An interesting article appeared recently in the online newsletter, Practice Update, of the American Psychological Association Practice Organization. The article briefly profiles two practicing psychologists in the early stages of their careers. It highlights the role consulting work has played in helping to create for each of them a satisfying and rewarding professional experience.
Shift From Permanent to Interim Assignments
The article goes on to outline four suggestions offered by these professional consultants for setting up a successful full time or part time consulting business. The tips they offer have a certain relevance to medical, clinical, and hospital management professionals who are considering a shift in career emphasis from permanent positions to temporary assignments.
- “Educate yourself.” Seek out information from previous and current mentors, advisors, and anyone presently engaged in an interim position at your current organization. Ask about specific issues, benefits, challenges, and practical advice for successfully integrating as a temporary member of a permanent team.
- “Lay the groundwork.” Set up a solid foundation for the most stable arrangements possible. Check with an accountant and possibly an attorney about issues related to managing real estate assets and financial planning. There are ways to maximize the economic benefits of rotating through interim assignments and the itinerant lifestyle that goes with it. Understand all your options and how to optimize and protect your assets.
- “Build relationships.” Reach out beyond the immediate surroundings of your professional role. Get to know staff in other departments. Understand their issues, objectives, constraints, and opportunities as much as possible. Become a student of the organization’s culture and develop a holistic sense of the organization’s structure. Respect confidentiality and accountability in your connections with other members of the team.
- “Find the right balance between too little and too much.” The distribution of your time between “all-in” professional assignments and “all-out” personal fulfillment has to strike a unique balance that’s right for you. The professional opportunities will recharge your career standing and bank account. The personal opportunities will help to renew your sense of perspective and personal values. The right balance between the two is up to you.