All too often, as we get wrapped up with the day-to-day grind running our agencies, the real reason or reasons that we started down our EMS career path gets lost in the hundreds of things competing for our attention.
Heavy call volumes, dealing with HR issues, reimbursement issues, the need to be positively visible in the community, emails, voicemails, projects on the desk to be completed, planning for the future…all soak up precious time and often conspire to suck the joy right out of the day.
We arrive home tired, frustrated, and find ourselves unable to engage with the most important people in our lives only to get up and do it all again tomorrow. For what?
I want you to STOP for a minute, take out a piece of paper and prepare to think. WHY? WHY did you choose EMS in the first place? What was your life as an EMS/Paramedic/Administrator supposed to look like? What’s really going well? What just plain sucks and isn’t what you envisioned? This quick exercise is about you, not me, so don’t just blow me off … do it.
Well, if you’re like every other EMS person I’ve ever met; you started got into the business for one, or all, of these four reasons:
- To serve your community
- To take care of patients – yep even the frequent flyers
- To advance in both personal and agency capabilities
- To feel like you make a difference in the world
- Alright, maybe a fifth, to drive fast and look cool (in the beginning anyway)
However, like most, you’re not there yet. At least one of these areas is out of whack and you’re not sure not to fix it or you’ve lost sight of it.
Based on the quick exercise that I asked you to do, did you write down your WHY? Are you being true to it? When you are clear about your WHY, all of your business and career decisions actually become clearer as well.
For example, my WHY was to become a paramedic and do the Johnny & Roy thing (seriously…I wanted to be a rescue squad medic). It took me 6 years to get there but once there I worked as an intercept paramedic for more than 20 years…and finally met Randy Mantooth in person 18 months ago.
Along the way I had to change jobs, training paths and lots of other things.
For the agency leaders reading this, I know that it gets frustrating juggling chainsaws and feeling like the world is pushing back against your efforts, however it is CRITICAL that you schedule time off to restore your sanity, your health and to take time to work ON your service rather than in it. I have recently watched a couple of friends in the business drive themselves to early graves by not heeding this advice and earlier this year I had my own health scare for similar reasons.
Going forward, you have to become Positively Selfish sm. My premise is simple, remain positive about your agency, your mission, your staff and your career but also selfish about your agency, your health and your career.
More to follow on this, but throwing yourself under the bus for the good of the organization…isn’t good for it or you. You must selfishly back away, to regroup and plan for the future with a clear head.
Your agency exists to provide the best possible service to your clients, while treating your staff with respect, paying a living wage and being a good corporate citizen. It all begins and ends however with your personal and agency WHY?
So, if you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, overwhelmed, uncertain, trapped or just pissed off, and you didn’t really like what you wrote down a couple of minutes ago…you are NOT alone. In fact, we’ve all been there.
The good news is that you can take specific actions, decide to start honoring your WHY and learn how to change in ways that will make both you and the agency stronger and healthier.
Want to chat about your situation and how I may be able to help? Click here to get started.