I have a career in healthcare, and about six years into my career; I started to feel the burnout. I worked from the office full time, working too many hours per week, and was dealing with infertility. Even before getting pregnant, I started to think about what was next in my career. I did not have a vision of what I wanted and wasn’t finding it in job openings.
Then we entered the pandemic. I was about two weeks into my maternity leave when the world shut down. When my maternity leave was coming to an end eight weeks into the pandemic, physician offices were still closed. I had to learn how to deliver quality healthcare virtually. Once the office reopened, telehealth remained. I got a taste of the potential for working in healthcare from home. The pandemic only worsened my burnout. My heart was not in healthcare anymore. I was scared because I had no idea what to do next, but I knew I was on the edge of walking away.
I was fortunate to find a job posting for a company starting a new department in my field, and, bonus; it was a full-time work-from-home position. Let me tell you; I have zero regrets. My biggest surprise has been how many people are nay-sayers about the work-from-home life! I am an extrovert, and being around others energizes me. My cup is still filled daily because I constantly interact with patients or coworkers. My company hosts town halls, huddles, podcasts, etc., to help us feel connected to each other and the company mission.
I do advocate for having a separate space for working than your regular living space. This helps me to keep in the mindset of working during work hours. I invested in an electric standing desk, an under-the-desk walking pad, and a nice office chair. My work provided a complete work-from-home electronics package. My children do not stay home with me just because I work from home. We still use full-time childcare. Another benefit is I love not needing to drive to work every day. My schedule allows more flexibility and significantly more understanding for sick children, appointments, and PTO. I am more motivated to do things outside the house on evenings and weekends because I don’t constantly feel like I just got home or that I’m not spending enough time at home.
I will not deny I work more in the evenings now than I did previously. However, there are days I don’t open my laptop until 9 am. My time balances out, allowing me to work when I am most productive. I also will not claim to have achieved the elusive work-life balance. At this point in my life and career, I feel that can never be achieved. It’s just another one of those silly sayings like “happy wife, happy life” or “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” False. Work is called work for a reason. It’s not called leisure.
With that small rant aside, working from home saved my career. My burnout healed, and my excitement for healthcare was rejuvenated. I enjoy what I do and want to be the best version of myself at work and home. If you feel burned out, unsure if your career is still for you, or just looking for a change, I encourage you to consider a work-from-home job. You deserve to find a job that fits best with your life, not trying to fit your life into your job. I am grateful for my current opportunity and feel it has the potential to keep me fulfilled for years to come!