2013 in Review Part 1: Career and Family

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.


PS The Reiss Sale Is Now Live!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

27 thoughts on “2013 in Review Part 1: Career and Family

  1. Well done on the new job Rebecca and thanks so much for your honesty.
    My career decision was thankfully made very easy for me by my old employers offering me a fantastic new opportunity BUT no payrise, which meant I had to turn then down and resign as it would have meant I would have been working to pay someone to look after my children for me, something I personally was not prepared to do. Having been working since I was 13 resigning from a job with a – another one not in sight and b – not earning any money has been very scary for me, I am still looking for a job currently but the pickings are slim to say the least. However I am determined for many reasons not least to be a strong role model for my two baby girls! (SAHM’s rock by the way its just unfortunate for us that we need the ££ and I need time to be me not just mummy even if it is just for a few hours a week)

    • Gemma that must have been really hard. I totally agree, unless it’s an impossible situation that will ruin your chances of return to work or something like that, there is no point missing out on your children and losing money for the privilege! I’m sure you’ll get back into work when the time is right for you x

      • It’s very scary at the minute! And I KNOW that when I do find something there will obviously be some element of childcare and I will no doubt feel guilty πŸ˜‰
        That all said I do find writting about it all very cathartic. ..I feel a blog post coming on.

  2. Oh congratulations on the job πŸ™‚ It sounds like it s something you really really wanted and felt comfortable in! I am still working on finding the dream job (or getting them to notice me) and also hoping for our little family to expand, but in the meantime I took the plunge and started something that had been in my mind for quite a while and it is slowly growing.

  3. I said on facebook but still – congratulations!

    I’m getting to that point where I need to decide what to do when I need to job hunt in about 12-18 months. The thing is, I have no idea what I want to do. I know what i’m interested in but all of those things are very vague and it feels like there are so many paths to choose from. How do you know which one to pick? I’m putting it off for now to be honest, the thought stresses me out too much! x

  4. Congratulations on the job – it sounds like a good fit and like something you worked hard to get. I hope it is just what you want/need it to be right now.

  5. Congratulations on the job Rebecca.

    This year has been tough on me career wise, there is talk of cutting my working hours to term time which means I lose a 1/4 of my pay but I am still expected to do the same job. I am already underpaid for my job so the thought of earning even less with a toddler to support is stressing me out. Unfortunately there isn’t many jobs in the library sector available and those that are are either too low pay or I don’t have enough experience for. I love my job and want to stay as a librarian so fingers crossed something comes up. Although I have just found out I am expecting baby number two so I have another 18months – 2 years before I have to really worry about it.

  6. Congrats on the job Rebecca – there is something so pleasing about being recognised within your organisation as the best person for a new position, as they really know your strengths (and weaknesses) already. I’m sure you’ll be fab.

    I totally understand the intertwining of baby/career paths in your thinking; for me it has been more about making sure that I am loving my job, and have reached a certain stage, before starting to try – partly because there really aren’t all that many women in my field and I wanted to be impregnable (in the fortress sense, rather than the babymaking sense) in my role before I went on maternity leave and partly because I knew it would help me want to come back from maternity leave if I left my job feeling good about it and myself.

    Also, careers are an excellent excuse to put off having a baby if you don’t quite feel ready but aren’t ready to admit it – either to yourself or to others. Not to say that you are in that position, but that it can be a factor, particularly for women who privilege autonomy.

    • Very interesting point. The last 6 months have been a rollercoaster of baby thoughts. When I thought there was no future for me (applying to any job really) whilst I hadn’t had children, and therefore by default would be likely to go off on Mat leave soon, I felt excited about throwing caution to the wind and letting fate decide.
      Then when my job materialised, I felt like I didn’t want any distractions and wondered if I had been ready before. Now only a few months on, I’m back on the fence. Who knows, I’m sure fate will play it’s part one way or another once more!

  7. Inspiring post Rebecca, and congrats on the job! I always think its worth holding out for what you want! I held out in my job for 5 years while I was desperate to go and work for myself, but it was only at Christmas 2012 that I knew it felt right to give it a go. If I had have left a few months before I would have missed out on the redundancy program that came up in January! I felt like it was total fate that brought everything together at just the right time. But of course it also involves a lot of hard work to reach those goals too and you clearly showed that you were the best person for the job! well done xxx

  8. Rebecca you have made me feel much happier about things with your story. I did a long term maternity locum at a practice last year and loved it, but it finished in January as the doc I was covering came back. Since then I have been doing short term locums at various places (including where I did the mat locum) and halfheartedly looking for/applying for jobs elsewhere but like you been missing out, probably because my heart wasn’t in it. You’ve reminded me that giving it a bit of time can make all the difference and who knows what opportunities there might still be. Congratulations on your partnership x

    • It’s hard isn’t it when you know where you want to be but aren’t sure there’s even a possibility of it. It’s worth keeping in touch though, in case anything comes up… and as I said above, if your heart isn’t in the applications, with the benefit of hindsight I can say none of them were really the right fit for me.

  9. Congratulations on the new role Rebecca. You must be over the moon, not to mention relieved in knowing where your future is headed now. Good things come to those who wait – that’s what my Mum tells me.

    Today sees my 12 year work anniversary at my company – a long time I know in this day and age. A job which I started as I left university has definately become more than just a career for me – and I guess 12 years shows that. Some people say I lack ambition but the fact is I’ve risen through the ranks and have been given the opportunity to, which is wonderful, especially as a woman.

    The main reason for me writing a comment though (apart from the congraulations of course) is to say that there was a point around 18 months ago that I was unsure of my future at work, due to changes that were occurring. I had to apply for the position above what I was currently doing and (very fortunately for me) I got my dream job. VERY shortly after that though I found out I was pregnant, and really agonised over telling my bosses, after they had put their trust in me and the new role. However, here we are, and I have an almost-one-year-old gorgeous son, and am back at work full time. It’s definately hard (see my post here http://lovefromcornfield.com/2013/05/01/modern-motherhood-a-debate/) but I think I’ve managed to find the balance, if there is ever such a thing.

    I too believe in fate, so it obviously happened this way to me for a reason. I’m a firm believer now that there is never a good time to have a child – the more you wait, the more barriers arise, and I’ve seen people close to me struggle with issues you have brought up previously. Who knows what’s right and what’s down the road?

    Good luck in getting stuck into the business side of things! πŸ™‚ xx

  10. Very inspiring and I am pleased to hear that waiting for the right thing has paid off as that is exactly what I am doing. I have a lot of responsibility at work and two of my team left last year and were not replaced. As a result I have had to take on their work and feel like I have moved backwards. One thing that has really helped me is having a GREAT mentor at work. I didn’t go through any formal scheme but I saw someone more senior in the business, decided she was really inspirational and asked her to mentor me. Luckily she agreed and despite having a really weak boss, I now have a monthly meeting with her and she has really guided me through some tough times. I think that this is something men tend to do natually through sport/pub banter but I genuinely don’t think enough women seek that mentoring in their career so would definitely encourage it!

  11. Congratulations Rebecca! Fantastic news. I found out yesterday that u’ve got an interview for a partnership next month – I’m so nervous!!

    Sarah xx

  12. Congratulations Rebecca you must be delighted! I’m in a slightly different position, now my baby making days are over I’m unsure of what to do next! I can’t imagine going back to my old day job, too much travelling, but haven’t got it in me to be a stay at home mum, especially when the littlest starts nursery!

    As my mum always says, “Life is what happens when you make other plans”. I hope this is the case!

  13. This is a really fascinating post as I’m also a GP and find it hard to reconcile all the things I want to do! Will be checking back to see how things work out for you, all the best πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *