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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?

Author Bio

Total Articles: 1083
Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Article comments


Yes, I worked for a Dr. House once, and I quit. While I was young and single, it was fine, but I planned my exit to coincide with my wedding date. Working so hard for such a jerk (even though he was very good at what he did….he was a real jerk to his employees)didn’t fit in with my priorities anymore.

lulu says:

I would not work for ‘a Dr. House’ because I think that is too much. I would work for ‘Dr. Gregory House’ because I actually do like the character. I think he is funny and only acts that way because he is afraid of getting hurt by other people.

House rocks and I can’t wait for the next episode!!!

DR says:

Lulu, he does rock when watching him through the TV! In real life, not so much.

Angelo says:

I also worked for a female Dr. House. She was brilliant and a workaholic, but when she socialized she was fun and personable. She expected her employees to work the long hours that she did. She wanted everything perfect, which usually meant that hardly anything was ever fully completed. My wife said I changed when I was working for her. I quit after 4 years.

Joe says:

I have been there and done that. I frequently worked more than 100 hours per week. I took work on my vacations and was always on call. The young Docs trying to make a name for themselves were the worst, but it was the administration’s micromanagement that finally broke the camels back. The costs are enormous. I left a few months before I was eligible for a full pension with traumatic stress disorder. I now make one sixth of my former salary, but not regularly waking up all sweaty and screaming is worth it.

DR says:

Joe, I went through something similar. I make about 1/2 of what I would have if I’d stayed at my first job. But I now get a lot of vacation, leave the office at a reasonable hour, and never work a weekend. I wouldn’t go back for anything.

Finance Monk says:

I realize this is an old post, but I would absolutely love to work for a Dr. House.

Top of the field and brilliant? As a 25 year old, that would make working a joy. Work life should be exciting and new – people hate their jobs when they get stuck in routine. I’m stuck in a doldrum of a job, just wishing I can work for someone that will actually teach me something. People like that are few and far between.

DR says:

Finance Monk, that’s exactly the perspective I had when I was 25. I don’t know that I’d do it today, but at 25 working for a Dr. House made a big difference in my career.