How To Find Happiness In Your Optometry Career

At Vision Expo East, Dr. Patricia Fulmer and Dr. Matt Geller sat down to discuss motivation and career happiness. How do you find happiness in your optometry career? What actions should you take to do so? Watch the video for the full discussion!

What does it mean to be happy in your career? How do you know when you’re happy — or better yet, when you’re unhappy?

“When you leave your house in the morning and drive to work, what is the feeling that you get, in your body, in your mind?” asks Geller. Are you excited to go to work, or are you dreading it? “That’s your barometer, right there, to know if you’re happy or not.”

He says the same thing goes for life happiness, but in the opposite direction: are you happy when you’re on your way home? “You should feel happy on both of those drives,” says Geller.

How do you decipher between a rough patch and a bad fit?

“You have to define where you’re going, and ultimately where you want to be in your career and in your life,” Geller says. Imagine yourself many years in the future — when you’re 70, or 80, perhaps — and what your life would look like without regrets. What does that mean for you?

You can’t reach a goal without setting one first, and knowing what you want your life to look like will help you set those goals.

So how do you go about setting goals?

“I think the most audacious goal-setting happens at how much you want your net worth, or your yearly income, or where you want to be when you’re at that retirement stage — what do you want your financial life to look like,” Geller says. “And I think it’s avoided because it’s very taboo. There’s a lot of preconceived ideas around being wealthy or generating money.”

“But it’s a place to start. And not because it’s the most important thing, but because it enables you to make other decisions a bit easier,” explains Geller.

When setting goals in your personal life, it’s important to think about what you want your financial situation to look like. Also what do you want your relationships to look like: do you want a wide social circle, or a narrow but deep one? Where do you want to live, geographically? And how are you going to give back to society, particularly in terms of knowledge and learning? “Those are four pretty good areas you can start to outline, and they’re different for everyone, but they’ll give you a bit of a shell to start with,” he says.

Once you set goals, you know what you need to focus on. For Geller, the decision to go full-time with CovalentCareers came in the realization that focusing on the company, even if it meant losing the money that came from practicing, could lead to the types of results he wanted — but lesser focus could not.

What holds people back?

Geller thinks there are a few things that hold people back from fulfilling their potential. “Number one being our conditioning, and what we were told and what we heard,” Geller says, particularly around finance. “The fear is real, and the fear shouldn’t prevent someone from doing something,” Geller says.

Fear can be a warning, but it can also be channeled into motivation to make it a more useful feeling. “Reframing [fear] into motivation, or reframing it into something else to make it more useful for me towards that end goal,” Geller says, is how he deals with emotions that could otherwise hold him back.

Got any questions for us? Leave them in the comments!

About Eleanor Gold

Eleanor Gold
Eleanor Gold is the Managing Editor at CovalentCareers and NewGradMedia.

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