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Reality Unscripted
Not the Job You Thought It Was

Have you taken a job that sounded perfect only to find out you were sadly mistaken?

I have often talked about how much I love my job.  I work in a family practice office and have worked there for nine years.  I love the staff and the docs.  I love (most of) the patients.  In fact, even the patients I don't like that much I have warm feelings for, simply because I've known them for so long.

I started working with my doc right after I found out I was pregnant with my third child.  My hours have shifted and changed depending on what my family needed at the time.  Because the clinic has been so flexible with me, I have tried to accommodate their needs when shifts need to be covered.  It's been a mutually beneficial relationship and a job that I thoroughly enjoy...until now.

Due to the needs of my doc, I am now working Fridays from 8-2.  Sounds perfect, doesn't it?  I thought so, too.  The problem is that Fridays are the days he reserves for paperwork.  It's his day to catch up with the piles on his desk.  The phones are still on and he will see a patient if he needs to, but mostly it's just about digging out.

And the more he digs, the more I'm buried in charts.

My day is spent calling in refills, faxing, filing test results, and answering phones.  All jobs I'm fine with doing--it's just not the job I love.

All the best parts of FP nursing have been eliminated from my job.  I work alone.  ON PAPERWORK!  I realize there are people out there who are cut out for this kind of stuff, but I'm not one of them.  The relationships are gone.  I don't see his other nurses or patients.  I work the phone and shuffle charts.  The days can be stressful, but I'm not juggling the things I enjoy.  There's a difference.

So why am I still there?  I guess it's because I still love the thought of my job.  The staff is the same, the docs are the same, the patients are the same.  It's my duties that have changed.  I guess having great hours isn't all it's cracked up to be if you don't like what you're doing while you're there.  But I hold on because I've learned that change is the only constant.  Before long, I'm sure I'll be doing something different.  I hope.

Have you had an experience like this?  Maybe the job is perfect and you just aren't perfect for it?  Or maybe, like me, a job you once loved changed due to duties, staff, or leadership?  Finding out a job isn't what you thought it was can be very disheartening.  What do you do?  Quit?  Wait it out?

When you feel like you're "in the zone" with a job, it's a wonderful feeling.  But let's face it, most of us don't spend our careers in that place.  It comes and goes.  Enjoy it when it comes, keep putting one foot in front of the other when it goes.  Do a little soul searching to decide if you need to move on or stick it out, but keep doing the job well until you figure it out.

It's bad enough to be in a position you don't love, but to be doing a bad job at it while you're there is completely unbearable!  Give it your best.  At the end of the day, at least you have something positive to hold on to.

Along with soul searching and doing your best, do the obvious.  Talk to somebody who has the power to change things.  It's not fair to them or you to leave without giving them the chance to work on the problem with you.  Maybe they can make adjustment, maybe they can't.  You won't know unless you ask.

Sometimes when we're in a job we don't like, we feel powerless.  But I don't think that's true.  Work for change.  If it doesn't come, you still have a choice.  Change your attitude...or your job.

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