“…picture a map with point A, which is where you are now, and point Z, which is where you retire after a long career. Twenty years ago, there might have been a reasonably finite number of straight lines connecting those two points. Now it’s like a UV light has been turned on, illuminating dozens of previously hidden interconnected pathways that branch and diverge in many directions. And within this maze are any number of paths that may prove deeply fulfilling for you.”
How many times have we heard that phrase over the past year? Thankfully, the first specks of the “new normal” pundits have been hawking at us since the start of the pandemic have finally begun to materialize, and along with this new normal comes a set of New Rules.
The New Rules of Work: The Muse Playbook for Navigating the Modern Workplace by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew was published in 2019, but couldn’t feel more timely. This book targets all professionals, whether those of you just starting out in your careers, midway through and hoping to shake things up, or in the latter years of emergency medicine practice and hunting for a new role. The authors write, “whatever your current obstacle is, you can face it. The only thing you shouldn’t be doing if you’re feeling stuck or disillusioned or stressed out is nothing. There are always next steps to take, new strategies to try, and new skills to build.”
Stressed out? YES.
Cavoulacos and Minshew describe one’s career as “a lifelong process of honing skills, developing self-awareness, and understanding what really makes you tick– and how you can best apply all of that to your work,” and we couldn’t agree more. Rather than a cut-and-dry definition of what a career in emergency medicine looks like (ex. decades of working X number of 8-hour shifts a month, teaching some learners, and doing your administrative work), instead we face a perpetual journey of examination, semi-intentional detours, and self-challenge. In The New Rules, the authors guide the reader through several stages of a career pivot, starting with self-reflection on current values and mindset. They then provide concrete strategies for building one’s brand, networking, interviewing, and negotiating, and round things out with several suggestions for improving efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace. Some favorites:
- Under the Old Rules, one made their career decision in young adulthood, stuck to it, and followed a preordained path to an inevitable conclusion. The New Rules reframe that to focus on the next 2-5 years: “…this isn’t about finding the perfect career forevermore– it’s about finding a job that’s the best fit for you right now.” The last 2 years have taught us that nothing is certain in the future, so why center decades from now in our decision-making, rather than the present?
- Networking under the Old Rules felt like a disingenuous, awkward activity focused on shameless self-promotion, and I avoided it like someone coughing maskless on the bus. The New Rules, however, encourage us to “look at networking as building relationships that grow over time, rather than a business transaction where you need something” to allow its value to multiply. That I can do (and the authors even offer a list of “Seven Ways to Fit Networking into Your Really Busy Schedule”– a really busy thank you!).
- Although the Old Rules sold interpersonal skills as personality traits inherent to the individual, something you either had or ya didn’t, the New Rules emphasize personal responsibility for professional development, urging readers to intentionally approach “refining your interpersonal skills, which includes both building strong relationships with your colleagues and learning how to manage up early in and throughout your career.” Cavoulacos and Minshew do a deep dive into effective strategies for this managing up, as well as running meetings, corresponding over email, public speaking, conflict resolution, and even delegation and mentorship.
Lots to cover in one lil’ volume, but The Leader’s Library is here to help! Whether you’re a C-suite executive hoping to close out your career with a new role in education, a student hoping to meld multiple passions into your future emergency medicine career, or a mid-career faculty member wondering where your post-Covid professional journey may take you, our next discussion is for you! Grab the book and join a diverse group of emergency medicine faculty whose widely varied career paths will converge on the discussion from April 18-20 on Slack. Everyone is welcome. Sign up now!
When: April 18-20, 2022*
Platform: Slack app
Size: 40 registrants
* The Leader’s Library runs asynchronously on the Slack app– jump in whenever you have time!
Deadline to sign up: March 30, 2022
- Submit your interest form with your contact information.
- We will inform you if you’re selected by April 1, 2022.
We would absolutely love to learn and grow with you! Sign up now to secure your spot!
- Al’ai Alvarez, MD: Director of Well-Being at Stanford Emergency Medicine (@alvarezzzy)
- Felix Ankel, MD: Emergency Physician, Regions Hospital. Medical Director, Education, HealthPartners Institute, Professor of Emergency Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School (@felixankel)
- Winnie Chan, MD: Associate Physician Eden Emergency Medical Group, Per Diem Physician at San Francisco General Hospital and Kaiser Permanente Redwood City (@chanEMdoc)
- Nikita Joshi, MD: Medical director of Alameda Hospital Emergency Department, Chief of Staff Alameda Hospital (@njoshi8)
- Sreeja Natesan, MD: Associate Program Director, Duke University (@sreeja_natesan)
- Deepa Ravikumar, MD: Senior Medical Director, Ro, Healthcare Technology Company; Clinical Instructor, Mount Sinai Hospital Emergency Department
- Dina Wallin, MD: Co-Medical Director of PEM, San Francisco General Hospital; Director of Didactics, UCSF-SFGH EM residency, San Francisco, California
Learn more about the other Leader’s Library book clubs.
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