You land your dream job and everything seems like it couldn't be more perfect. But, what happens when you realize that what you thought would be a good fit really isn't? Sometimes life isn't perfect and you need to re-evaluate and do what is best for yourself. And I'm talking about what is best for yourself in both a professional and personal manner.
One thing that I think is so important is that you never want to burn any bridges or lose any connections. Especially in certain geographical areas where the physical therapy community is small. A lot of times people know people who know people who know people who... you get the picture. If you need to resign from a position it is of utmost importance to do so graciously, and with your reputation still intact.
So, what is the "professional" way to resign?
1. First, talk with your supervisor
- Nothing stings more than a complete blind side. If you are struggling in your position, talk to your supervisor or mentor (if you have one). Sometimes your supervisor may not even be aware there is a problem and if it is one that can be rectified the first step is letting them know.
2. Provide your own suggestions on ways to improve your employment situation
- If you are overwhelmed, stressed about scheduling, don't like a certain policy, etc. come prepared with some suggestions on how to fix the situation. Nothing stinks more than having someone say, "This sucks" with no ideas on how they would like to fix the situation.
3. Carefully consider the pros/cons
- Once you've discussed your issues and you've come up with some potential "fixes" decide if this is going to truly work for you. I am a big proponent of keeping a pros/cons list to help yourself see outside of the emotions.
4. Once you've made your decision, create a resignation letter
- There are plenty of resources available online to help you create a professional resignation letter.
5. Give at least 2-4 weeks notice.
- I know most companies have a policy, so you should follow it. Under no circumstance should you ever disappear and leave your caseload with no therapist to treat. Four weeks gives your employer (and yourself) time to assess the situation, find a replacement and get your caseload in order to take over.
6. Discuss your decision (calmly) with your supervisor
- Take the time to discuss your decision with your supervisor in person. Although the professional relationship is not going to work out, they still gave you a position and you owe them the respect to discuss your decision. Again, don't burn bridges- you never know where you may go and who may know someone you worked with before!
7. Move on and keep your lips sealed!
- You've done it! You made it through your resignation notice and now you are free. Be proud that you did what was right for you. But, please keep your lips sealed when it comes to your prior employer. No matter how awful the situation was, you never want to badmouth a former employer. It just plain looks bad on you. It will never reflect poorly on the company.