Playin’ the Field

I’ve often used the analogy that my career in dentistry was like being in a relationship.  At times you could say it was slightly abusive, and at times it was very supportive and loving.  Whether those descriptions are a bit dramatic or not, one thing is true: we had a very strong bond.  Dentistry was a huge part of me and it was hard to let go, even if I really wanted out.

As I journey through this career change, that relationship analogy journeys on with me.  I was married to dentistry.  You could say it was my first long-term relationship, so maybe I was young and didn’t really know much about myself.  As we both evolved, we grew apart and it became time to split up.

Now that I am single, I’m ready to play the field!  Woohoo!

Player (Player album)
Player (Player album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This latest phase in my life is a phase of discovery.  I’m dating different careers and loving it; because frankly, I have a bit of job-commitment-phobia right now.  I’m scared of getting stuck in another unhappy work relationship for another 10 years.  And why not play the field?  Who says I have to conform to everyone else’s rules of what my life’s work should be?  If I can manage it along the way, why not hold out for my one true love?  (Or two, or three?)

I’m having a blast sowing my wild oats.

Alright, it might not be that wild, but it’s certainly not conventional.  As mentioned in The Slight Edge, you have to start with a plan.  That plan will never play out exactly as you envisioned.  You have to start somewhere, but being willing to roll with the tides is what will actually get you “there.”  My plan was to leave dentistry.  I didn’t know exactly how I was going to get out of my career, but I kept working toward that goal, opening my mind to different possibilities.  Then a vehicle for change showed up, and that became my new plan.  I enjoy helping people lose weight and get healthy, but I continue to take risks and pursue other worthwhile opportunities that develop along the way.  With that openness, new unexpected plans are coming into my life and bringing even more pleasant surprises.

Image courtesy of Master Isolated Images/freedigitalphoto.net
Image courtesy of Master Isolated Images/freedigitalphoto.net

I’m just not ready to settle down.

How about you?  Ready to play the field yet?

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6 thoughts on “Playin’ the Field

  1. Yep, this really hits the nail on the head! Since I’m still “married” for financial reasons, I find it a little like having an affair as I secretly explore new opportunities. I can’t talk about certain things at work that might reveal my plans for escape! For me, it makes going to work a bit easier knowing that I have other opportunities waiting for me and that I won’t be stuck in this “bad marriage” forever!

    1. I know! I actually thought about the affair analogy also. My affair behind dentistry’s back was the best thing ever. Not an ounce of guilt! When I entered my first travel contest I would sit in my office working on it and hiding it from everyone around me. It gave me so much hope and made being at work a little bit better. Then when I started my weight loss business, I was able to work both that and dentistry at the same time. Whatever, dentistry deserved it. I wasn’t getting enough love. 😉

      1. In your time as a dentist did you ever have pre-dental college students ask to shadow you? What did you tell them when they asked how you liked your career?

        1. Ha! No one has asked me that, and it’s a great question. I did have a lot of people shadow me, and I lied… sort of. I never encouraged them to switch paths, and always pretended that it was good. I sometimes wondered if my “good” was so lukewarm that my true feelings were obvious. I never said it was great, awesome, the best experience of my life, etc… I just couldn’t bring myself to say any of those things. But I did always tell people how hard the work is and not to expect it to be an easy ride.

  2. Its tricky playing the field sometimes. I kinda pimped my services out to the highest bidder when I was in the restaurant industry, moving around a lot from company to company. I was too ambitious to stay when I wasn’t moving forward so I would leave. In the end I wasn’t moving forward at all when I could have been had I stuck with the same company.In the end I made one or two bad career decisions that I regret…going back for an MBA was one beleive it or not. The point is, while you are being a player think ‘career protection’ and map out a strategy of where you want to be in 5 or 10 years. Don’t stay at the same level for the next 5 years, if that is not your plan…… I know you know all this already…. 🙂

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