This autumn marks five years since I left my two substantive posts to work independently. I truly had a portfolio career – two days a week as a Public Health Consultant in Local Government, three days a week as an Associate Medical Director in the NHS, and one-evening-a-week in my own independent coaching business. But for several years before I was absolutely floundering in my own career!
Remember the 2013 English heath reforms?
Our team of 70 public health professionals moved out of the NHS into local government into 2013. I knew that being a Chief Officer in local government wasn’t for me – but my other main option was a regional role that didn’t fit with my family’s needs. My Medical Director role didn’t allow me to do the strategic, transformational leadership which I loved – I really was starting to flounder and was getting increasingly worried about finding a way forward.
Things came to a head
I worked with an experienced careers coach, but found that she just couldn’t relate to the nuances of my context or my concerns. I had already figured out that I wanted to draw heavily on my psychology intercalated degree, I know that that I wanted to work directly with doctors and public health leaders, and that I also wanted to find a way to still impact population health outcomes.
Things came to a head – the fifth big reorganisation in my 20 year career reared it’s unattractive head, and I didn’t want to go through that process yet again and so soon after the last one. I had been starting to lay some foundations for a change in direction – I had trained to be an executive coach, an occupational physician, and a mindfulness based cognitive therapy teacher – and whilst I absolutely love learning, I was starting to get concerned about the volume of CPD and my multiple professional registrations!
I knew that I had to make some big decisions but was really scared
I wanted to be the person for other doctors and public health leaders that I had needed alongside me over the course of my own career uncertainty. I wanted to be the person that had the backs of doctors and public health leaders in their professional lives, the person whom they could turn to and trust that I would deeply care about their well-being and their professional lives. The only way I could do that objectively was to work independently – and I was terrified at the thought!
Five years later…
As the UK’s leading leading medical and public health leadership and career coach, I’ve worked with over 350 doctors and public health professionals at every age and stage of their career. My clients have ranged from (one) medical student through to multiple leaders in national and international leadership roles. I’ve learned that working with senior doctors, medical and public health leaders is where I can uniquely add most value.
The world needs leaders and clinicians who can do their own best work now more than ever before and it remains such a privilege to share your lives and to be there alongside you, every step of the way, supporting you to be out there doing your own best work and taking care of yourselves and those you love at the same time.
Dr Fiona Day is an expert Leadership and Career Coach and Coaching Psychologist, specialising in the leadership, careers and wellbeing of doctors, medical and public health leaders. She is a former medical and public health leader, is based in the UK and works internationally. Sign-up to her email list here for free resources, news, and more. You can unsubscribe at any time.