In January when I wrote my resolutions post, my fourth goal was a little bit cryptic. I wasn’t quite ready to talk about my plans and it has been a long journey since then, but now I’m finally ready to share and hopefully reassure or inspire some of you to go goal-getting. (You can read about my other resolutions and where I’m up to with them here.)
Here’s what I wrote back in January:
4. The big one… To embrace change and make choices. 2012 was an amazing year for me. Really amazing. In some more obvious ways nothing changed, in less tangible ways, everything did. This year is going to be the year of change I feel. Right now I don’t know what those changes are going to be … I know I will make career choices between paths that are polar opposites.
Back in January, everything was revolving around my work. I had been in a place I was happy (but still as a locum) for a long period, fought some personal demons about my career and work life, and felt ready to commit to full time General Practice. I had decided that this practice was the place I wanted to be long term and that’s no small matter when you are talking the rest of your working life.
What I didn’t know was whether they wanted me. I knew I was doing a great job and fitted in within the team, but in General Practice it’s not just about that. Different doctors bring different skills and you are often looking for a personality, a skill set or even a specific sex of doctor to complement the existing team, (and before any of you chip in about sexism, discrimination and employment law, it doesn’t apply here as I was looking to join as a self employed partner for which the rules are different.) I really wasn’t confident that I ticked all the boxes and the job I wanted was a desirable one, so I knew there would be plenty of potential interest from people who might fit the bill better. As I wrote in January I had decided to sit down, make my intentions clear and find out if there was a future for me there. I didn’t want to hear a negative response, but if there was no future for me there, I knew I had to go looking for it elsewhere.
When I did get a chance to talk to someone, the result was positive about me but very vague about any opportunity. I was gutted and spent about three weeks feeling pretty rubbish and wondering where to go next. I applied for a couple of jobs, felt positive about one and lacked any real enthusiasm for another. The first I didn’t get shortlisted for and the second I interviewed for, then narrowly missed out on the job. I was outraged(!) but relieved, the feeling I had about it had gotten worse and worse as I got more involved.
I decided to stay put, future or no future, it was where I wanted to be and as time went on I managed to muster a shred of optimism which I clung to, while I threw myself back into the job. By April a real solid opportunity had arisen and I hardly allowed myself to consider the possibility of a chance of getting what I wanted as I left to go on holiday, my future hanging in the balance.
You see it wasn’t just about the job. If there was no imminent job, there was nothing stopping Pete and I from thinking about starting a family. Before you guys jump in and say I shouldn’t be basing my decision on work, I felt ambivalent, like fate was due to play her hand. And so she did, as while we were away I was offered the job I wanted. Now I’m super excited to get stuck in, learn about the business side of GP and continue building my clinical experience. It feels like the start of a very rewarding journey.
So did any of you make career or family based decisions this New Year? I’d love to hear how you’re getting on or if my story has given you food for thought.