6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Quitting Your Job in Healthcare was originally published on HospitalRecruiting.
“The only Zen you can find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.”
-Robert M. Pirsig
Healthcare experiences more employee turnover than almost any other industry—and the pandemic only threatens to make this worse.
We’re losing confidence in our organizations and government. Many of us are wondering if this is the time to quit our jobs and find something new.
The increased stress in healthcare is intense, but it’s temporary. More than ever, it’s important to ask yourself the right questions before making the decision to quit. Here are six questions to help put that decision in perspective.
Why do you want to leave?
On the interview trail, you hear the question: What attracted you to our company?
This sounds straightforward. But what you’re really being asked is:
Are you being pushed from your position?
Are you being pulled toward our position?
By answering this question before you start looking at other jobs, you can gain insight into why you’re thinking about leaving. Are you trying to avoid something bad or is there something specific you’re moving toward? Your answer clues you into what and where the issues are, but also what your motivation is for leaving.
There are good and bad reasons for wanting to quit your job in healthcare. But if you figure out that the issue is with you, quitting probably won’t fix anything.
If the issue is the workplace, it may be time to find a better fit.
Is the grass really greener?
“If you’ve seen one hospital, you’ve seen one hospital.”
You know how true this quote is if you’ve worked in several hospitals.
But you also know that though hospitals are different, they all seem to have the same problems: Culture. Throughput. Broken processes. Dogma. Toxic people.
Every hospital has them, just in different doses.
If you quit, your immediate problem with your boss may go away and your new boss may be awesome. But you may gain an outdated EMR or work with a broken process that moves seamlessly at your current institution.
Which set of problems do you want more?
Take an honest inventory of the new position. Healthcare providers are generally pretty open to other providers when it comes to the truth about workplaces. Everyone knows everyone—so take advantage of our small family and network to learn what you need to help make your decision. Check online sources. Get an insider’s perspective.
The grass, as they say, may only be greener because it’s fake.
How permanent is your problem?
A toxic co-worker who has been fired from his/her last four jobs is probably temporary.
An organization that only promotes when someone dies is a permanent problem.
Start by defining the problem with your current position. Once you understand that, you can envision the end-point.
The more permanent (or farther away the end-point), the more urgent is your decision to leave. The more temporary, the less urgent.
Quitting is often a permanent solution—make sure that your reasons for doing it aren’t temporary.
What problems could quitting create?
If you are only fantasizing about the splendor of your new life, you’re not being objective.
Quitting will have consequences, too.
You could lose money or benefits. You could burn bridges. You could get locked into a restrictive contract that limits your time or freedom in some way.
Take inventory of all aspects of work; not just the bad ones that distract you. Pay, culture, schedule, friends, time off, benefits, opportunities for growth—any aspect of your job. By doing so, you will not only put your current problem in perspective, you’ll also realize what you could lose by quitting.
Have I taken responsibility?
“Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”
-William L. Watkinson
You have control over many parts of your job. Are you exercising that control or are you cursing the darkness?
Did you seek out new responsibilities or did you avoid them and then get passed over for the promotion? Did you join the committee that could fix the problem, or did you join the peanut gallery?
Hospitals generally have avenues to fix problems, and if you learn the lingo and who the players are, you can change things.
The same is true with personal development. Having a sense of purpose, building character, or seeking new challenges are choices that lead to development.
These are internal and external characteristics we can control; it’s not up to our employers to ensure our life satisfaction.
If you’re not willing to accept responsibility at Hospital A, it won’t happen at Hospital B.
Does quitting fit into your greater plan?
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
If you have a life plan, this question is easy.
If you do not have a plan, a new job will feel like a square peg in a round hole. If you’re quitting because you “just want to quit” or because of a temporary reason, you’ll find yourself trying to make a new job fit.
You’ll have to force it to make sense or make excuses for it before it even begins.
If this is your dilemma, then stop.
Instead of focusing on your job and wanting to leave, work on crafting a plan. Let your current job go on autopilot while you’re figuring out what you want. Your plan doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be a direction.
And once you know where you’re headed, the road will become much clearer.
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