Career Advice: Don't Wait For Happiness

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If you're not happy with your job, start looking today -- but don't run from one bad situation to another.
If you're not happy with your job, start looking today -- but don't run from one bad situation to another.

On November 30, 2012, I decided it was time to find a new job. That was the day I was told very clearly that I and my midwife colleagues provided little value to our practice. It was a difficult thing to hear, but it was something I already knew in my heart. Hearing the words spoken just reinforced my need to leave the practice.

But leaving a job isn't as easy as it may seem; at least it wasn't for me. That is obviously quite apparent since that sad day in 2012 was more than 2½ years ago. However, it is just now that I am ending my time with that practice and about to begin a new career endeavor with a new practice.

Although I knew that I wasn't valued, though I was feeling overworked and underappreciated, it still took me time to gather the courage to actively seek another job. I realize now that I spent a long time looking for excuses to stay with the practice because I was comfortable. I was afraid of leaving that comfort zone despite my growing unhappiness.

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There is something to be said for comfort in a job. I've been with this practice since I was a student midwife. I know the people, the paperwork, and the policies. Quite honestly, I am fond of most of the midwives, nurses, physicians, and support staff. Familiarity with the work and the people makes it easier to stay in a position, even when you know it is time to go.

I was also wary of running away from something, rather than running toward a better opportunity. It was certainly possible that I could end up in a worse position if I left this job solely for the sake of leaving.  So I found excuses to stay: "But I love the actual work that I do," "But the nurses are so great," or "What will my patients do without me?"

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