Yearning for a fresh start? The new year marks a prime opportunity to reflect on where you’ve been and chart out where you’re headed in your career as a healthcare provider.
Over the past few years, physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses and allied healthcare professionals have faced significant challenges in their careers and the medical field. Achieving work-life balance and career satisfaction amidst these difficulties can be particularly elusive. But flipping over the calendar from 2023 to 2024 can be just the impetus you may need – to get back to loving your career!
Statistics show that New Year’s resolutions CAN be effective if implemented thoughtfully and strategically. (Plus, it just FEELS good to have a fresh beginning! Remember being a kid at the start of a school year: organizing your school supplies, getting new teachers, meeting more friends, starting over with your grades?).
According to a 2023 Gallup survey:
- 71% of U.S. adults planned to set goals for themselves at the start of the new year.
- 48% of goal-setters say they planned to write their goals down.
- 49% intended to create action plans with steps for their goals.
Will you set goals this year? Do you plan to write your goals down? What about creating an action plan for each of your goals?
“Goals without action are just dreams.” – Anonymous
Setting Actionable Career Goals for the New Year
Step 1 - THE PROBLEM: Identify challenges about your current job.
An easy way to generate actionable career goals for the new year is to start with your problems! Make a list of everything you wish were better about your current job. Leave plenty of space after each item, maybe half a page to a page for each. You’ll use this list to reframe each issue, set goals and break those down into actions. The solution might involve changing your schedule, your mindset, or even your job – but for now, focus only on scribbling out a list of what’s making you rethink your current situation.
Here’s an example of a statement of the problem:
I have lost the passion and interest I had early in my career as a physician.
And here are some questions to get you started:
- Do you have to battle traffic each day?
- Do you feel fulfilled in your job?
- Do you like the people you work with?
- Do you enjoy caring for the particular patient population you work with?
- Does your work schedule fit your lifestyle?
- Do you have opportunities for learning and growth?
- Do you want to move into leadership?
- Is your care team collaborative? Do they communicate well?
- Do you like the facility?
- Do you think the organizational culture is accepting, respectful and supportive?
- Do you think patients are treated well there?
- Is it too fast-paced or slow-paced for you?
- How is patient volume?
- Do you like the specialty you work in?
- Do you ever feel overworked or burned out?
- Is the compensation competitive?
- Are there enough staff at the organization?
- Are other clinical employees satisfied?
- Are the non-clinical employees satisfied?
- Do you have the technology and tools you need?
- Do you face administrative burdens (EHR, billing, records, etc.)?
- Do you have enough autonomy?
- Do you have enough support?
Step 2: THE SOLUTION: Identify the flipside and what it would take to get there.
Next, revisit each item on the list and identify the flipside – what’s the solution to the problem? What would bring you career satisfaction regarding the issue? Then, consider each of your options and write a note in parenthesis about whether it’s feasible.
For example, say you’re a physician who has lost passion for general practice, you could write:
To find greater career satisfaction, I could:
- Look for a new job in general practice (I might still be underwhelmed though)
- Ask to be transferred to a different facility (if the facility you are working with has multiple locations)
- Consider Locum Tenens if have been in a permanent role or a permanent role if you have been working Locums
Step 3: THE RESOLUTION: Identify your specific goal for the new year.
Next, write a New Year’s Resolution for the issue. It can be helpful to use the format: In ____, I will________ by ____________.
In 2024, I will rekindle my passion for being a physician by pursuing a role in a different facility.
Step 4: THE ACTION: Identify the steps you’ll need to take to reach your goal.
Finally, take the time to think through and write out the steps to make it happen.
- Research Locums or Perm Roles
- Decide where you want to work
- Gather all documentation
- Take it from there!
Examples of New Year’s Resolutions for Healthcare Providers
Here are a few examples outlining the problem, the solution, the resolution and the action for each goal:
I loathe sitting in traffic for 1-1.5 hours commuting to work each day.
To have a better work commute, I can:
In 2024, I’m going improve my work commute by carpooling and by listening to podcasts and audiobooks to relieve stress when I have to drive alone.
My job is way too stressful. I am overworked and there are not enough staff to meet the patient needs.
To have a less stressful experience with a balanced workload and better schedule, I can:
In 2024, I’m going to find a new job with better hours, a reasonable workload and much less stress.
Ready for a New Start in 2024?
If you’ve decided your New Year’s resolution is a new job, you’re in the right place. Your Cross Country Search recruiter will help you find a position to fit your preferences regarding location, patient population, practice setting, schedule, clinical interests, and much more.