For better or for worse, it’s true that all good things must come to an end. Whether you find yourself holding your dream title or in a position that is no longer as fulfilling as it once was, there comes a time (or multiple) in everyone’s career that calls for a graceful exit from a position. However, the challenge arises when trying to decide how to know when it’s time to leave. After all, how do you know when the timing is right? Below are a few questions that professionals at every level can use to help guide their decision-making process.
Define your purpose. Even the most seasoned leaders are susceptible to burnout should they lose sight of their professional purpose. Having a well-defined career pathway enables clinicians to identify what a favorable career progression should look like. Additionally, a well-defined purpose also allows clinicians to identify which obstacles are worth pushing through and which are best left alone.
Monitor how you are feeling. No matter what point you are at in your career, every position has its ups and downs. However, a sustained level of frustration or prolonged lack of engagement, may be indicative of burnout rather than just common frustrations every clinical may leader face. Taking a vacation or engaging in different activities in the work place can be a great way take a step back, reenergize, and reevaluate your situation with a fresh perspective.
Identify external factors that would make you want to stay. There is a difference between changes that would make one want to stay in their role versus simply be willing to. While a pay increase may be enough to incentivize someone to be willing to stay in their position, it may not be enough to engage them to want to. Whether you are considering leaving a role because it no longer challenges you, or because you feel you are undervalued, it is crucial to identify whether it is truly time to resign from your position or if it is salvageable.
Make the necessary changes to feel fulfilled. If there is a potential for you to want to remain in your current role, identify what changes might help improve the situation and initiate a conversation with your organization. Collaborating with your organization can be a great way to identify mentorship programs, new projects, or training opportunities that can be used to help find satisfaction within your current position.
Research your options. Going on interviews and exploring your possibilities is an excellent way to create clarity about what your options are and what you want. By doing so, it’s possible to stumble upon a position that you may be a better fit while it’s also entirely possible to gain a newfound appreciation for your current position when reviewing your options.
Don’t allow personal conflicts to influence your decision. While a toxic work environment or culture of bullying may be a valid reason to resign from a role, having one personality conflict with a colleague does not necessarily mean you need to exit the organization altogether. Unfortunately, the reality is that conflicts are bound to happen in professional settings, but it is crucial to work through uncomfortable situations and use them as a learning opportunity to enhance your interpersonal skills when possible.
Last but not least, exit with grace. Once you have decided it is time to resign from your position, the ability to do so with grace is the sign of a true professional. Of course, giving at least two weeks notice is always recommended, and in senior leadership roles, a month’s notice may be recommended. However, being as accommodating as possible in terms of ending dates and flexibility can make a world of difference to employers as they begin the processes of filling the vacancy. Doing so is also an excellent way to maintain professional ties and exit the organization on a good note. Additionally, your new employer will likely appreciate your willingness accommodate the needs of the organization to the best of your ability.
So, what’s next?
With the recent addition of 49,000 healthcare positions added last month alone, job seekers are continuing to enjoy favorable market conditions. But in a sea full of qualified candidates, making sure you and your skills stand out from the crowd is critical.
Interim assignments offer a unique opportunity for leaders to broaden their skillsets through exposure to an array of different work environments. Just listen to how interim assignments have helped a few of our leaders build their leadership skills to be well equipped to handle any situation that comes their way:
“I learn things everywhere I go. In interim positions you get to experience whatever opportunities there are for education at the facilities you are at. You also see a variety of policies and how hospitals handle things differently. Every new place I go adds a new layer to my skillset”. – Interim Director, Family Center Services
“On my last assignment I went in as the interim director then trained the new director once they found someone and onboarded them. After that I went in and trained the manager. I think what [being an interim] did was it made [the client hospital] want to use all my different skills. It really allowed me to showcase all my skills and I felt really good about being able to put all my skills on display instead of just being a ‘one trick pony’”. – Interim Orthopedic RN Navigator Care Manager
“It expanded my knowledge to recognize that while all places may have problems you have to learn different approaches to bring together functional areas. At one particular assignment, there were some real problems and I was just fried. It was a teaching program, the residents were running the schedule and they only had enough staff to staff half the rooms. It was a major challenge but we were able to make it happen. That is an example of a situation that was completely different to what I had experienced previously and really allowed me to grow my skillset [even after having worked in the interim world for many years].”-Interim OR Manager
For related articles:
- Salary Negotiations: Do’s And Don’ts
- How To Make “So Tell Me About Yourself” Your Strongest Interview Moment
- Professionalism…Why it Matters [At Every Level]
MacArthur, H.V. (February 19th 2019) Top Tips For Deciding Whether It’s Really Time To Quit Your Job