Nearly two years ago, I took a chance, packed my car with all my belongings, and moved to Seattle, where I had a job interview lined up for a medical assisting position. The interview seemingly went well, and I was confident I would hear a ‘Welcome to the team!’ by Monday. Unfortunately, Monday came and went, then Tuesday, then Wednesday… Somehow, my master plan was not working out as I intended, and I decided I needed to get back to the hunt (job hunt, that is). I sent cover letters and resumes flying out to the ether, and before I could bat an eye, I received a cheery reply inviting me to an interview at Lake Washington Sports & Spine for the next day. That was quick!
The following morning, I fought the unfamiliar Seattle traffic to arrive bright and early, dressed to impress. This interview lasted nearly until lunchtime, and I don’t remember many specifics aside from the fact that I left desperately wanting the job, but woefully aware that I had flubbed it at every turn. I sat in my car worrying over everything I had said and everything I should have said instead… I contemplated calling to explain that ‘I can do better! I can show you! I’m not that anxious of a person!’ (false- I am). While I ruminated over and over on my performance during the interview (how come I hadn’t felt this way after my interview from the week before?) I was saved from going down the rabbit-hole of worry and self-doubt by the ringing of my cell phone. It was Laura on the other end, asking me “Won’t you join our team?!” I was flabbergasted. I was convinced I would not be hearing from them, let alone so soon after the interview. “Holy buckets! Of course!” I squealed, and I was quickly out-squealed by the ensuing clamor of cheering and dog barking in the background.
The process of becoming a part of the Lake Washington Sports & Spine family is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to story-telling. I could write about the time I was convinced I had poisoned Dr. Hyman’s pup Nala with sugary sweets (nope, turns out Dr. Hyman swiped the treats himself), the time Laura scared the britches off me when she popped her head through the ‘pee collection’ window into my office, or the time Dr. Chimes ran around the office all day testing everyone’s grip strength and championing our very own ‘Office Olympics.‘ But these memories are only one piece of the pie. The whipped-cream on top (or ice cream a-la mode) is the accumulation of invaluable lessons I have learned along the way, which I will carry with me for the rest of my life. In no particular order, these are the pearls of wisdom I’ve gained from my time at LWSS:
Lesson #1 (Ok, I lied, lesson #1 is first for a reason): Prioritize. There are only so many hours in a day, in a week, and in a lifetime, so it is crucial to make clear to yourself, and others, what your priorities and values are. Say no if something doesn’t fit under one of your priorities. This time-management tool also helps me weigh what I’d like to get done with what I am actually capable of getting done, and helps me to feel more satisfied with my accomplishments at the end of each day.
Lesson #2: Keep a growth mindset. Through consistent and constructive feedback, I learned to be comfortable with making and learning from my mistakes. I learned that it is important to seek feedback and to continually strive to improve, otherwise one stagnates. I also learned first-hand how valuable it is to work with a mentor who is willing to teach, challenge, and share.
Lesson #3: Sing and be goofy. “All work and no play makes…” life a lot less enjoyable! Working alongside Dr. Hyman really impressed upon me the value of being goofy, doing the things that bring you joy, and occasionally throwing a nerf ball at your office manager while wearing a superhero cape.
Lesson #4: Bandwidth. This is a phrase we used at the office all day long, and is something that I have now adopted into my personal life. My friends and family will often hear me saying “You know, I’d love to hear your story but I just don’t have the bandwidth for it right now,” or my partner will ask me what my bandwidth level is before launching into a story about the fulcrum load effort of his PR squat press that day. Talking about attention span in terms of bandwidth has proven to be revolutionary in allowing me to be more intentional when talking with friends and family.
Lesson #5: Sweat not sweets. The LWSS Sweat Club (our motley crew of whichever ladies decided to stay late after work to work out in the waiting room) inspired me to actually make the lifestyle changes that I want to see become a reality. Laura and Elianna in particular inspired me with their dedication to their fitness goals, which has encouraged me to pursue my own. Also, the office policy of (generally) not keeping sweet treats around is one that proves quite valuable in my own food endeavors at home; out of sight, out of mind!
Lesson #6: A/B testing. There is value in comparison, and not everything works well. I observed the doctors frequently ‘A/B testing’ their approach to various situations, and I appreciated that they encouraged everyone in the office to practice it as well. A/B testing is the idea of trying out strategy A for one situation, and then trying strategy B in the same situation next time, to help determine which is the best approach. This is a tool that will help me figure out my optimal time management plan, study strategies, or more importantly, my favorite chocolate bar.
All said and done, I cannot thank my Lake Washington Sports & Spine family enough for all that they have taught me over the past two years. These lessons will carry me forward as I pursue my next endeavor of becoming a PA. In the next phase of my career, I can only hope to find mentors as invested in my growth as both Dr. Hyman and Dr. Chimes have been, and a workplace as joyous as LWSS. So long! Merci Buckets!