Re-evaluating the ‘Dream Job’


What’s the first thing that comes in to your mind when I say the words “dream job?” I would venture to say your initial thoughts will go in the direction of pay, hours or perhaps location. If I gave you a few minutes more to ponder, you would likely add some other elements such as the patient population you will be serving, the number of patients you have to see per day and perhaps no call duties.

Now this is where it gets interesting. You may be surprised to learn many NPs who contact me looking for a different position tell me they currently have all or most of that list. If you are an NP who is not happy with your current job, you aren’t likely to cite any of the above as reasons for your displeasure and desire for a new job. Instead, you will assure me you actually are making very good money and the hours might not be great, but you don’t mind. Your benefits package is generous; in fact, that is part of the reason you have stayed as long as you have in this position. And yes, you really do love your patients. What you will tell me is that you no longer have a job that you can look forward to going to every day.

So what then is the problem? Pay, benefits, great patients-what more could you want?

Well, let’s start with a happy work environment. Unhappy clinicians tell me they want to find a workplace that has both a great boss and co-workers. They want respect, good communication and to be valued for their contributions. They don’t want to be miserable every day, dealing with unreasonable bosses, gossiping co-workers and increasing paperwork demands.

For unhappy clinicians the characteristics that define a dream job have undergone a major revision. Pay and benefits aren’t at the top of the wish list anymore and have been replaced by requirements that really can’t be written into an employment contract. What they want now are the intangibles.

My advice if you are in this situation and seeking a new job is that you take your time and pay attention to your intuition. I guarantee there were probably some warning signs that you either missed or even ignored.

As a former recruiter, I learned a few tricks to spotting a troubled workplace.

Stay tuned, I will share them with you in my next blog.

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