to Change Careers? Take Time to "I
part of transition is stating what you want and then
applying a method for living your life to leverage your
simple way to think about building your life around your
vision is this: I
+ A = M. INTENTION
plus ATTENTION equals MANIFESTATION.
Before you roll your eyes, remember: this is
what got you into medical school!
Not too many people in the world have the drive (I
INTEND to go to Medical School) and discipline (I put my
whole ATTENTION on that choice) to accomplish that goal (I
graduated from Medical School).
If you are at a point now where you have a new
INTENTION of moving to a non-clinical career, then state
it to yourself and to others.
Your ATTENTION to that choice will open up
resources for you that will in turn help you reach your
the path isn’t laid out as neatly as going to medical
school, the path opens up nonetheless as you put your
ATTENTION to building it.
If it’s not scary, you’re not stretching enough!
A natural feeling
during transition—whether from clinical practice to “something
else” or from being a physician executive to “something in
business”---is FEAR. Making
a transition is akin to flying the high trapeze without a safety net.
If you’re NOT feeling some fear and anxiety, then chances are
you’re not swinging high enough! The FEAR FACTOR is what keeps most people from attempting
transition at all. Here is a secret:
Physicians who successfully make a transition are not fear-less;
they are COURAGEOUS. That
is, they feel the fear, and do what they have to do anyway:
make the phone call, take the class, write the letter, talk to a
stranger, set up an informational interview, take the qualifying exam,
speak up at the meeting, sign up for the conference, write the article,
make the list, leave their practice, cut back their hours, do the
exercise, buy the supplies, get the kit, enroll in the training, send
out the brochure.
are FOUR ways to help you feel the fear and do it anyway:
For practical advice on fear and transition, read Barbara
the Fear and Do it Anyway.
For a mystical perspective to personal transformation and an
understanding of how transition is “death of the former self”, read
Joseph Campbell’s The
Power of Myth or Thomas Moore’s Care
of the Soul.
Find a personal mantra that supports you.
Here are a few suggestions:
“no pain, no gain”, “feel the fear and do it anyway”,
“trust in God, all will be well”, “nothing ventured, nothing
gained”, “life is not a rehearsal”, “there is genius in
boldness”, “carpe diem -
seize the day”, “go for it.”
Find a partner---friend, coach, spouse---that you can share your
fear with. When you express
fear, their job is NOT to say: “everything will be ok”.
Their line is: “What
will support you in . . . making that phone call, setting up
that meeting etc.”
R. Gaillour, MD, Business Consultant and Executive Coach
for Healthcare Leaders firstname.lastname@example.org,