Getting a new job is usually an exciting time for healthcare professionals. A job change presents an opportunity to gain more knowledge, connect with new patients, and continue expanding your career in medicine. While a new job can be the highlight of one’s career so far, many healthcare professionals struggle with the looming task of leaving their current position. They want to be considerate when resigning, while maintaining good relationships with their former colleagues.
Fortunately, the resignation process does not have to be stressful. By following a few simple steps, you can give notice without burning any bridges, or leaving a poor impression with your previous employers.
1. Have a Concrete Job Offer Lined Up
It might sound obvious, but make sure you have a legitimate job offer before resigning from your current position. You should have an offer letter from your new employer, and already discussed your start date. Otherwise, you might end up in an awkward circumstance where a prospective employment opportunity falls through, and you resigned your current position. A concrete job offer also makes it easier for you to explain to your employer your reasons for leaving.
2. Draft a Resignation Letter
Before speaking with your supervisor, draft a resignation letter to bring to the meeting. Your letter should be short and concise, explaining that you are leaving your current position to accept a new and exciting opportunity. It is also a good idea to indicate in your letter how much notice you’re giving your employer (two weeks’ notice is typical). Be polite and respectful in your resignation letter, and express your gratitude for the opportunity to work at your present institution.
3. Have an In-Person Conversation with Your Supervisor
The prospect of facing your supervisor to announce your plan to leave your current position is often nerve-racking, but nothing is more disrespectful than resigning by email or through a telephone call. Although it can be difficult, plan an in-person conversation to announce your resignation. Your supervisor should be the first person to hear about your new job offer. You don’t want to be in a situation where your news comes from another employee.
4. Be Prepared for Questions or Counteroffers
It doesn’t always happen, but some employers will present a counteroffer to entice you to stay at your current institution, or ask you questions about your decision. For example, your boss may ask you to stay longer than your requested resignation date. Or, in a worst-case scenario, your boss may become frustrated and make today your last day instead.
For healthcare professionals trying to move on, dealing with counteroffers or other questions can be awkward. Therefore, be prepared for potential counteroffers to your resignation or unfortunate responses. The key to dealing with these situations is to clearly understand why you’re leaving your current position. Then you can determine if a counteroffer or question posed by the employer addresses those reasons. Otherwise, stick to your guns and pursue the opportunity that you believe will further your career goals.
5. Keep Feelings of Frustration to Yourself
Not everyone leaves a current position because of frustration. But if you do have those feelings, keep them to yourself as you transition out of your old job. Avoid spreading negative gossip, and definitely don’t share your dissatisfaction on social media platforms. Such actions can leave bad feelings with former colleagues, and give a new employer an awkward first impression if your postings are seen. It’s better to internalize these thoughts, and stay optimistic that your new job will move you away from these grievances.
6. Express Your Gratitude to Your Colleagues
Finally, before you head to your new opportunity, spend your last days at your previous job with a good attitude. Take time to thank your former colleagues. Express your gratitude for the opportunity to work alongside them for as long as you did. Ending things cheerfully will help you maintain good relationships with your former colleagues, and ensure your professional network does not deteriorate.
By following these steps, you will be able to leave your current job on a positive note and head into your new position with a great attitude!