“As a medical professional, I feel that I have reached a plateau at my job. I love the job with all of my heart (patients). I work hard on a daily basis. I feel that I could use a pay increase. It has been 6 years since I last had an increase in pay. At the same time, I feel with all of my heart that I was put on earth to do something really great as far as serving people. How do I find out what my next step is in life? I feel stuck.” ~ Brenda, Georgia
First of all, congratulations on your success in the medical profession. I greatly admire your passion for what is undoubtedly a challenging yet such an important job and your commitment to serving people. Your positive attitude and outlook alone make you stand out, to me, as a very valuable asset to your company. As a matter of fact, when we hire people, that type of attitude is one of the key things that we look for. If you haven’t done so already, I would suggest having a clear, honest conversation with your manager about your service and the commitment that you bring to your role (which unfortunately sometimes can be rare). Explain how your work sets you apart and has created a large benefit through excellent care and positive goodwill for your company, consistently, for many years.
I also commend your desire to find and expand your passion into new areas. Getting there is certainly, if you pardon the cliché, a journey. But, even if you feel stuck, you are learning, and gaining valuable information and insights, every day, that will eventually lead you down the right path and open the right doors. You are never stuck.
The great thing is that, in today’s world, opportunities are really limitless and, with all of the connectivity that we have online, through social media, etc, we can take control and move in many directions. I would first suggest brainstorming and writing down 10 ideas for directions that you would like to explore (maybe becoming a public speaker, writing a book, teaching classes, etc.). Have fun with it and, remember, there are no limits.
Once you have these 10 ideas down, start researching who might be a good contact in each particular direction to reach out to. Contact that person, explain what your goals are, and ask for 15 minutes of their time to talk. You will start building a network of people in the directions that you want to explore and you never know where that might lead, the ideas you might learn, who you will be introduced to, what inspiration it may give you, and what will happen from there. Make it a fun, exciting process.
In the meantime, you still have a wonderful job and career that you should feel very happy and proud about, as you continue your journey forward. Even if you are not exactly where you want to be right now, remember to still enjoy where you are. And, remember, the possibilities for what’s ahead are truly endless.