big questions, career

A Switch and a Silver Lining

So the big update is that I gave notice at my job a week and a half ago. I have three more days of work, then I fly to a faculty interview for a couple of days, and then I start a new clinical job in a different type of setting.

I feel 1000% sure that leaving my current job is the right decision for me. I feel much, much better than I did – about everything. My experience at work has also gotten markedly worse since I gave my notice, which confirms to me that I’m in a bad working environment and don’t want to work for this boss/company. I just have to make it three more days. And if anything really terrible happens during that time, I can always just walk out. (Luckily I can easily get by without ever needing a reference from this particular boss.)

The silver lining of this experience is that it has given me some insights I can apply in the future:

  1. It has given me a good benchmark for what a Bad Job is. If I ever have a less-than-ideal job situation in the future, I can ask myself, ok, is it really as bad as that job I had in 2017-2018? Or can I hold out a bit longer and/or try to improve the situation? (In case you are wondering, nothing illegal or overtly terrible has happened to me at work, but it’s been bad in other ways.)
  2. It has taught me more about what kinds of questions to ask and what things to look out for during interviews, particularly interviews for clinical jobs. I’m hoping to get a faculty position for next year, which would catapult me out of the clinical world and into academia, but there’s no guarantee that this will come through. If it doesn’t, I will probably continue to work clinically, which means this information could come in handy.
  3. It has given me valuable information about healthcare facilities in general. If I or any of my family members ever need to spend time in the type of healthcare facility I currently work in, I will have a better sense of how to evaluate the company/building, as well as how to navigate the system and advocate for myself/them.
  4. It has taught me that I want to keep more cash on hand. I gave notice at my current job two days before I had a firm offer from my new job. This was due to somewhat unavoidable timing issues, and in retrospect everything turned out fine, but those two days of feeling potentially jobless were not fun. I had $6,000 in cash savings, which was not terrible, but I would have felt better if I’d had $10,000. I have tended to prioritize student loan payments and retirement contributions over building up my cash savings, but I’m thinking I may want to adjust that for a little while.

Oh, and by the way, I’m excited about my new job! It’s through a contracting agency and it’s lower paying, but I’m having fun getting ready for it and thinking about ways to be successful and creative.

This is such a strange time. I often find myself wondering when I will feel like I have some long-term stability in my life and job situation. It’s hard to find time to do things I actually want to do (learning Spanish! reading books! hosting friends for dinner! writing on my blog!) when I’m constantly feeling in flux and spending so much time on applications and interviews and preparations for job-switching. Hopefully I will have some clarity within the next few months: I should know whether or not I have a faculty job by May or June at the very latest. If I do get a faculty job, I can focus on that. If I don’t get a faculty job, I can focus on my clinical career and/or reassess the situation.

More soon, but I wanted to post this quick update!

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