As a junior doctor working in clinical medicine, I always felt inspired and driven to explore different career options. I enjoyed working with my colleagues and was privileged to learn from some very skilled doctors. But I could never see myself in their shoes.
I wanted to be inspired by women who had created paths that met their values, were also like mine, and wanted to change the world, one step at a time! I struggled to find them on the first step of my career journey.
I remember longing to find support and be supported by like-minded doctors so I could be my authentic self.
I realized that I needed to shift my approach. If I wanted role models who inspired me and who I wanted to be like, I would have to look inside as I started my career transition and find ways to create my professional identity to support my next steps.
A professional identity that gave me the confidence to step outside of full-time clinical medicine and explore other options.
If I did nothing, I would risk compromising and taking on an identity that didn’t feel like a good ‘fit’.
To move forward, I decided to stop trying to be someone I didn’t want to be and instead found the confidence to start doing medicine differently….and be my true, authentic self.
Here are five steps I used to confidently craft my professional identity as I transitioned my career outside of full-time clinical medicine.
1. Identify your anti-role models
In pursuing professional and personal growth to support a medical career transition, it's helpful to recognize the individuals you don't want to emulate. By identifying these anti-role models, you gain a clearer perspective on the traits and behaviors that might be detrimental to your career aspirations. Understanding who you don't want to be is as essential as envisioning who you want to become. But remember to express thanks for the lessons learned from your anti-role models. Each encounter has its unique way of contributing to your mindful career change.
2. Write your own 'Black Book' of undesirable behaviors:
Create a mental or physical book of behaviors you refuse to carry forward in your career. Things that you have observed others or yourself doing without intent or consciousness. List all the behaviors and reactions that do not align with who you really are and feel icky when you experience them. This little 'black book' can remind you of actions, attitudes, and choices that will hinder your career transition and allow you to avoid them as you move forward.
3. Visualise your best work self
Gaining clarity on your best work identity can act as a goal for how you want to act and feel during and after your career transition. After listing all the behaviors you don't want to embody, you naturally gain a deeper understanding of the actions you want to embrace and the doctor you aspire to be. Who is that version of yourself where you feel excited to go to work in the morning, fulfilled during the day, and illuminated when you come home? Getting greater clarity on this identity can help you make decisions that align with your values and goals for your transition.
4. Cultivate self-awareness
None of this is possible without embarking on a journey of self-discovery, greater self-awareness, and mindfully creating opportunities to go deeper into understanding your inner self. Make space at regular intervals to check in on how you are doing and if you are on track toward becoming the consultant, colleague, or professional you genuinely aspire to be. Embracing this mindset of continuous growth propels you towards long-term success in your career transition – not just identifying the next job but creating sustainable change. Find those mechanisms and containers to support you to achieve momentum and accountability and celebrate your successes!
5. Live in alignment with your values
Exploring and understanding your core values is an excellent step toward knowing what environment, people, and circumstances will light you up! The next step is figuring out how to align your actions with these values. With each decision, pause and ask: Does this resonate with my true self? Does this align with the person that I aspire to be? We all know when we are in a situation that doesn’t align with our values, it feels uncomfortable, awkward, and sticky…being in more empowering worlds allows us to feel alive, fulfilled, and driven!
Are you looking for more clarity for your next career step? Would you like a clearer idea of where you want to head to? Do you want to find your true purpose so you can live your best life?
I work with my coaching clients to help them get greater clarity so they can find and create a flexible career they love. If you want to find out more about my coaching programs, book a free discovery call https://calendly.com/resilienceyoga/60min