Leaving My Job, Starting A New One
Yesterday I quit my job. This was not an abrupt tantrum, this was the result of over a year of thinking, scheming with my husband, and calculating risks and benefits, money and mayhem. I am a physician and my income will be missed. My husband has a very successful contracting data base business, and he makes a fair bit himself, but my decrease in pay will no doubt affect us.
I am not stopping work completely. I have just quit my current job, which is more than full time and has been causing me so much stress. The plan is, I am going to work ten to fifteen days a month, and spend the rest of the time at home pretending to be a housewife, doing home improvement projects, and getting to go to all those school plays and luncheons I have been missing. I will be stressed half time instead of all the time.
The plan is, I will be doing locum tenens work. For those of you non-physicians, locum tenens is a temp job for doctors. If a practice across the country loses a partner and desperately needs temporary (or semi-permanent) help, they quickly credential one of us and send us off for an adventure in another state. My first adventure will involve trekking from Alabama to North Dakota, of all places. I will freeze my ass off.
On the days I am home, my husband will have the opportunity to do more travel for his job than he has previously been able to do. He is frequently asked to be on site for his jobs, and makes more money when he is physically present than when he is working from home. And I will be able to run errands, and take cars into the shop, and go see my daughter’s plays, which I have largely missed over the years, and he will not have to take time out of his busy day to do these things, when he is paid by the hour.
So I turned my notice into the CEO last night. He was amazingly supportive, telling me that spending more time with my family would be the best thing I ever did, for me and my family. He talked about when his wife’s work went to part time and what that meant. I think perhaps there are too many Ob/Gyns in town, and he didn’t care too much that I was leaving – there are plenty more around to do the work.
Now I am dreading breaking the news to my coworkers. My office manager already found out last night, and she had a few circles under her eyes this morning. I won’t say I am the lynchpin that holds everything together, but I am now one of the senior Ob/Gyns in town and I have one of the biggest practices. My nurse will probably be devastated. We have worked together for almost ten years, and she will now have to look for a new job. I just feel terrible for putting her through that.
But overall today, I feel a certain lightness in my step; a certain cheer in my voice that has not been there for a long, long time. I am terribly excited about my travel adventures, and I can’t wait to meet new people and photograph new places. I love to travel. As long as I work ten to fifteen days a month, and my husband’s work remains stable, we can pay the bills. We will have to tighten up in certain areas, but I think my happiness and more relaxed mood will spill over to the rest of my family. Also, I am so eager to spend time with my daughter before she doesn’t want to play with me any more, and I will be able to go to many of her events. I can’t wait! I am terribly excited about this new chapter in my life. It has been a long time coming.