How to Avoid “Burning Bridges” When You Hate Your Medical Job

When you hate your medical job, don't unleash your anger.
It is tempting to unleash your anger at work before you quit your job

You’ve had it.  Your boss’ idea of “constructive criticism” is to berate you and your co-workers in public.  Everyone in the office has a bad attitude.  Staff turnover is off the charts.

These are all legitimate reasons to search for a new medical office job.  However, make sure you follow these simple steps so you can leave with your dignity and reputation intact.

1.  Start looking for a job when you have a job

The most important thing to do when a job turns toxic is to start looking for a new position immediately.  Recruiters and hiring managers for medical jobs, like all jobs, view an employed candidate more favorably than an unemployed person.  It all boils down to “Well, someone’s paying her.  She must be good.”

Another reason to start looking for a job when you already have one is it will make your bad situation more bearable.  The fact that you are taking concrete steps to get out of a poor work environment will improve your mood.  It is easier to work at a bad job when there is light at the end of the tunnel.  These actions will help you be remembered as a positive employee not a complainer.

 2.  Give appropriate notice

You get an offer for an outstanding job at a medical office where morale is high, turnover is low, and the pace is just right.  You can start on Monday.  Wrong!  It is still important to give appropriate notice (2 weeks).

There is a critical reason to give notice.  New employers call old employers for references, and old employers can share information that is factually true.  If an employer says, “She was terrible.  She’s unsuited for medical jobs of any kind.”  That is just an opinion, and the person providing the reference has nothing to back that up.  However, if that same individual says, “She told us on a Friday that it would be her last day.  We had no one to take her place on Monday,” that is a fact that makes you look bad.

 3.  Don’t vent in a resignation letter

 It’s tempting.  You were treated in an unprofessional manner for so long that you want to state that this job was the worst medical office job in the world.  Don’t waste your time.  A much better strategy is to write a succinct resignation letter that states…

  1. You are resigning.
  2. Gives a resignation date two weeks after the day you hand it to your supervisor.
  3. Make one or two nice statements about the practice. Examples:  “I grew professionally during my time here,” or “I learned to handle difficult situations in a tactful manner.”
  4. A sentence that wishes the members of the clinic well.

A clear one paragraph note that encompasses the above information is all you need.  Make sure you keep a copy of the resignation letter for your records.  Just like all medical jobs require charting to avoid confusion, you want to keep a record that shows you ended your employment in a professional manner.

With the economy picking up and more people looking to hire, there is no reason to suffer at a bad job.  Just remember to heed this advice so you will continue to advance professionally without angry colleagues standing in your way.

Susan Gulliford is a Senior Resume and Career Services Consultant and Writer for DoctorCPR.com: America’s #1 Site for Medical Jobs and Practice Resources

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