Yes, I know. I drop the news of a second job opportunity, and then disappear. What can I say? I love cliffhangers….
In all seriousness, the last couple of weeks have been EXTREMELY busy. I had forgotten about all the hoops healthcare professionals have to jump through when they get a new job. Doctor’s appointments, frantic searching for immunization records that don’t seem to exist, filling out paperwork and so on. And of course, I wanted to use up all of my healthcare benefits from my old job before starting the new job, so I got the whole family to the dentist. I have a terrible phobia of the dentist (I take Ati.van for a checkup. A cleaning? I have to be drugged, and my entire mouth has to be frozen. Anything more requires general anesthesia). And then there was the job interview… More to come on that. Needless to say, I’ve been pretty stressed out, so rather than updating you all, I have taken my evenings to have a large glass of wine, and fall into bed, exhausted. But I’m back now… Hopefully a handful of people are still reading…
I’ll start with the second job interview. The interview was for a clinical leader position in a neonatal intensive care unit. It has been seventeen years since I have set foot in a NICU. If I wanted to accept this job, I would have a lot of catching up to do with respect to current practices in neonatal ventilation. It would be a challenge, but nothing I couldn’t manage. Aside from that, on paper, the job looked great- good money, great hours, lots of responsibility. But within the first ten minutes of the interview, it became pretty clear that the staff is a mess. Lots of really awful politics and angry, bitter people. The long-term staff are struggling with the changes that are occurring within the organization and the unit itself, whereas the younger staff- typically new grads- are eager to embrace what is to come. It is going to take a strong, very experienced leader to pull the staff together, and get everyone on the same page. I have some administrative experience, but no formal leadership experience at all. I know that the only way to get formal leadership experience is to accept a leadership position, but I left the interview feeling that this is NOT a good starting place. Even the people interviewing me seemed almost aggressive and flustered with the state of things, and that really isn’t a good feeling. I felt like I was being set up to fail. So, to make a long story short, I will not accept the job, even if it is offered to me. I’m glad I went to the interview though- now I have some closure, and I know that I am choosing the right job.
So…. Onward! I started my new job last Monday. This job is in community care. Basically, my job is to help transition patients with complex respiratory needs out of the hospital and into the community. Because my services are so specialized, I cover a fairly large territory, and will be on the road a lot. I can work out of several different offices, or I can work from home. Yes, you read that right- I can work wherever I want. Even from the comfort of my living room. I set appointments with my patients, and go into their homes for assessments, but I can do all my charting, make all my phone calls, and do all other work-related tasks from anywhere I choose. I must work 80% of my hours within normal business hours, but the other 20% is flexible. If I want to do my charting in the evening, after my daughter goes to bed, I can do that.
The flexibility is incredible. I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this.
I’ll be honest though- the first week was completely overwhelming. A mobile workforce, by definition, is heavily reliant on technology. And the technology that is utilized by this organization is dramatically different than what the hospital uses. Different software, secured lines, blah, blah, blah. They even gave me a blackberry… I didn’t know anyone used blackberry anymore! Right now I have NO CLUE what I’m doing. The learning curve is a very steep one. I suppose that’s why I have six weeks of orientation- it’s going to take a while to get me up to speed. But the staff is all fantastic. No question is a stupid question, and everyone has been really helpful. By the end of my first week, I was feeling much more relaxed and confident that I had made the right decision.
As for work-life balance… Well, it’s only been a week, but I have really enjoyed being home for dinner and bedtime each night. I got to the gym one evening this week (in addition to my weekend workouts), and did yoga at home twice. I even got some grocery shopping done on Thursday night, so that I wouldn’t have to deal with it on the weekend. But I admit that I am very tired at night. I’m certain that the fatigue will ease as my body gets accustomed to the new schedule, and as I get more comfortable with the new job. It might take a while though, and I need to be prepared to cut myself some slack on things like cleaning house, making every meal from scratch, and working out 5-6 days per week. That won’t be easy- I hold myself to some pretty high standards, but if I am going to maintain my sanity while I am learning the job, I think the standards need to drop a bit.
And all those things I was worrying about? Well, they all seem like a thing of the past now. I feel like I am right where I’m supposed to be.
So there you have it! That’s what has been happening. Basically, I’m tired and happy. And that’s a good thing.