New grad conundrum: The conflict between making money, job satisfaction, purpose, mastery, and motivation

After graduating from school, the first goal is to get a job.  No one wants to continue living the life of a poor student.

Perhaps a look at the job boards or posting the resume on linked in.  I knew my job needed to be in outpatient and orthopedics, but I know it may not be that simple for everyone.  Money enters into the equation immediately, especially with the rising costs of tuition.

In my own head, I knew that I wanted to make enough money to live a comfortable life while focusing on my career.  Career planning was a small part of one class in school.  This focused mostly on residency programs which were getting significant support from the professional organizations. It required a pay cut or significant tuition costs with unclear results in performances.

So I decided to focus on getting into a clinic that seemed  to follow my belief system in practice model. The money was less than other places but I was more focused on job satisfaction.

I loved the job for the first 6 months. Then there was a shift in practice patterns with greater and greater focus on the billing practice.  Once my purpose of helping people took a back seat to billing, I started to lose motivation.

When I did not have enough time to focus on improving my craft and developing mastery, I started to loathe my job.  I never hated the patient care but I lost so much motivation that an 8 hour day seemed arduous where as now I can go for 14, 15, or 16 hour days without slowing down.

In the first job, the recruiters know to use language like mentorship and patient or relationship centered treatment.  In most cases, they are lying.  I believe a more useful approach is to find another employee that has been there for 6 months.  At this point, the honeymoon period is over.

Ask about how many mentorship hours they have had?

Ask about how they feel supported?

Are they developing mastery?

How many office meetings are about billing?

Ask about turnover and ask if the leaders of the company are trying to optimize their day to day activity?

Does there seem to be a focus on keeping the employee as happy as the patient?

Is there a session where an older, more experienced colleague will outline a study plan or career plan with you?

Do they expect you to be better every year? How do they test that?

I would suggest that these factors would be much more accurate in determining your satisfaction with the job.

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