After three years on the job at a mid-sized hospital in a small- to mid-sized town in middle America, Chad is thinking about looking around to see what else might be out there. He’s not really unhappy where he is now, but he also doesn’t see much opportunity for advancement. The managers and supervisors in his department have been there for years and don’t show any signs of going anywhere anytime soon.
But Chad doesn’t really want to move his family to a new city either, so his job options are pretty much limited to one of the other two hospitals in town. And everyone in the respiratory care departments in those hospitals knows everyone in his department.
Finding a New Job in a Smaller Respiratory Care Market Presents Distinct Challenges
So how can RTs like Chad go about finding new respiratory care jobs in small towns? Here are a few points to consider –
To tell or not to tell: Since the respiratory care community in his city is so small and interconnected, Chad can either be up front with his current boss and say he’s looking around, or he can keep the idea to himself and hope word doesn’t get back to his manager (or anyone else on staff). Which way to go requires a careful analysis of his individual situation. If he has a good relationship with his boss and she knows he has potential for advancement, she might actually help him network with her fellow RT managers in town, putting in a good word for his work ethic and skills. If, on the other hand, he considers himself good, but not better, than his fellow therapists on staff, being discrete about his job search might be a better tactic, at least until he has an offer in hand.
Why are you leaving? Potential employers are going to want the answer to that question, and the best bet for someone like Chad who really doesn’t want to relocate for a new job is to be honest without disparaging his current employer. Trashing a current employer to a prospective employer – especially one in the same town who knows the managers at employer number one – will send up big red flags to RT hiring managers. The best bet is to clearly articulate why you want to leave and find out if the prospective employer will be able to meet those needs. In Chad’s case, opportunity for advancement is the key reason, and if the prospective employer won’t offer any more potential than his current employer, leaving might not be the right move in the first place.
The grapevine takes over: So let’s say Chad decides to keep his job search on the down low, but a friend of one of his co-workers saw him go into the manager’s office at one of the other hospitals in town and now the cat is out of the bag. There’s no percentage in denying it or trying to finagle some reason why he was there other than to interview for a job. Honesty is always the best policy, and in the end, few people will blame Chad for looking around for something better. After all, they’ve probably either done it themselves, or thought of doing it!