There are two kinds of people in the world, those that would die for a chance to work for Dr. House (if medicine were their thing) and those that would die before working for Dr. House. Before I explain where I’m going with this, here is short clip for those who are unfamiliar with Dr. House:
Dr. House is a brilliant doctor, which means he takes risks other doctors would never take. He saves many patients other doctors would have lost, but there are some casualties along the way. As for the doctors who work for him, he is brutal. He is verbally and emotionally abusive and works ridiculous hours. The doctors who work for him, however, get the opportunity to work for and learn from the best.
I worked for a Dr. House once. He wasn’t abusive, but working for him meant working around the clock. He was the best in his field, and I learned more working for him for two years than I could have learned in five or ten years working for somebody else. Was it worth it? Probably not. I spent weeks away from my family; weeks I can never get back. In fact, after working for 10 years at my job and reaching the top in my company, I quit.
I gave up 1/3 of my salary and took a job working 40 hours a week (instead of 65 or 70). I went from a corner office to a closet (literally). I went from being a manager to being managed. But I also went from traveling a lot to traveling very little. I went from leaving the office at 7 to leaving the office at 5. I went from not knowing my children’s teachers to knowing them quite well. I went from working on the weekends to spending time with my family on the weekends. I went from defining my success through my career to defining my success through my family.
In short, “I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
So would you (or do you) work for a Dr. House in your field? The question is really this–what would you sacrifice to achieve your career goals?
Published or updated May 23, 2011.