Doctors like all other professionals experience career challenges. Sometimes these challenges are about moving upwards in your career. Sometimes they are just about dealing with tricky challenges in your current role. Whatever the situation a career coach can often be a useful resource to help you out.
So if you are working as a doctor in Canberra, what are your options for career coaching? Well, like most large cities there is a range of career coaching options in Canberra. Some of the more popular services in Canberra, include Katrina Howard and Kim Vella.
However, our search was unable to find a career coach specializing in medical practitioners or doctors. So you may also wish to consider working with a coach remotely using video-coaching.
Let's talk about some of the ways that doctors might use a coach for their careers.
Interview coaching is an obvious place for a doctor to start with coaching. Interview coaching is a way for some doctors to improve upon their interview skills prior to a formal job interview. Given the high stakes of some medical job interviews its normal to be worried about giving your best performance or that nerves might get the best of you on the day.
During interview coaching, a doctor meets with a professional coach to learn strategies for being more relaxed about the interview process and of course to perform better.
So should you work with an interview coach? And if so, how can you find one that suits your needs?
The most obvious reason is that interview coaching can help increase your chances of getting a job. There are a number of ways this can occur.
- Coaching can help you overcome any nerves or anxiety you have about the process.
- Coaching gives you a chance to experience answering many different interview questions.
- Coaches provide you with feedback to help improve your responses during interviews.
The more you practice with a coach, the more confident you will become. By engaging with a coach you are also ensuring that you commit to your own practice regimen, which is important for a good performance.
Some reasons you may want to consider engaging a doctor interview coach:
- It's been awhile. If it's been a few years since the last time you interviewed for a doctor job or if your last interview was fairly simple and you anticipate this one will not be the same, then a coach can help you rehearse and regain your interview confidence.
- You get nervous before interviews. A little bit of anxiety is good going into an interview. But too much anxiety can affect performance. Practicing with a coach can help you feel more comfortable, relaxed and prepared.
- You get interviews, but not offers. Often its difficult to get honest feedback from medical interviews. A coach may be able to help work out what is going wrong for you.
- You are not sure about something on your CV. Maybe you have had to have a break in work. Or your last job didn't go so well. Are you perhaps switching specialties. A coach can help you with how to tell the right story in relation to these sorts of issues.
- Its your dream job and you want to land it. A coach can help with feeling confident in these situations.
On the other hand, if you're a confident interviewer and have always tended to perform well during interviews, then a coach may not be necessary. But you might still want to think about practising a few times with a friend or a colleague.
Types of Interview Coaching
There are many types of interview coaching. Some coaches meet with you in person, and others speak with you online or on the phone.
In general interview coaches work on something called “performance coaching”. Think of it like a sports coach working with an elite athlete. A key element is practice with feedback. The more practice and the more immediate the feedback the better.
If you meet the coach in person or online, they can also help you develop effective visual communication. The coach can work with you on facial and body expressions that convey trust and show active listening.
Coaches may also help you with other elements of the interview, including how to ask the right questions of the employer, how to research the job and the panel and even some advice on how to dress.
How to Find a Doctor Interview Coach
There are lots of coaches available to choose from in a capital city like Canberra. Career coaches often offer interview coaching. Some things you should consider in a coach are the following:
- What is their training and experience in interview coaching?
- What sort of knowledge and experience do they have with the actual interview process. Medical interviews can be fairly unique, particularly in terms of the types of questions asked and what panels may be looking for. So someone who has actual doctor interview panel experience is ideal.
- Do they provide face to face coaching or on the phone or online. Face to face may seem best initially. But consider that you may need to travel to see the coach and often during normal work hours. Phone coaching and online coaching may be more convenient and cut down on travel.
- What feedback is provided after each session. Phone and online coaches can often give you a recording of the session for you to review.
- What is the price of the coaching.
If you cannot afford a coach, there are some opportunities for less expensive or even free coaching. Your Director of Training may be skilled in interview coaching or may be able to recommend another Consultant in your hospital who is.
Other Types of Doctor Coaching
Some of the other reasons that doctors may seek the aid of a career coach include managing issues in their current role as well as longer term career planning. Here's a couple of common examples:
Entering into Management Roles
At some point in time most doctors get asked to take on some form of formal leadership position. This can be quite a challenging time as often this role transition seems like it has come with little warning or time to prepare. One of the great failures of our medical culture is to inadequately prepare doctors for leadership roles.
So the newly appointed Head of Department or Acting Clinical Director can suddenly find themselves in what seems to be a very foreign land of budgets, people management, risk registers, strategic plans and the like.
More often than not. Doctors can make this adjustment. A career coach can encourage doctors in leadership roles to take a positive and learning attitude to the new role and reframe challenges to see novel solutions. They can also often make suggestions around training or skills development which might assist.
One process that is often suggested in these circumstances is a 360 Feedback, which helps the new doctor manager get some feedback from their team as to how they are performing and what developmental areas they may wish to look at.
Thinking About Leaving Medicine
Burn out is a significant problem in our profession. Many doctors can feel like they have ended up in a career in Medicine which is no longer satisfying them. But they also struggle to see what other options they may have. If they talk about leaving medicine with their colleagues or even friends and family they are often met with well-meaning but largely unhelpful suggestions about how they might be able to keep going or even comments like “but it would be such a waste if you left medicine”.
The role of the career coach in such circumstances is to take a neutral view on the end outcome. Perhaps the doctor hasn't seen all the possibilities quite yet? Perhaps leaving medicine is one possibility, but what exactly does this look like?
Seeing a career coach at such existential times in a doctors career can really help to see the problem in new ways and move through a fog of indecision.
If you would like to discuss more about coaching for doctors, leave a comment below.
If you would like to check out the types of doctor coaching services that I provide click on the link below.