When I was 22 years old, I was working a full-time position at Savannah Pediatric Surgery and Gastroenterology. While I was there I loved my coworkers and making patients smile at the front desk, but I knew it wasn’t where I wanted to be. However, it has always been my goal to be a hard worker no matter where I am and build meaningful relationships along the way. I knew I had established meaningful relationships at Ped’s Surgery after one of the surgeons approached me inquiring about my life goals.
It was a Friday afternoon when Dr. Carney asked me to walk with him since I wasn’t really busy. On our elevator ride down to the first floor he asked me how everything was going at work. Since I try not to be a complainer–I said everything was well. As we continued to walk to the parking deck he asked me what college I graduated from, what I studied, and if I could have my dream job right now–what would it be? Its crazy because although it’s been more than a year, I can still remember the conversation vividly and I still have the sticky notes with all of his quotes.
[Note to all: I write all good motivational quotes on sticky notes & post them to my mirror.]
After responding to his questions, Dr. Carney looked at me with a box full of charts in his arms and said, “Kid, you’re a hard worker–but I don’t want you working here much longer.” I was confused and it was written all over my face because he went on to explain himself. “It’s not that I don’t want you here, but if you were my kid I wouldn’t want you settling just because this was your first job after college and I’m sure your parents would agree. Let me know if I can be of any help.” I understood his explanation very well and the conversation left me in deep thought as I rode the elevator back up to the third floor.
Everything Dr. Carney said to me during that walk stuck with me while I was working at the practice. Honestly, the conversation couldn’t have happened at a better time. Clearly, I was becoming comfortable although the medical field was never a realm I intended on entering. I was becoming attached to patients, their parents and their stories. Although I was still applying to jobs in news, I was losing sight of my original goal while enjoying comfort.
That same day I kicked my job search into overdrive. I started receiving callbacks and going to countless interviews, most notably my interview in New York for the Page Program. Unfortunately, I was not selected as a candidate for the program. Rejection stings and when I realized I wasn’t going to be wearing a grey Brooks Brother’s suit in the summer–I was crushed! After receiving my rejection notice I received a tremendous amount of support from those around me–including my coworkers at Ped’s Surgery. I picked myself up and continued applying to jobs like crazy! I just kept replaying my conversation with Dr.Carney & the promise I made to leave. In due time a door finally opened for me.
Sometimes the push you need is a combination of rejection, encouragement and someone reminding you that comfort is not an option. Dr. Carney’s conversation was that reminder for me. Whether you realize it or not, the people who care will always push you when they notice you’re not living up to your full potential. Always, ALWAYS be thankful for the push–it will make all the difference in your future.
NOTE TO ALL: Break free of your comfort zone!
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