You likely entered into your line of work to help change the lives of others but is the everyday routine of working 9 to 5 starting to wear on you? The 9 to 5 grind definitely isn’t for everyone.
In fact, it often becomes frustrating once you realize that you’re not truly fulfilled with your position in the health and wellness field.
If you know in your heart that this isn’t what you should be doing forever, it’s clear this isn’t your dream job. But how do you steer away from the only thing you know especially when you worked so hard to be exactly where you’re at?
Working for your employer and the industry is where you feel comfortable and secure. You have a regular salary, generous benefits, and your position offers a degree of prestige and respect from your peers. All in all, the security and the perks are wonderful but just not enough.
For all of you simply looking for an alternative, I’m here to help you delve into all the options. Together, we’ll explore all the creative career ideas for those of you seeking flexibility, personal fulfillment, a non-clinical job, or simply a better work-life balance.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the 4 main alternatives…
1. Moving into a Different Sector
The change of scenery might re-ignite your passion for work again, especially if you’re working for a cause or on developing a product that you care about. You’ll have new exciting challenges that will elevate your learning and help you to develop new skills in a given area.
You’ll still have the familiarity and comfort with work that is similar to what you’re used to, so no need to form new work habits.
You’ll continue to have that regular (albeit potentially lower) salary coming into your bank account.
The advantages are also disadvantages! The familiarity and the comfort of keeping a lot of things the same may not solve the underlying problem and remove the frustrations you’ve been experiencing. You’re working the same amount, for less pay
2. Becoming a Freelancer
You can choose the clients you work with or the projects you take on.
You can work from home instead of commuting to an office.
You don’t have a boss.
You can adjust your workload and your hours depending on your preferences.
You decide your own rates.
It can be hard, especially at first, to set your boundaries and to say no to clients even when you know it’s not the best fit. Most likely you will end up working with clients similar to the ones you had before.
You may still have to travel to clients’ offices.
Although you don’t have a boss, you will still be reporting to clients – so, in a way, you have several bosses.
In practice, you can’t adjust your workload. The reality of working for yourself will most likely be a ‘feast-or-famine’ scenario when you sometimes have too much work and sometimes have too little.
A lot of clients will have standard rates with no room for negotiation and you will face constant pressure to discount your rates.
3. Launching Your Own Business
You can choose what problems to solve, what sector you want to work in, what clients or customers you want to serve.
You can work from anywhere.
You’re your own boss!
You can choose your own hours.
You set your own prices and all the profit goes to you (unless you get investors and shareholders on board but let’s not get into that for now).
As with the freelancer, you may find that you have the most skills and expertise in the area that you were working in before. Starting in a totally new field, you may very well be starting from scratch.
In theory, you can work from anywhere yet it can be lonely to work alone most of the time despite going out there to meet with clients and customers.
You’re your own boss! Yes, it’s an advantage but also a disadvantage when there’s no one to support you.
The reality of setting up your own business is that you’ll likely be working longer hours than you did before and the lines between work and personal life will become very blurred.
Although you don’t need a huge investment to start a company these days, you can easily put up a simple website and handle your business via phone or email.
4. Creating a Portfolio Career
You can find a great match for your different skills and interests with several alternative roles in various sectors (e.g. you can be a yoga teacher and a photographer, a web developer and a personal trainer, a marketing consultant, or a personal coach- there are endless options).
You can work from anywhere – or at least in a variety of different places – depending on the type of work you’re doing.
You are your own boss.
You can work flexibly and choose which project to work on depending on your energy and mood.
You can set your own rates. Having a portfolio of different jobs and roles will also mean that your income is diversified so if one area isn’t bringing in what you expect, you can compensate with another.
Again, at least one of the jobs in your portfolio will probably be directly connected to working in a similar kind of role and sector as before.
You may end up running back and forth between different clients and locations.
Depending on the portfolio that you end up with, you may still have a boss or clients to report to sometimes.
Having more than one job will mean more complexity and if they are completely unrelated to each other it may end up feeling like two full-time jobs.
As with freelancers and entrepreneurs, you’ll have clients trying to negotiate lower rates and your income won’t be steady, at least not initially.
5. Medical Education Jobs
Teaching can be an impactful outlet for you.
You’re helping individuals to lead healthy lives.
You can teach digital courses if working at a University or college doesn’t appeal.
You’re leveraging your health & wellness expertise and inspiring the next generation of care providers.
You come up with your own curriculum and developing programs.
You’ll still be earning a salary.
You’re still working for someone else.
Teaching can easily be a full-time job. Even when you’re not teaching a class or course, you’re grading papers and working on your curriculum and program development.
The pay may not be as much as you expected or would like.
6. Healthcare Consultant
Healthcare consultants are needed on every level, from hospitals to government agencies.
It’s a growing industry that plays a significant role in the healthcare system. The job opportunities are on-going.
You can choose to work as your own boss and set your own rates or work for an agency to earn a salary. Consultants are usually highly compensated.
Healthcare consultants are always learning something new and building a strong network.
The travel involved with consulting can get out of hand. You’d have to get used to spending only a few nights at home each week.
Health consultants face a lot of pressure which can easily get overwhelming.
Your schedule will fill up quickly especially if you’re working through a consulting agency.
The busyness of it all may be too much.
7. Medical Editor/Writer
You get to choose your own jobs, gigs and clients.
You have the ability to set your own rates whether it’s per hour, per word, or per article edited or written.
You get to create your own schedule and choose when you get “free-time.”
Once again, you get to be your own boss!
You could choose to open a website of your own and monetize it through ads, selling subscriptions, or other various means.
Finding jobs or people to accept your content isn’t always easy especially with all of the competition.
Setting your own rates can be daunting. It’s never simple to put a price on your creations.
You must constantly strive to find work and clients if you wish to make any money.
Ultimately, you are in control of your creative medical career and you can choose to design it however you would like. Why settle for the status quo?
You should give yourself permission to follow your passion without trading your personal life for a rewarding and financially lucrative career.
What is right for you all depends on your career goals and how you view success but there is certainly something out there that will leave you with more fulfillment than you’re receiving from your current health and wellness position.
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