Are you working at an office that isn’t so good? Maybe the standard of care is lacking. Perhaps there are safety concerns. Or possibly yours has some internal strife.
As such, should you stay or quit? The truth is, there is no easy answer.
Quitting might solve one problem, but creates another for you and those you serve. And, changing the culture or practices of an office you don’t own or manage seems impossible.
Today, I share some thoughts to hopefully draw you closer to a solution.
Assess the Situation
Take some time to think through and list all the problems that exist. Then, list all the positive things going on. It’s easy to fixate on problems, so spend extra time on the good – what you like about the job.
Give this exercise a solid week or two. Everyone has bad days and even bad weeks, and you need a fair assessment to make the best decision. And, very important, make this assessment away from the office when you are in a neutral setting.
Decide to Stay or Quit
The results of your thorough assessment will give you a good start on the big question: Should I stay or quit?
This isn’t as simple as assigning one point for the positives and one for the negatives to determine the direction. Obviously some factors weigh heavier than others. If your boss is doing something outright illegal and your reputation is on the line, that’s probably enough. Even with all the positive patient and co-worker relationships, or salary and benefits some things can’t be tolerated.
So give each factor fair consideration when you make the decision.
The next big question surrounds your plan.
If you stay, you need a meaningful list of things you can do to impact change. It’s likely you will need a series of lots of small things. AND, you also need a deadline. If your small efforts don’t create meaningful change, what is your exit strategy going to be? Wait until you get a job or take your chances you will find something quickly?
If you decide to quit, then skip ahead to the exit strategy. Identify the type of work environment you want. Market yourself to attract an employer that has created that type of an environment. Ready, set, go!
You CAN Bring About Changes
For those that want to see if they can affect change, let’s do the same thing. Identify the things that have to change and the things that would be nice to change. Next, identify what it will take for each of those things to change. Don’t think it impossible, really dig deep to think about what you can do to influence change.
There are ways you can do this. I wrote extensively about leading your boss several months ago. Click here you want to get some specific strategies on that. Likewise, there are things you can do about leading your co-workers better or introducing better systems and policies. Don’t be intimidated by the odds or size of the problems. You and your patients deserve your best effort in trying to make things work.
There’s a great book called “Influencer” by Joseph Grenny. Watch here and you can see Joseph talk about how organizations can change their culture or behavior in very short order.
Know When to Say When
Keep in mind, there is a point where change is either too slow or not happening. For the protection of your career, your reputation, and your sanity determine where that line is. Give it a deadline so that you don’t keep saying to yourself ‘one more week’ or ‘one more year.’ If you’ve made the effort and the deadline passes, it’s time to celebrate your efforts and reward yourself with a better job.
One very important caution: Don’t slack off or burn bridges when you decide it’s time to move on. There’s never a good time for that, but especially not when you are hunting for a job. You need everything going in your favor and those things can bite you. Show grace, dignity, and integrity. Make them wish you weren’t leaving.
There is Hope
The longer I consult with hygienists and other professionals the more I am convinced there is hope in finding a great job. Many of my clients come to me pretty dejected and beat up. They feel hopeless.
Are you one of them?
Let me tell you something – you can do this! I believe in you. Your best days are ahead of you and you will land a great job. But you can’t get there if you project defeatism on your face and in your mannerisms. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps and rekindle that fire you once had. There are things you can do to make that happen – affirmations, exercise, taking a break, hiring a career coach, and leveraging family or spiritual support. These all work!
I’ve seen some amazing come-backs. I’ve watched clients go from depressed to elated in just a matter of weeks. The common denominator, though, is getting support and help, then getting after it. Decide you going to do this, put your plan together, and execute.
It may take more time than your patience is accustomed to, you’ll lose some battles, you’ll pick up some wins. But ultimately you WILL triumph. I have seen it many times – and I suspect you have to.
Doug Perry is an expert resume writer and job search coach. He and his wife, Tracie, who is a dental hygienist, created GetHiredRDH in response to the challenging dental hygiene job market and have helped thousands of dental hygienists through tips and individual services. If you need individual, click here to contact Doug.