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PT on the Run

Turnover and Guilt

Published May 8, 2014 4:23 PM by Michael Kelley

When I first interviewed for my current position, my supervisor told me up front that the average turnover rate for new therapists was six years. At the time, as a new grad, I was kind of surprised this potential employer was so up front about this type of statistic, but alas, it's been something I've never forgotten. I've been at the hospital now for four-and-a-half years and over the past year or so, I've thought pretty seriously about moving on to a new job. But then, the guilt sets in.

At first I felt guilty to even think about leaving because there were therapists at the hospital who had a year or two of seniority on me, and I felt they should be able to move on in their careers and I should wait my turn. Well now, I'm third in line in terms of seniority, and the two ahead of me aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Then more guilt set in because I had only been at the hospital a few years. I'm involved in a whole host of projects and committees and not to sound self-absorbed, but my leaving would leave gaps in a number of different areas.

Last winter I thought pretty seriously about looking for a new job. I did some pretty thorough searches online for different positions in and around Chicago. However, after some close examination of my schedule, I realized I had already planned a number of trips that required pretty much all the vacation time I had banked at my current job. So starting a new job would cause me to lose all of that time and prevent me from taking those trips. Alas, I'm still at the hospital. I still enjoy where I work, so I haven't reached the "burnout" phase just yet. But I'm getting close, perhaps a little sooner than the average "six years." Hey, when your heart's not in it anymore, it's time to move on.

When do you think it's time to move on to a new job? Do you ever have guilt about leaving and if so, how do you deal with it?

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