Leaving An Employer On Good Terms Will Pay Off In The Long-Run
I have been with this medical group since graduating residency in 2009, a total of 7 years. Overall I have been quite satisfied but it’s time for me to leave this employer and move on from my full-time position in order to pursue other things.
I started out as a full-time employee and averaged 55 hours a week most years. The pay has always been great with this medical group. I did primary care the first 4 years along with urgent care. The past 3 years I’ve been strictly doing urgent care.
The past 1.5 years I also did administrative work as a medical director. It’s been rewarding and time-consuming.
I Didn’t Do A Great Job Transitioning Off
I had gotten to a comfortable financial position sometime a year ago and though I should have dropped down to part-time I was greedy and continued working full-time, picking up extra shifts and having the rest of my free time taken up by the administration work.
I had too much pride to tell my boss that I wanted to step down from the admin work, partially too because I enjoyed it. The time commitment however was eating into most of my downtime.
Instead I waited until I burnt out, with frequent anxiety and panic attacks in the exam room I didn’t at first realize what was going on. I then took some time off – still not willing to admit that I needed time away.
Even though I continued to do the admin work it left my department hanging, they didn’t know if I was coming back and it made me seem wishy-washy.
I finally had a good talk with my boss, who is also a friend of mine, and we both agreed that it would be best for me to take on a per diem role for now. He was happy to have me still work in the urgent care and had found a few people who were willing to take on the admin work.
Don’t Just Disappear, Put In The Effort, Create Closure
Thankfully I recognized quickly that I’d done a piss-poor job of exiting my role and began damage control. I reached out to every individual member of the leadership team and explained my situation and how it was relevant to their role. This was pleasantly well received.
I was taken off the payroll for my administration work but am continuing doing the task until a suitable replacement is found, someone who then can train with me and take over the role timely and appropriately. It’s the right thing to do.
I also started showing my face more around the urgent care but picking up a few extra shifts. It’s really easy to just ghost your ex-employer – not out of ill-will but because facing them comes with the 21 questions you have to answer.
Most took my modified exit well, naturally some weren’t happy with my decision. But the points isn’t for you to please everyone. The fact that you showed your face, explained the situation is a representation of your character. Having a good reason helps because people often can relate.
What’s The Point Of Making The Effort
Some leave their job because they just didn’t like the work environment, their bosses or their colleagues. They might quit on the spot or give a short notice which will reflect poorly on them – not to mention, a huge pet peeve of managers.
There are a ton of clinical jobs out there, for the most part we can leave without worrying and chances are we’ll get hired somewhere else even if we flip everyone off on the way out of the door of an ex-job.
But I don’t like drama. I don’t like having to explain an awkward work situation to a new employer. If they ask for a former boss’s recommendation I want to be able to give anyone’s name without reservation.
A recent example was one of our doctors who left on bad terms. She then asked for a letter of recommendation from her boss who was kind enough to not smear her name but opted out of filling it out. She didn’t land the new job.
In my example I want to return in the immediate future to work as a per diem, thankfully they have agreed to let me do so. In the distant future I will want to come back and put in 3 more years in order to vest in my pension.
Be Respect Even If You Think You Were The Victim
You might find yourself working for a department that makes a lot of changes and therefore pisses a lot of their doctors off. I was part of such a group back in SoCal.
Remember that the medical group is still your employer. Either have the courage to stand up and respectfully voice your opinion along with suggestions or put up with the changes and adapt to them.
If you decide to leave then there is no need to be a martyr. You won’t be remembered as such even if you are in the right. It’s better to create a good exit strategy, give your management enough time to find a replacement and leave gracefully. You will always be remembered favorably if you do so.
Doing It Right Takes A Little Teeth Gritting
I was asked by my employer to give an official 90 day notice, even though I had given an unofficial one a few months ago. It’s not worth it for me to make a big stink, it’s just the sort of thing that would make the pot boil over.
Retaliating passive-aggressively is even worse. If the nurses start talking shit about you, if your colleagues think you are throttling your work or you cop an attitude then you will ruin your reputation.
Your future career may overall go well regardless of how you exit. However, the path will be far smoother if you do it with class and plan your strategy well.