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Should You Change Jobs?

Here are 5 topics that I would like to discuss when it comes to changing your job. This could apply to any healthcare professional but it’s mostly aimed at those who already have a stable job and aren’t miserable doing their work. If you find yourself with even a hint of burnout it would be good to address that immediately.

1. Keeps You In The Game

Many of us take a job straight out of residency and wait too long before changing it. This creates a fear of uncertainty. We talk ourselves into thinking that what we have is already pretty good. And when we go to search for jobs it seems like a daunting task.

If you commit to changing your job and give yourself a timeline then you can become your own best manager and advocate. You will learn to negotiate with businesses and you will take whatever you disliked about your previous job and try to avoid that in the new position. Again, I’m assuming here that you are competent at what you do and that it’s not you who is the problem.

Worst case scenario, you’ll see what’s out there and use that as a negotiation tactic for your own job to either take on a better role or possibly change the circumstances of your work.

Another thing I have noticed is that healthcare professionals are slightly out of touch with what else is out there. There are some incredibly unique and atypical roles which RN’s, MD’s, DO’s, NP’s, PA’s, Pharmacists, Psychologists, and Optometrists can take on.

2. Monotony Will Wear You Out

My colleagues in medicine are worn out, from my observation. I read otherwise on online surveys so perhaps it’s just the places that I’ve worked.

Monotony and stagnation definitely added to my own personal burnout. When we feel challenged it’s hard to burnout. But there are challenges which you cannot overcome and those which you know will make you come out stronger on the other end.

I’ve changed jobs only once from a large medical group in California to their sister group in Oregon. This helped me get by for another 2-3 years until the same symptoms started creeping in. That’s when I called it quits for good.

3. You Will Earn More When You Change Jobs

One purpose of leaving a job is to maintain your value. This is how the majority of other professionals maintain their value in the marketplace. Among healthcare professionals, being a clinician is seen as a higher calling so many are reluctant to command the appropriate remuneration.

When I left my previous job my bosses tried a few tactics to make feel guilty about abandoning my patients. I kindly came back at my 2 bosses, who were sitting across from me, that in fact they were forcing me to abandon my patients because they weren’t willing to give me a higher salary.

Starting a new job means you’ll learn how another medical group does things. For some, it could even mean a new start. You will hopefully learn new skills from new colleagues.

4. Strategic Job Leverage

If you aren’t a complainer at work, it would be very easy to sit down with your boss and let them know that your work is wearing you and your family out. This can become a way for you to haggle with your boss to either get better hours or more pay.

Even if your medical group tries to keep everyone’s salary the same, there are ways for you to do less clinical work or get paid extra for non-clinical work. You might be able to haggle for more OR time and less clinic time or fewer overnight or on-call shifts.

You can use one job against another to bid for a higher salary. You can also cash in your vacation time right after quitting one job in order to enjoy time off before starting a new job. The advantage here would be that you are the one who decides when and for how long you want that time off.

When starting a new job, you can even negotiate an extra month’s pay before you start officially working. For those who have to move for their job or have a good amount of credentialing work to do, this is a viable option.

And as long as you don’t burn any bridges, you can leave one job for another and then return back to the original job if it makes sense to do so.

5. You Will Be Taken For Granted

Medicine doesn’t offer tenure to those with decades of experience. It used to be common for older clinicians to take on more complicated cases where they could take their time working up the patient. Now, it’s more common for younger healthcare professionals who are inexperienced to flood the system and therefore create more work for the senior clinicians.

The longer you stay at your position the less likely you are to leave. Employers know this and the sweet spot is 5 years. If they can keep you for 5 years then the chance of you leaving, even if the work environment becomes toxic, is quite low. After the 5-year mark clinicians often leave due to burnout or due to relocation of other family members. This presents an opportunity for your employer to take advantage of your reluctance to change.

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