Life After Medicine

How to STOP Spinning your Wheels and Finally Figure Out your Career Direction

September 14, 2023 Chelsea Turgeon Season 1 Episode 119
Life After Medicine
How to STOP Spinning your Wheels and Finally Figure Out your Career Direction
Show Notes Transcript

Have you been stuck in analysis paralysis- not sure what career path to take? Or maybe you have a few different ideas and threads, but you aren’t sure how to turn it into something specific and tangible. You need to find a clear direction- but you aren’t sure how to go about doing that.

In this episode I break down the #1 reason you are struggling to find a clear direction and how to fix that!

You’ll learn:

  • Why all the actions you think are productive may actually be a form of procrastination
  • The ONE mindset shift you need to make to start making real progress towards figuring out what you want
  • 6 keys to taking intentional, decisive action that finally moves your forward.

If you are feeling stuck in the “I don’t know what’s next” phase of your career, this episode is going to be EXACTLY what you need. Let's dive in!

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Okay, my love. So if you are longing to do work you enjoy, but you're struggling to figure out a clear direction, the reason this is happening is because you keep turning externally for the answers. Right, you keep reading and rereading the same uninspiring list of alternative careers for healthcare professionals. You're desperately asking career coaches or other clinicians, what are my options? You're even scrolling to the 10th page of the Google search results, hoping to find that unicorn of a career. And then when you don't find anything on the internet, you come to the conclusion, there's just no good options out there. And I think I really am trapped in my career. The good news is you're absolutely not trapped. You're just looking for clarity in the wrong places. And that is exactly why I'm hosting this free clarify your purpose workshop. So during this free training, I will help you reconnect to yourself and figure out your career direction so you can start doing work you enjoy. The free training is going to happen in two parts. The first one is Monday, September 18th. The second one is Monday, September 25th, and it is going to be. The most epic, most exciting training I have ever done. So if you are ready to start seeking a career that you actually enjoy, that makes you excited to wake up in the morning, this workshop is going to be a great place for you to start. You can head to the link in the show notes to get signed up or go to coachchelsamd. com slash clarify your purpose. And I cannot wait to see you there. Hello, my loves and welcome back to another episode of life after medicine podcast. Today is another solo cast. And I'm going to be doing several of these for the next few weeks, because it turns out I've got a lot to say, and I'm excited to say it. And I want to just have some of these really direct conversations with you. So today we're going to be talking about. One of my favorite topics. And it's about figuring out your career direction. And getting out of that analysis paralysis, the spinning your wheels, that sense of I'm just really trying to figure it out, but I'm not making any forward progress. That is what we're going to talk about today. So this podcast is going to be a really perfect and timely for you. If you are currently struggling to figure out a career direction. Or a career vision. If you're in that place where you don't know like what career path to seek, if you feel like you have a couple different threads, but you're not sure how to tie them all together, how to weave it all together in a way that makes sense. If you feel like you have this overall idea, For what you want for your career. You want freedom and flexibility and to have more meaning and purpose and creativity, right? You have these kinds of general ideas, but there's not specificity there and that's driving you crazy. You're really having a hard time nailing down that specificity. Or if you have, gone through all these different iterations of plans and you just keep staying in this phase of trying to figure out what to do next. And you're going through different ideas and iterations and all of this, but you're not really making any progress. If that sounds like you, you're definitely gonna want to keep listening. And first I want to talk about like, why you're struggling to find direction. And then we're also going to get into the solution. I don't want to just talk about why you're struggling. I want to really help you. Figure out how to stop, spinning your wheels so that you can finally figure out your direction. So the number one reason that you don't have a clear direction. Is because you're getting stuck. In that research and planning phase. And you're getting stuck in what I call is productive procrastination. And I'm excited to talk more about this because this is something that hits home with so many of my clients as we're going through with the program. So productive procrastination and some of the fun little terms I like to use for it are procrastinate, planning, procrastination. Bullet branding and for Cresta learning. And so it's all of these behaviors that I'll, we'll go into more specifically what those are, but it's behaviors that on the surface. It seems productive in some way, because there's some element of. Of planning going on or there's some element that you're doing something. But you're not doing something that moves the needle towards getting you more clarity around what you want to do. It feels like you're getting more clarity. Or you're trying to get more clarity and you're not doing any of this, like it's not. There's just a lack of information around a lack of knowledge around how to really go through this process of figuring out what you want for your career. And so it's you're trying to do things right, but there's just a lack of knowledge around how to do it. Some of examples, just from like recent calls and interactions with clients of what actually is. Productive procrastination or procrastinate. Presta planning is what I tend to call it because usually it's some form of that. It's like a getting ready to get ready. A thing. So what does that look like? It can look like. Making a spreadsheet. Of all the different let's say you're trying to go into nonprofit work. This was one of my recent clients wanting to go into nonprofit work. And so I'm going to make a spreadsheet of all the different nonprofits that I'm going to potentially work with of all the ones I'm interested in. I'm going to get their contact information. I'm just going to make this whole spreadsheet. That's one version. Another one would be, like I have this. A general business idea or something I'm thinking about. I'm just going to be researching it, trying to get all the information around it, looking at the different, like the market. Is it saturated? Is it not? How much could people make doing something like this? What could it look like? How would I get started? And you're just like doing all this research. You have this giant, maybe Google doc full of plans, or maybe you're someone with a pen and paper. And so you're writing out all these plans. You have a whole notebook full of ideas and plans. Or maybe you're trying to make a decision, right? Maybe you have a general idea of okay, I think my career path would take this like this path or this path. And so you're looking up different programs and certifications and. Really in that process of weighing the pros and cons and you keep going through what, what are the different options and really thinking through, okay would I like this thing or what I like this thing, or I don't know. I can't really figure it out because you're all in your head. Or maybe you're like, you know what I do, I think I know that I want to start a blog or start an Instagram page or sort of YouTube channel or podcasts. Like you want to start some sort of creative content outlet. And so you get out this Google doc and you're planning out all these ideas and mapping it all out, but then you are. Just. You stay stuck at that point, right? You're not like these start talking yourself out of it. You start thinking, oh, this is actually not going to be a good idea. This is never going to work. I don't think I'm actually going to like doing this. So it's all of this Getting ready to get ready, researching, planning, thinking, trying to decide it's very heady. It's big, very cerebral. You're really in your head about it. And that's some of the hallmarks of this sort of procrastinate planning is what I'm going to call it is. It seems like it's, you're being productive and it seems like you're, doing the thing that you should be doing to figure it out. But the way that, you know and these actions are not necessarily wrong in and of themselves. There's planning, we need to do there's decisions we need to make, but there comes a point where. These are avoidance tactics, right? Your you're doing this, these things on the computer, hiding away in your office, in your little hidey hole. And you're not really interacting with people. So that's like some of the hallmarks of productive procrastination or procrastinating is you're not really interacting with other humans. It's just like in your little layer in your little office that you're doing it. It's not. You're not really making a lot of progress forward. It doesn't feel like the sense of. You might initially feel like, okay, I got the plan, but you're not overall feeling like you're making a lot of progress forwards and you're definitely not. Feeling any more clear around what you want to be doing. So you feel like you are just like spinning in circles or you keep going back and forth or you. You have one plan and then you're going to scrap that and you have this. A new iteration of the plan, and then you're going to move on to the next thing. And so there's just like this kind of frenetic motion happening. Without any real direction. And so you'll know that it's, again like this procrast to planning because. You don't feel any closer to knowing what it is you want to do? And you've, maybe you're even feeling less and less confident that you can trust your decisions or you trust your choices because you keep changing your mind or keep changing things. Or maybe you're just feeling really like generally lost and overwhelmed with figuring out what to do. And it's just this sense of I'm spinning my wheels. I feel stuck. I don't really know what I want. I have maybe some general thoughts, but there's no specific plan and there's nothing it's not coming together. I'm not getting any more clear. And so why do we do this? Why do we do this? I think there's several reasons. One is. Just a lack of. Lack of direction in the sense that. Medicine is a very clear path. When you sign up to go into medicine, you know exactly. One step that leads to the next right. Okay, I want to do. Medical school. So I need to take my cat, so we need to do, Then get my shadowing hours and fill out my application, then it's you literally know all, and then you're in med school and the steps, right? All the steps are laid out for you. It's all planned out. But when you don't have. Unnecessarily clear path like medicine. And then you're not able to find this clear next step. That's a unicorn job that really encompasses everything you want. That can feel. It can just feel so confusing. And so hard to like, how am I going to put this all together? How am I going to create eight? This clear path. And the way that we are taught. How to create a career direction or how to find a career direction. Is you pick a career from a list of options and then you just do what you're told. To pursue that career. You complete the education requirements. You complete the training that you get, the experience you need. You just go through the steps. So you already have to know exactly what you do, what you're going to do. And then. You take the path and take the steps based on that. You have to know. Exactly what you want. Exactly. And then you can start taking action. So a lot of us have cultivated this belief that. I need to know exactly what I'm doing. Before I can take any action. But the truth is. It's actually the opposite for most of us. Especially, if you have ended up in a career where you're like, oh, this isn't quite the right fit for me. Or, you're in this place where. You don't know exactly what you want. You're going to have to do some experimentation. You can't know exactly what you want to do. Until you start taking action. And I know that's going to feel really backwards. It's going to feel totally different from what you're used to. Okay. But how can I take action if I don't know what I want? That's what we're going to talk about. So that's a big thing. Is. It's this lack of, it's not just a lack of direction. So it's like really why this is happening is because of our beliefs around. How careers work and how we get clarity. So we think that we get clarity by. Mentally cerebrally thinking about exactly what we want. And then. You nailed the direction down and then you start taking action from there. And there is a point of, doing the internal work and. And getting a level of clarity internally. But you reach a point where. You've done all the thinking you can do. You've done all the meditating you can do. You've done all the reflection, that journaling questions you can do. You've reached your maximum amount of clarity based on the current information you have about yourself in the world. And once you hit that point. You need to start. Doing things and testing things out to get more and more clarity. So it's not true that you have to know exactly what you're doing before you start taking action. It's. You can't know exactly what you're doing. Or exactly what you want until you start taking action. And that is a really important turnaround to make. And I'm going to talk a little bit more about how to start making that and how we really go through that. After we go into a couple of the other reasons. So the other reasons that we're doing this we're in this like procrastinate planning mode. Is it safe? One of the big ones I see procrastinate learning is still safe. Taking another certification. Getting another degree, reading more books, learning more things. None of those are wrong. But they're very safe. And they don't always help us get more clarity. So we can spend a lot of time in this procrastinate learning phase where we're just soaking in all this information or doing more certifications and degrees and all of that. But we're not really getting more clarity around what it is that we want to do or what our career path is going to look like. Procrastinate planning is also very safe because. We're not taking the real actions. At the procrastination when you're really avoiding taking those actions that are scarier. So the procrastinate planning thing is making a spreadsheet of all of the possible non-profits that you want to work with. The action that is the scary thing that you might be avoiding is making connections with those people, reaching out to them on LinkedIn, going to get coffee with them, setting up a meeting, AKA networking. And starting to actually start conversations and be in contact with people and see if they have any projects going on. You could get involved with that's the action. That's scary that you're avoiding. And then when it comes to. Like making a Google doc with all of these content ideas and, really trying to figure out. Okay. What could I write about what could I do? Oh, no, I'm going to talk myself out of doing this in the first place, and then you never do it. The action that you're scared of taking the thing you're avoiding is. Actually publishing your blog post. It is actually, posting that YouTube video and sharing it with people and getting the word out there. Cause sometimes you'll even post it, but you're like, I don't tell anybody that I'm doing it. And so that's part of the real actions is like doing the thing. Another thing with like blogs, especially with websites you can spend, this is where procrastinate branding comes in. You can spend all this time. Trying to design the website and make it look perfect and think it has to be this certain way when really what you need to do is just start writing. So anything that's not the actual thing you want to do. Can be a form of procrastination you're researching and brainstorming business ideas endlessly. And without actually doing anything. As opposed to maybe Testing the market. Doing some market research interviews, getting in touch with people you actually might want to help. And having conversations around that and seeing, if this is something they might want or what. And what it could look like. The reason it's procrastination is because. There's. You're avoiding doing this scary thing. And so that's one reason that this is happening is because of fear. We're afraid to actually jump in there and do it, maybe it's because we're afraid we're getting, we're going to get it wrong. We're going to be afraid that we're going to waste time doing something that. Ultimately doesn't lead to what we think is going to lead to, or we're just afraid of oh, we're not actually going to like it. And then we wasted time doing that. Or maybe we're afraid of failure or rejection or whatever it is. But any of the things that I described, like all the procrastinate planning. Is the safe actions. And what it is protecting us from is we're avoiding doing. The real scary actions, right? So it's a way of keeping us in our comfort zone. And preventing us from really making any mistakes, but the irony is the actual mistake. It's just not doing anything because that's the real waste of time. And why doesn't this work? Why can't you just research and plan your way to clarity. Why can't you research and plan your way to figuring out your career direction? There comes a point where, you know, Everything that you can know. Like I said there comes a point where you've done all the journaling questions. You've meditated, you've, connected to yourself. There's a point where you have all the information, And you can't know any more cognitively or cerebrally, you have to actually just get out there and test things and try things and see what happens. It's like you're in an ice cream. Parlor. Ice cream store. And there's all of these exotic flavors that you've never had, like the precast celery. That sounds so gross. It's like chocolate tapioca. I don't know. There's all these different flavors and you're like, you're reading the flavors. And you're asking the person behind the counter, what does that taste like? Can you describe it to me? Okay, so is it salty? Is it. Is it sweet? Is it like tangy? Okay. And then what is the texture like? Does it hit you right away? Is it more creamier? There's only so much you can do and then you're okay. So then they tell you, oh yeah, it's like salty and a little tangy and then you think, okay. Tangy do I like tangy? Does it taste like a mango or like how tangy are we talking on a scale of orange to manga? Like where are we at here? So there's literally only so much you can do cognitively and cerebrally at some point. You're like, can I try a sample? Can I just taste a sample of this and see what it's going to taste and you just have to taste it. So at some point you just have to do. This action to get more and more clarity. So you actually taste the ice cream and then you're like, huh. Okay. I really do like that. Great. So I was wondering if I was going to like it. I tried it and I do like it. Okay. And so that is. The solution, that's what we have to do. We have to start taking action. And in my programs, the way I teach this, there's like a principle and then there's a process. So the overall principle is clarity through action, which I've basically just been explaining to you guys throughout this episode. And I've done other episodes on this before, too. It's not something new, but it's just this idea of. At some point. You're going to hit your limit of all you can know cognitively. And you have to take action to get further clarity. Around what you like around what energizes you around, what you really want to be doing? It's clarity through action. And then once you take that action, you get the clarity. Then there's more information. That you can use to inform your next action and then you can keep going. And so that is the process of taking a leap action. And so it's the term leap action is from the book playing big by Tara Mohr. That's where Irish. Initially got the idea and the framework, but then I've really taken it and used it with my clients for like years now. And it's so effective. But I definitely recommend reading the book, playing big by Tara Mohr because she talks about this leap action in the book. And it's just such a helpful concept that I've used. For myself and for my clients and yeah. And there's so many other concepts in that book too, that are incredible. So definitely recommend that. But. Essentially a leave action. There's like a list of criteria that makes up a leap action. And. The criteria is helpful too, to make sure that you're not doing the lacrosse to planning type of thing. And yeah. So for the leave actions, some of their criteria is it puts you in contact with the actual people that you might want to help. And sometimes it can't put you in contact with the people you want to help, but it needs to put you in contact with humans, right? That's a huge one, but the human contact is actual humans. It's answering a specific question. And so the way Tara puts it is you leap to learn. And you're asking a question, maybe the question is, do I even like doing this or. The question is, do people want this, or the question might be, am I good at this? Or, is there there's just some sort of question. Sometimes there's multiple questions, but you leap with the intent to learn. Maybe the question is. Are there job openings here? Is this a lucrative thing? How would I make money doing this? There can be so many questions and you figure out what your questions are. And then you create a leap action around that. And so you're leaping with the intent to learn. And it's answering a specific question for you. Hence the clarity. It also has to get you out of your comfort zone because you're not going to learn. The things you don't already know. If you're stuck in your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is where it's safe. It's you're already, you already know everything in the comfort zone, right? What you need to do is take the leap to get out of your comfort zone. It's also really simple. So it's simple in that. You can define it in one or two words. So like some of the examples that my clients do would be like market research interviews. They would maybe host a free workshop or. Teach it for yoga class. One of my clients right now is creating an accountability group. So it's like a very simple thing that you can just declare in a sentence and it doesn't take a long time to explain. It's just like very simple. And then time-wise, it can be done in less than two weeks because the idea is that it's just like a little bite sized action. It's not something huge. You're not doing something like. Start a business or get a degree or get certified in this, right? Those are not leap actions because. It needs to be something you can do quickly. Because you want to learn, you want to figure it out. It's not about that. This is like another huge piece of it. It doesn't require a significant investment of time or money because I know a big thing that we're always worried about. It's what if I get it wrong? The stakes are so high. I don't want to invest all this time or this money in something. Okay. That's why we do leap actions because we want to do something that's like small. Bite-size scary. But so basically what you're doing is you're paying the price of. Overcoming your fear in order to shortcut the investments of time or money. So that's like how it works is you do something out of your comfort zone and you're going to get a lot of information very quickly that you may have had to otherwise get from investing. A lot of time or money into going back to school for something or a degree, and really like the whole concept and the process of leap action is. It just like prevents you from approaching your career in the same way you've been doing it up until now. Because usually if we've ended up in a career that we don't love. Career, that's not the right fit for us. It's because somewhere along the way, We didn't get the true clarity that this was right for us, or we ignored the clarity or something happened. And so it's like at some point we took an action. And we didn't really use it too. To inform our true clarity around that. And so that's the whole purpose of a leap action. Is it helps you really inform your career direction? In a way that's quick in a way that's I wouldn't say easy, but it's simple. In a way that's repeatable in a way that prevents you from spending a lot of time and energy. Going down the quote unquote, wrong path, and it also helps you. Prevent a lot of time and energy spent going down no path because you're in analysis paralysis and you're spinning your wheels and you're not making any forward progress. So let's recap a bit. If you are struggling to figure out your career direction, if you feel like you're in analysis paralysis, if you're spinning your wheels, if you're really having a hard time. Just getting clear and specific on exactly what you want to do. The reason is because you are staying stuck. In this forever research and forever planning mode. And the solution to this is to take action is to take this intentional decisive action towards gaining more clarity. And the way that I teach my clients to do this in my programs is through designing leap actions and for really embodying this concept of clarity through action so that you can take the steps that you need. And then just to give you a quick summary of what this looks like in my own journey specifically. And I shouldn't, I know I've talked about this before, but it is definitely really relevant to this conversation. So when I turned in my resignation for to leave medicine and booked my one-way ticket to South Korea I didn't know exactly what my plan was. I didn't have a specific, clear idea. Of what I wanted. What I had were some general ideas, so I knew I loved, I had always loved writing. And I had always loved psychology. I knew I was becoming really obsessed and starting to become really interested in spirituality and personal growth. And that I was also having, experiencing this weird pull towards travel that I didn't totally. Like I didn't totally understand. And I was also feeling a pull towards expressing creativity. In other ways, I was wanting to try photography and figure, I don't know, like I wanted to just do some more creative expression. I want it to be outside. I knew that I wanted more freedom that I had this vision of me. Working from a laptop. From cafes anywhere around the world and just having this freedom of flexibility. And so those were the pieces that I knew. But I didn't know exactly what that was going to look like. And so I took those pieces. And I had just created sort of my first best guess. And it was like, okay. I think traveling, writing. And like coaching. And I started to find out about coaching. So I was like, okay, those three things. Traveling writing, coaching. How has this all going to go together? I think like travel, blogging. And then, so that was my first real thing was like, I think I'm going to be a spiritual travel blogger. And so I signed up for a blogging course. And I. Bought this domain name, the turquoise Because I was going to be a spiritual top travel blogger. And to me, turquoise symbolized like spirituality. So the turquoise Travel blogging. I started writing blog posts. Every week I started writing and publishing every week. I started networking and interacting with people in the Facebook group as well, and started really getting clear on. How to monetize my blog and what that could look like. I also started traveling so that I would have things to blog about. I also started a life coaching certification program because. Coaching was another thing that was in there. And I was like, I feel like coaching is going to be something within that. And then I started coaching. Like anyone and everyone, literally the second week that I was in my life coaching certification. Probably even the first week, the first or second week I was already. Making calls on the phone with people doing practice coaching sessions. And I did hundreds of hours of free coaching during that year in 2019. So these were all the things I was starting to do. Those are all my leap actions, right? The practice coaching, the writing, the blogs, and putting myself out there, then networking with other travel bloggers. The travel, like all of these things I was doing, I was putting myself out there and I didn't know how it was all going to go together. In my head. I was like spiritual travel, blogger, personal growth Xtrordinair, influencer. Like I just literally didn't know. But I started moving. I started just taking action and with all of that action, after that whole first year I gained so much clarity and it didn't even take me the whole first year to know that. I didn't love writing about travel. That was not something I liked writing about. I also didn't like. How to monetize travel blogs. I didn't like like doing affiliates or ads or none of that felt. Energizing or live for me. And I felt really alive talking to clients. And coaching people. And I thought initially I was going to want to do some health coaching stuff, but I was like, you know what? I don't actually like that. I don't really like anything health related. I really liked more of the deeper spirituality and purpose and meaning and fulfillment. And but I learned that through doing. I learned it through action. So by the end, definitely by the end of 2019, I was like, you know what, I'm going to fully go all in on making this a coaching business. And the blogging is going to be something I do to develop leads and be part of my social media strategy and lead gen stuff. But it's really going to be a full coaching business. And that's when I started focusing on that. And then 2020 was when I really launched the coaching business and I started to take off from there. So that was my process of doing this clarity through action, doing leap actions. I didn't have that framework or that, those words at the time, but that's really how I got started with doing it. And and that's what I do with my clients as well. It's. You're not going to have, you're not gonna able to put all the threads together. Until you start taking action. And so that is really what I want you guys to walk away with. If you're in this space of feeling like, all right, I have some different vague ideas, but I don't know how they're all going to go together. Or I just don't know exactly what it's going to look like. Or I have some ideas about what I want, but I don't know how to make it happen. If you're in that space and if you're struggling or maybe you have a few different things and you're like which one do I choose? What do I do? Check in with yourself. Are you getting stuck in procrast to planning? Are you spending lots of time on the computer? Making all these grand plans, but not actually doing anything. And it's okay. It's give yourself grace and compassion. Like it makes sense, but just really check in with With the, what? If you're procrastinate planning and that's something I just want to start bringing you, bringing into the conversation. Anytime you're working on this, it was like, am I doing some procrast to planning? Is this for CA productive procrastination? What's really going on here. And once you can be really clear around that, then asking yourself, what's the scary thing that I'm not doing well, what is this scary thing I'm not doing? And how can I go ahead and do that? Knowing that as I do these scary things and take these scary actions. That's where the clarity is really gonna come from. So if you, yeah, if you get nothing else from this it's that. I can't. No exactly what I'm going to do. Until I start taking action. I don't have to have it all figured out before I start taking action. I can't figure it all out until I start taking action. And that is so important. Please take that home with you. I'm like, that everywhere really ingrained that deep within you. And if you want additional help and support, figuring out your direction we are going to do, I'm doing a clarify, your purpose. Workshop coming up very soon. September 18th and 25th, we're going to be doing. A lot of work to help you clarify your purpose, figure out your direction so that you can start moving forward. And then I also have my upcoming program, authentic career alignment, where we're going to go deeper. That's where I give you all the framework for taking those leap actions and really making that. Forward progress, right? It's Not only give you the process for clarity through action, but I teach you exactly how to design and take these leap actions so you can keep making progress forward. And that's going to be a huge part of what we do together and authentic career alignment. So if you're interested in that enrollment's going to be opening soon. We're officially starting October 16th. And would love to have you join us if that's something that you're feeling pulled to. So thank you so much for listening. I hope you got so much out of this episode and that you feel ready to stop spinning your wheels and really just start taking action. So sending you so much love and. That's it. I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Life After Medicine podcast. Make sure to leave a review and subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode. If you want to continue the conversation, share your takeaways, and connect with other like minded healthcare workers, then come join us in the Life After Medicine Facebook group. The link to join the group is in the show notes. I can't wait to connect with you further.