Leaving Your Job: Exit Strategies for a Smooth Transition
Job transitions are a fact of life. It doesn't matter if you are leaving for a new dream job or because of a layoff, a job transition can become awkward if not handled correctly. There are many important factors to consider when planning your exit, some of which should started as soon as you begin your job search. To help ensure a smoother transition you may want to consider employing some of these strategies in your exit plans.
Preparation is KeyIt is important to lay the groundwork ahead of your transition. Most providers schedules are booked weeks to months ahead of time so be sure to provide as much warning as possible to your employer. It can also take a while to hire, orient and credential your replacement so the more time you can give them the more grateful your current employer is likely to be.
Check Your Current Employment ContractBefore you get too far into any job transition it is important to consult your current employment contract. Do you have any non-compete clauses or post-employment practice restrictions in your contract? If so, you need to evaluate your options. Some contracts can restrict your future practice location or specialty based on the premise that you could be in direct competition with the practice. It is also important to check for any mandatory requirements like resignation letters or specific timelines for announcing your last day of employment. Frequently employers will stipulate that providers give at least 30-60 days' notice prior to leaving.
Keep it ProfessionalThe old saying "don't burn your bridges" is true. You never know when or how your current employer will play into your life somewhere down the road. This is especially important in medicine where your reputation is key and communities can be close knit. It is also important to remember that many hospital and state medical boards will ask for your former colleagues or Supervising Physicians references when applying for credentialing. Even if you are leaving the "world's worst job" be sure to be respectful and take the higher road. Ranting about how horrible everything was on the way out the door is counterproductive and makes you look bad.
Be an Available ResourceAssisting with any administrative issues that pertain to your exit will certainly make any transition smoother. Consider volunteering to help find or interview your replacement. If the situation permits, you can act as a resource to train your replacement prior to leaving. Your input can provide great insight for the new hire while also easing the burden associated with your leaving.
Finish StrongIt may be tempting to "check out early" and coast your way to your last day but try to resist the temptation. Avoid gushing over your new job sharing any juicy details about the perks and compensation. Leave your employer on a high note doing the best job you can so that others remember your great work quality.