Whether you’re a healthcare or legal professional wanting to change jobs, navigating your way through this process requires care. So, what is important to consider when you want a change?
Even the best healthcare jobs and legal jobs have use-by dates, leading you to decide it’s time to change jobs.
Changing jobs doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the work you’re doing or have grown to dislike the organisation you work for and people you work with. If anything, it fits with a growing trend: According to a 2019 US Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of boomers, the average number of jobs in a lifetime is 12, with predictions that the post-boomer generations will change jobs up to 17 times!
So, given it looks highly likely you will change your job several times, what is important to consider as a healthcare professional or legal professional when you change jobs?
Recruitment 101: What to consider when changing jobs
Many contracts will outline a minimum notice period, but if yours doesn’t, giving ‘reasonable notice’ is recommended.
The concept of what is ‘reasonable’ will vary from case to case, and factors such as how long you have been employed, current case-load and how easy it is to replace you should all be factored in.
At a minimum, four weeks is a standard notice period, with a caveat written in that this could be shorter if such works for both parties.
Most healthcare and legal professionals will have a range of patients or clients they are currently servicing.
Besides restraint of trade (discussed below), ensuring a ‘clean’ exit from your current workplace around your patients or clients is important for maintaining professional etiquette and ethics.
As a healthcare professional, ensuring patient care is maintained is critical, so be mindful of the following:
- Patient Recalls. Ensure the clinic has clear instructions around patient recalls and follow-ups, particularly for urgent recalls.
- Documentation. Check through patient records and your clinic inbox/task system to ensure referral tracking, patient results and hospital documentation are part of a handover to your successor.
- Notify anyone you have correspondence with – such as specialists, Medicare, AHPRA etc- that you are leaving.
- Finalise the process with a letter to the practice outlining what you have done to facilitate a clean handover.
In a similar vein, if you are a legal professional leaving an organisation, you will likely be in the middle of several proceedings you won’t be around to see out.
As with medical professionals, ensuring all correspondence and documentation is up to date and organised for handover is crucial. In terms of client notice, the law firm itself will take care of this.
In some cases, clients may want to discuss your departure with you or wish to transfer their case to your new firm. Just as with healthcare professionals, this is where contractual obligations and restraint of trade must be carefully considered before any agreements are made or action is taken.
3. Restraint of trade
Restraint of trade is not a specific phenomenon of the medical or legal professions but is certainly one of the most important aspects of changing jobs to be carefully managed.
Restraint of trade clauses in contracts generally fall into two categories:
- Non-competition clauses that seek to prevent providing services at another practice or firm within a defined area, both during the current engagement and for a period after it ends; and
- Non-solicitation clauses that seek to prevent the solicitation of staff, patients or suppliers of their practice or firm.
Being very clear about these time and geographical constraints is key to ensuring you don’t fall foul of your restraint of trade clause.
A crucial aspect of restraint of trade concerns records. All patient and client records remain the property of the organisation you are leaving, and it could be a major breach to make copies of these to take to your new job. Of course, some patients or clients may want to move with you to your new organisation. It is important to note though, to do the right thing in terms of transparent communication and to avoid any legal entanglement.
4. Dignity, courtesy and professionalism
Maintaining a high degree of dignity, professionalism and courtesy is our final advice on leaving a job. Neither you nor the firm you are leaving wants an acrimonious departure that could lead to reputational damage.
Done properly, leaving a job can be a positive experience, with no bridges burnt or bad feelings, and instead within a more positive environment of there being a sense of mutual respect between you and your previous employer.
Gorilla Jobs Can Help You
We love what we do at Gorilla Jobs, and while there are challenges, we are always ready to help you as a candidate or recruiting organisation to ensure the best talent ends up in the best jobs. Reach out to us today if you have any questions!