It’s Just a Job

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  Sometimes I find myself wondering what I want to accomplish professionally. I honestly have no idea. 
I enjoy the work. I get a sense of personal satisfaction when I feel like I have been useful that day. I love it when I get to spend time with interesting patients and they share their past adventures. I feel accomplished when I am able to work as part of a team to improve patient outcomes. Basically, I like what I do for a living. 

Not that I like all of it. I HATE my pager with every ounce of my being. I hate it so much. It is bulky, ugly, and difficult to read. It always goes off when I am least prepared to return the phone call. I am almost always put on hold when I call back, and in case I have not made it clear, I hate my pager. 

I get frustrated when I don’t have a solution to a patient’s or nursing issue. I am left feeling inadequate and it makes my day much less pleasant. Sometimes I wonder if I am just a terrible communicator. I feel like I am a failure when I can’t seem to make someone understand my limitations and how I am trying to resolve the issue. I try to avoid becoming defensive and snarky, and I believe I have gotten better. It’s still hard some days. 

I like the freedom I have now that I work as a locum. I can make plans and I don’t have to worry about asking everyone if it is okay. I just let people know my availablity. Now, with that freedom I have lost a little security but I feel like it is a fair trade. 

So, what do I do when my life is no longer completely dictated by my job? Constantly stress about whether I am working enough. Wonder if I should be working harder. Obsess over whether or not my intentions are justifiable. It’s exhausting. 

My job is directly linked to my ability to support my family and my ability to finance all of these adventures I keep going on. One of my greatest fears is not providing for my loved ones. In order to take care of everything, I have to be employed. I have to earn a living. 

I am trying to learn to let my job be just a job. It does not have to define me. I get to decide what parameters I want to judge my success by. This could get interesting. 

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