the flowers I used to come home and sit up half the night doing creative things. Now it’s a case of trying to keep my eyes open long enough to flick through a magazine or watch a film. Finding the right balance is so hard and I totally admire anyone who manages to achieve it.

  41. Oh my god, LOVE IT! I had no idea you were a doctor but yes, of course, it makes so much sense! And you are really going to have to let me know where you practice with being local to me so I can ask you about this weird rash…………. ok, no, I’m joking of course but being smart, ambitious, thoughtful and lovely, I have no doubt you’d be brilliant ;) (And we are in fact trying for a baby at the moment….. lol)

    I also love reading what everyone does – so many smart cookies on here. And that’s what I love about your blog – you never talk down to anyone or are in any way patronising to your audience. Ok, yes, I like shoes but that doesn’t make me vacant…

    As for me, I work as an editor for a very well-known automotive website and am also responsible for all their social media. Been in marketing for years now, I love the company I work for although the job, like any other, does get hella stressful at times. Someday, I’ll follow my dreams of owning a bricks n’ mortar shop selling gorgeous homewares but until then, this’ll pay the bills ;) I used to be really ambitious about my career but the last year or so I’ve decided that as long as I can meet my bills, we have a little left over for some fun, I’m okay with that (perhaps it’s because I’m not far from 40) – it’s too easy to lose that work/life balance and I still don’t really have it right (there’s never really enough hours in the day) but prioritising my family life and allowing myself time for a creative outlet (my blog) is far more important to me than spending those extra 5 (or however many) hours in the office every week! xxx

      • oh good because I read it every day! feel like a bit of a failure compared to all you successful lot. I have the qualifications, I left uni with a good degree but don’t have the inclination to do anything with it. I’ve done everything from shop work to care work to admin and project work, I even did 3/4 of a PGCE. I must admit that I’m lost and have no idea which direction to go and it’s getting a bit late now. It’s like I’m forever starting again whilst at 30 and married I should be thinking about settling down. I know it sounds like I’m feeling sorry for myself and to a certain extent I do, if only because I know what I am capable of. Its my own fault that I made some wrong choices in my early 20s and if I hadn’t have gone to uni I probably would be a lot further on than I am right now.
        I admire you all who know what you want, go get it and are fortunate enough to work in a job you love. x

        • Michelle, what you have written has really struck a chord. It’s most definitely not too late. As our lives change, so do our thoughts about our jobs/ careers etc. as our perspective on life changes. If I could, I’d change my vocation every 5 years as there’s so much I’d like to have a go at.

          Remember that there are hundreds, if not thousands of women out there who completely change what they do once they’ve had children (my Mum included) as their priorities change. You don’t even have the kids yet.
          There’s at least 2 careers to be had by you, if not more!

  42. Unlike everyone else, I’d have never guessed you are a doctor! I’m so in awe at you for juggling such a demanding job with blogging.
    I changed a few jobs in the first 3 years of me being in the UK (including orthodontic nurse for a couple of years). But in 2004 I finally decided to go to University and graduated in Media, Culture and Comms. I then worked as an Account Manager/Buyer for an international media agency. I liked the job, but at the back of my mind I’ve always wanted to get into wedding planning… The hours became unbearable and the routine greatly affected my health, so I had to make a choice. In April I resigned and begun working as a freelance Project Manager for a friend’s branding and communications agency.
    The flexibility is now giving me time focus more on wedding planning and the blog, which I love!

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us!
    x Betta

  43. As someone who has to spend a lot of time in GP Surgeries and hospitals I wish you were my doctor Rebecca! I’m Chartered Marketer by trade, did a communications degree and then a masters in marketing. I’ve always worked in the public sector, mainly in education!

    Unfortunately (well, maybe not now I’m reaping the benefits!) I got very I’ll in the autumn of 2010. I have an inherited blood disorder called Sickle cell anaemia and I took a turn for the worse. I ended up taking voluntary redundancy from my post as a marketing manager to have a break as I really was at breaking point. I took 6 months off, had some surgery to improve my health and now I’m back at work part time, working for an education quango! It’s quite a few steps down from where I was, and lots less money, but my health is better than ever and that’s something that money cannot buy!! Best descison I ever made, albeit very scary, but I love my new job as its important work and I am no longer zombiefied and in pain all the time!!

  44. So envious of all these people who manage to spend their evenings/weekends doing someone creative that they love. How do you all manage it??

  45. Wow! So many comments! I think its fab that you’ve revealed your day job and its really interesting to find out what everyone does. Am secretly jealous of the agricultural consultant – sometimes really think I’d love a job that didn’t involve being indoors all day.

    I’m another one who knew you were a doctor having found both RMW and this wonderful blog via DNUK.

    I’m another GP and am completely in AWE of the ability to keep the blogging going whilst training and working, that must have been some very very long days. I sometimes wonder about part-time/portfolio working but my husband has been out of work for nearly a year so we really need the security my job brings. Anyway as you know its the best job there is.

  46. Excellent post Rebecca. Think I knew you were a doctor, although not sure how!

    I work in Market Research (Or rather the slightly more glamourous (?!) sounding Insights, as it’s now known) for a well known food brand. It’s hardly a vocation but I’ve long been interested in marketing and consumer behaviour, and my job is all about understanding our brand and our shoppers, our performance, and recommending ways to grow the brand. For the most part I’m really pleased to have ended up where I am. I genuinely love the brand I work on, and it’s great to see a product I’ve worked on end up on a supermarket shelf, or watch TV campaign I’ve inputted to on our screens.

    The last year has been tough though, I’d worked hard, and an oft promised promotion hadn’t materialised. Too often I’ve felt demoralised and demotivated – not a good place to be. After several years in essentially the same role, I’m ready for a change! Fortunately, due to a restructure a new role has come up (and a promotion – whoop!), so as soon as I’ve finished this message, I’m off to complete my application form, filled with a renewed optimism about the future and the opportunities this new role will bring. Fingers crossed!!!

    And finally, what a diverse bunch of readers you have. Proves that while your career may shape you, it doesn’t have to pigeon hole you. It’s great reading through and finding out more about my fellow Florence fans!

    xx

  47. I echo everyone else’s comments really. Great post. I didn’t know you’re a GP and to be honest I’m surprised. I think you wrote once how you have to run around after people in a big office and I think I just assume media or something similar. Well, how wrong was I! You know what they say about assume….

    For my part I work in marketing. I did go to uni but got a degree in Computing Science. I got a computing related job after uni but hated it. Thankfully my work at the time recognised this and enabled me to retrain on the job. 10 years later I love what I do and satisfy my nerdy/geeky side by working in utilities!

    Ladies – its also been great to find out what you all do. Hi *waves*

  48. I really liked your post Rebecca, and also reading what everyone else does for a living!

    I am also a GP and in complete admiration for how you manage to do your blog with the day-to-day work! I really like the idea of doing something creative outside of work but always seem too tired!

  49. Gosh, what fun! It’s so inspiring to hear about all the career changes or even just slight changes. I’m an editor (commissioning non fiction) but I am getting rather restless. My ideal would be to have my own bookshop where I could also sell homemade cakes. Bliss.

    • I always thought books and cakes would be a perfect combination too. I’d be hopeless though, would get my nose stuck in a book and completely ignore any customers!

  50. I had not picked up that you were a doctor, but it makes perfect sense! I work as an ACS Nurse Specialist at a South London DGH. A job that I’m lucky enough to love and find really interesting. Any creative outlet needed comes in the form of sewing, crochet and knitting.

    Like everyone else I can’t quite believe that you managed blogging and training at the same, that is an impressive feat.

  51. Hi Rebecca-just got home after a very long day at work and have really enjoyed reading your post-it’s so nice to find put what goes on behind the scenes!

    I had a feeling that you are a doctor (from your RMW days) but am completely in awe of the way you have managed to shape your life-combining your medical background and blogging-I really don’t know how you do it all!!

    I am a former journalist (having graduated with a journalism degree, started out as a trainee journalist and worked my way up to senior journalist) and moved into PR. For quite some time now I have worked in the public sector as a press officer for a large police force in the North West.

    It’s a challenging-and exhausting job-with plenty of ups and downs. It’s allowed me to put my skills to good use and has really opened my eyes to what goes on day to day on the streets of every town/city in the country.

    I got married in September and am at that point in my life where I am mulling over the future and where this will take me and my husband-job wise/home wise/location wise etc.

    There are some tough (and very scary) decisions to make but I’m hoping I have to courage to follow my dreams and come out the other end still smiling 

    For now I’ve been contemplating starting my own little blog-although I’m
    totally in awe of all you lovely ladies and your blogs and not sure I have the confidence to pull it off!

    Good luck with your career Rebecca-I’m sure it will go from strength to strength. More career related posts in the future would be good to see…

    xx

    P.S. Strangely enough Rebecca-I have always had this dream that one day I would own my own little florist shop too! I adore flowers and they make me smile so who knows 

    P.P.S. Would love to hear a bit more about how things are going with your allotment-I enjoyed reading about it on RMW!

  52. Eh hem! Sorry, I’m a little bit late to this one, have been sweating out the stress of the day at Zumba!

    Being an industry insider and knowing you from the RMW days I knew you were a doctor and couldn’t fathom how on earth you managed to juggle it all.

    I started my career as a stage manager, doing rep and touring shows for a while, you could always find me dressed in black with cans on working as crew or dressing depending on what was required.

    So five years on I’m a wedding planner and stylist and that has been my main job full time for 3 years now. I live and breathe it, the highs and the lows of self-employment, apart from the self-doubt which quite frankly is just awful but I’m slowly building up a thick skin.

    16 months ago I became a mummy, I took all of 5 weeks off because I had deadline approaching and clients also needing support (something I will NEVER do again because I fell apart!) so now I’m doing everything I can to be a full time mum and planner/stylist/everything-to-all-people. I just wish we could afford childcare!

    I love reading Florence Finds, Rebecca, it really does you wonders to escape the wedding industry every now and then, despite the wonderful people there are to work with.

    Keep up the good work and stay happy!

    xx

  53. Loving this post, I was always curious as to what your day job was Rebecca and I am another impressed reader, kudos to you!!

    I am a musician. I play with various orchestras and do a lot of teaching/education work alongside various other bit and pieces, including playing in string quartets for weddings. I’m in the middle of a great project working with children which I adore, but work/life balance often goes out of the window, however I wouldn’t change it for the world!

    Actually for me, reading this blog gives me those mini timeouts I need in a long day of work, so much appreciated!

  54. Two years out of university with no prospects I decided to go back to college and do what I had always secretly dreamed of – Floristry!!
    Lots of people I talk to say that they would have loved to have learnt how to do things with flowers and every time I say do it! I absolutely love it! However I can’t knock university as I met some amazing people including my fiance!
    I would encourage everyone to follow their dreams.

  55. I’ve been following this thread all day and have really enjoyed it! I cannot fathom how you manage to blog and ‘doctor’ at the same time though, Rebecca. I am incredibly envious of your discipline!

    I’m a professional ‘shirker’ by trade. I’m supposed to be an actress- having done Drama at University and then on to drama school. I’m fortunate enough to get the odd telly job (I’m on Doctors this friday actually- ironically!), but at the current rate of one or two a year, it’s not enough to call myself an ‘actress’ with any pride. Which is thoroughly depressing.

    I’ve worked at a lovely bridal boutique in Blackheath for the past years which I love and pays the bills (just!). The Plan is to set up as a wedding/event planner. I’m working on it…

    So fascinating to read about what everyone else does!

  56. Well.

    I am the obstetrics trainee that Rebecca foun the reality so different. I am six months into my first year of specialty training

    And totally overwhelmed.

    I knew it was going to be tough. Really tough. But it was what I always wanted. I dream about work my patients, my difficult consultants every day. My husban who is an anaesthetist is so happy in his new career choir ( we were medical school sweet hearts)
    I am heartbroken to find myself having self doubt about my career choices for the first time in my life. My registrars are all totall over worked, all have nannies and are unhappy. I am terrified that despite the unbelievable love I have for women health, that I will b the same.

    So do I quit and apply for GP or stick it out?

      • Sami, that sounds really difficult. I’m sorry you’re finding it so hard. I never did obstetrics so don’t really know what it’s like. I did a full three years of hospital medicine SHO jobs (and my membership) before moving into general practice. For me it was a great decision. I think GP is much more interesting and challenging than many hospital doctors expect. Good luck whatever you decide.

    • Hi Sami,

      First off, the first 6 months of any new job is tough. You’ve got exams looming, you’re finding yourself with new levels of responsibility. I actually did a further 6 months O&G as a GP trainee and loved it all over again – I had a totally different experience to my F2 stint and they all tried to tempt me back, but by then I was seeing the other lifestyle benefits too. It was doubly difficult for me as I really preferred the Obs part and there’s not much community aspect to that unlike GPSI’s in Gynae etc.

      My advice (although this really depends on just how happy/unhappy you are) is to stick this year out – the experience will always stand you in good stead as a GP and make you more desirable, and things may smooth over. That said, if you are still unhappy, don’t be afraid to sidestep into GP. It’s never too late to make a change and I see a lot of medics stick on one path because they feel they will lose time if they go back, when in reality, it’s not that big a deal when viewed in the scheme of your whole career.

      Have you talked to your supervisors or even on Doctors.net in the forum? feel free to drop me an email if you want to talk some more :)

      xo

      • Today I had one of those days were I fell in love with obstetrics all over again. It all fell into place. This is where I am meant to be. I love the labour ward. Love the buzz of the emergencies and joy of delivering babies. I also did it as an F2 and also loved it, which cemented my decision for specialty training. But I am terrified I will regret it in five years if (hypothetically) I have a two year old I never see. Trying to match night shift with my husband! Someone will need to compromise!
        Ugh x

  57. I’ve never commented before but have been inspired to do so by this wonderful post. I’m a doctor too and find striking the whole work/life/top secret act a bit of a challenge. I only qualified 6 months ago (medicine was my 2nd degree) and I can see that once you’ve got a bit more career security than I do right now (having more than I do right now is NOT difficult!) it’s easier to be open on your blog about what you do. I was open-ish as a student but after a lot of kerfuffle about a few doctors writing things on facebook or whatever, I just don’t know how much is ok to say. And as you say it feels a bit weird not to be open and write at all about the whole “work” side of my life. Still. I feel very encouraged by the fact that you have been so open and it is lovely to come across another blogging doctor. (Even though I haven’t blogged in over a year – oops). I”m so sorry to hear about your training catastrophe, but happy you have found your niche. We all need one.

    • Hi Jane,

      It was a big leap of faith for me to ‘one out’ as I’ve done… there’s so much Dr bashing in the press you never know what the reception will be like, or what concerned me was that people would judge me and not see me in the same way they did.

      In terms of writing about my work, I will be doing in an abstract sense, but actual work, cases, situations etc I don’t think have a place here (or Facebook!) There are many professional Dr’s who write medical blogs however and make it work. :)

      xo

  58. Oooooh all these comments – it’s great to read what other people do for a living (mainly cos I’m a bit nosy!). Rebecca I knew you were a doctor as my sister mentioned it once, but can’t imagine how you fit in the time to do everything you do – kudos to your time management skills!

    I’m a medical statistician (this is normally following by a chorus of ‘and what’s that??’) – and yes being able to spell it is part of the job description ;) I was drifting rather aimlessly through university an unmentionable number of years ago and had no idea what to do but ended up on an work placement year at a biotech company and loved it. It’s a great job for me, combines something I’m genuinely interested in (medical research) with something I’m good at (numbers). It does mean I’m often called on for stats advice from friends, but it’s nice to be able to help. Esp when they thank you in their PhD thesis!

    Great to see so many scientists replying to this post too :)

  59. WOW…You really are bloody marvellous! I LOVE this blog and to know that you are super smart and creative makes me love this blog so much more! What an inspiration you are!

    Me? I’m an Executive Research Officer for a charity devoted to helping disadvantaged young people! I love my job but as we continue to be hit with severe budget cuts, its sometimes a bit of a struggle to keep motivated!

    Thanks Rebecca for sharing this post! Its been fasinating reading all of the comments from so many talented women!

    Dxx

  60. I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now and really love it – this is my first post. Like others, on some level I thought you were a Doctor although I’m not sure why! I’m incredibly impressed, how you manage to juggle your day job with such a fantastic blog is beyond me!

    I work in TV, it’s not what I thought I’d end up doing nor is it a job I massively love! I did have a job I loved but sadly health complications and various surgeries meant I had to change jobs, juggling both was getting too much. There are lovely people where I work, it suits my health much better, there’s a better life/work balance and it pays the bills but it doesn’t excite me. I’m hoping one day when my health might improve I’ll be able to focus once again on what I really want to do.

    Loving reading about eveyone else’s jobs! x

  61. Oh, how did I miss this yesterday?! Fab post as always Rebecca. You know that as a fellow GP I’m even more in awe of all you have achieved and continue to do so despite the demands of the career.

    Like you I always intended to be a hospital doc (A&E in my case!) but bailed after a terrible F1 job in it! I love general practice, hugely variable and challenging but infinitely flexible (I’m currently moving to London to start work in a practice there which will be a big change but an exciting one!)

    To Sami above- have you done any taster sessions in GP?? I’d recommend arranging some before you consider leaving your training post- you might hate GP, yes the hours can be better but it’s a different sort of stress….!!

    Hi to all the other FF-reading medics- had no idea there were so many!!

  62. Look at all you clever, hard working, highly skilled individuals!

    Ok, so me… nothing particularly exciting, rewarding or creative about what I do.

    I did a Theatre and Performance degree (which was exciting, creative, amazing) and then I finished… in a lot of debt…and so I went back home to earn some dough and then moved up to Cardiff to live with the boy. And ever since I have done ‘ok’… Sales Job *which I didnt like but I liked the people to a Business Development position setting up a training arm for a charity and then taking on the responsibility of delivering some training… this folded and I got redundancy and have now moved into a safe but not particularly exciting role which brings out the procastinator in me (I’m an all or nothing type) I come up with a zillion ideas a day but rarely follow them through… I work at a University and I enjoy my job some days, others I waste as much time as possible on this here tinternet, imagining my life if I was more creative or more ambitious. It is amazing to here everyones postive career aspirations and achievements. But for those of us who perhaps have less ambition (or perhaps are a little lazier – I admit it!) it can sometimes remind me that perhaps I should have achieved more with my life by this age… Or I could just think ‘ahhh feck it…’ and carry on enjoying the life and the time that I have? So yeah, basically I am searching for the dream role but I have no idea what that is… other than I like standing up in front of people and talking too much ;o)

    • Love the mind dump – I’m with you, feeling slightly out of place amongt all these people with fabulous careers as I still don’t know what I want to do *when I grow up* so have always just been in “Jobs” rather than careers.
      Hey ho!

  63. Woah – how did I miss this yesterday?! Epic post!!

    I knew you were a doctor but I always thought it was secret for a special reason, so it’s cool that it’s now public!

    I work in marketing/business development/corporate events/communications for a magic circle law firm and I despise it more than I despise spiders and liquorice (i.e. a lot!). That is all!

  64. Just finished work and had time to read through all the comments before I start getting sucked into my book for hours again. After seeing this post the other day I knew I would have to come back to see what everyone was saying and I wasn’t disappointed! Wow, such a great response Rebecca, I can see why you were blown away by your new FF community! I knew you were a GP after a comment someone left on your AOW post about how we speak to girls I think. Also loving the word Perspicacious!!

    I ‘came out’ a while ago on my blog and then removed it (and my last name) after a panic about what if my patients find it. I am a dentist and just not sure that I would want them knowing so much about me. People tend not to like their dentist like their GP (or at all – I lose count of the amount of times folk just walk into my room and say “Oh I HATE the dentist”). And I sometimes wonder if I reveal too much as I tend to treat my blog a little as a diary as well as posting about books, recipes and the like.

    I too spectacularly failed (my 2nd year) at uni and had to repeat but looking back it was the best thing that happened! I ended up with even more friends and had a more relaxing year as I knew half of the stuff already (just not enough to pass first time!) After that I had no trouble passing once we were onto the more practical aspects (I tend to learn better doing than reading).

    I also know what it’s like to work on call and weekend shifts in hospital as I worked in MaxFax for 2 years before deciding to go back to ‘normal dentistry’ when hubby went back to Uni to study medicine so he could take Maxfax further (He’s currently an F1 in Medicine). I love the flexibility that my job gives me in that I’m self-employed so can choose my holidays and work which days I want so I do a 4 day week, no weekends and managed to take a whole month off for wedding and honeymoon. Although I do still get to do some minor oral surgery, I really miss the big surgeries like broken jaws/faces and PROPER abscesses I used to get to do and the more sociable life working in the hospital, I used to love hanging out with the F1s on our ward!

    With regards to the creative side of me, I found my outlet to be photography which I discovered during my elective and a couple of years ago turned it into a business selling my prints at craft fairs on weekends. In the end I found it so tiring and taking up all of my spare time (and living on the 2nd floor didn’t help lugging boxes of framed prints up and down!) that I decided to only do them at Christmas which was only really when I made enough sales worth giving up my weekends anyway. Then the wedding came and took over my life and I loved it! Totally different and I started to get crafty again like when I was a child, that’s how I got into blogging (inspired by RMW to start my own) and I now find myself making and doing more things in order to blog about them. I love it!

  65. Last and late to this post! Had to comment though as have enjoyed reading it so much. I’ve always had an inkling you were a doctor too-still find your work ethic amazing!
    I did an English degree and worked hard to get into a career in PR…I work for a smallish regional agency, so my day can consist of anything from interviewing cancer patients for one of my charity clients, to commissioning a giant piece of food art, or writing about a medical condition for a private healthcare client. The variety and the opportunity to write every day I have always enjoyed…but like many others here I’ve hit 29 and started questioning the money, the hours, the pressure and whether I’m going to do this forever. So fascinating to hear about other people’s choices and ambitions! X

  66. I do recall you saying you got a new job at a practice but I didn’t think you where a doctor! Respect.

    My backgrounds is working as a graphic designer / art worker. I worked 12 hour night shifts for four years doing DVD packaging for Fox, MGM and Paramount. I also worked for a high street print shop and lived close to it in Marylebone 11 years ago when we first moved from SA to the UK. I then learned high end retouching and built up a portfolio. My first break was a full time retouching position at The Body Shop head office. I went freelance over five years ago (best thing I ever did!) and worked for famous fashion photographers including Corrine Day and Mario Testino. I always wanted to do photography and was able to build up my wedding photography business over the past three years and take on less and less retouching work as things got busier. I love it!

  67. I had it in my head that you were a teacher! But now that I know the truth, I can’t imagine you being anything else other than a doctor.

    I did two years of midwifery, and hope one day to go back and re-do my training (stopped due to a bereavement). For now, I work in recruitment, but hope to start work as a doula as well as starting my own family

    xxx

  68. Rebecca, I somehow knew you were a doctor but also had you down as a surgeon or A&E doc – somehow made sense in my head, though I had no idea how you did it all! But can I move to Manchester so you can be my GP?!

    I used to be an Events Co-ordinator with a domineering boss for an Oxford College – and now I’m training to be a Primary School Teacher. This year so far has been hell – late nights, weekends etc but as with Medicine and all the other wonderful jobs here – the light at the end of the tunnel makes it all worth it!

    So glad you are still blogging and that you’ve found your work/life balance!

    xxx

  69. Hi Rebecca,

    I love this! I can’t believe you fit this all in. You must be a some kind of super woman!

    I have always tried to be creative at work and sometimes it’s hard when it’s all about marketing budgets! So I agree with you that blogging brings such a great dynamic to life. Where else can you say you spent time looking at a glitter wall, the latest gorgeous pink pyjama trousers and jaffa cakes!

    It’s def not a hardship and blogging about beautiful brings a lot of happiness to me.

    I love your logo btw! Marketing hat pulled on!

    Speak soon

    Ali x

  70. This was so fun to read! I’m a little bit nosy, so I always love finding out more about my favourite bloggers!:) And can I please just echo everyone else when I say, “”WOW!” You really are some sort of superwoman!:)

    I worked in corporate events for quite a while, but after planning my wedding last July, I’m getting out of the corporate world and opening up my own event design boutique! I’m really excited about the creative freedom I’ll finally have and getting to be my own boss sounds pretty nice too!:)

    Thanks for sharing a bit more about your day to day–I love reading Florence Finds and I’m so impressed with how you balance it all!:)

    xoxo

  71. This is a really interesting read. Your bundle of roles sounds fascinating! Non-standard medical careers are of interest in our house too. My H is just about to qualify as a doctor, aged 35, after coming to it as a second career. Owing to his age, he’s discounted some specialties due to shifts, length of training and work-life balance, so it will be an interesting couple of years whilst he decides what to do (and starts earning some bloody money again after six years!).

    I’m a university lecturer, which is perfect for me. Intellectually challenging, idiosyncratic, live by my own rules. As part of this, I am a published author too :)

  72. Hi.
    Just stumbled across this blog today, find it amazeballs. And yes, I am allowed to use such an expression, and sound like a 15 year old. (Cause I am one) I’ll be starting college in August. AND I SIMPLY CANNOT WAIT… I’ll be FYMA, which means that I will have Mathematics, Physics, Danish, English, and history on an A-level and chemistry, Social studies, Spanish, classical studies, French, P.E, psychology, philosophy on a B-level and art, religion and drama on a C-level…
    And in case you were wondering I am Danish (which is why I have Danish on an A-level) I just loooove to learn new languages which is why I will also have French, Spanish, English (and Chinese). I’m fluent in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. (and have had Chinese in school for 5 years and French for 3… Oh and English for 7 years)
    Oh… forgot that you (probably don’t know the Danish system) College is 3 years… it is like the German gymnasium… A-level means that I will attend classes with these subject for all 3 years, B=2 years and C= 1 year…. College is 2470 moduls.. (one modul is 90 minuttes)
    Yes, It will be tough, but when I see all you amazing people who did something with your lives, I can only hope that I will be able to also. My subjects I have on an A-level means that I (when I 18, I will be able to go directly to med school!!) I’m especially interested in Neonatal…. (We have a lot of doctors in my family and 3 attending which are heads of their departments… One in Neuro, one in Infectious medicine and one in OB/GYN. My grandfather is also a GP… so I can’t help but have respect for someone like you.
    I hope that one day, I will as amazing a doctor as I think that you are today…
    I am sorry for my bad grammar (I can at least use the English-is-not-my-mother-tongue-so-it-is-not-my-fault excuse.)

    Sorry this suddenly became so long…

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