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Toni Talks about PT Today

Deciding When to Move On

Published September 2, 2009 12:59 PM by Toni Patt
How do you know when it's time to start looking for another job, or in my case, another assignment?  For the last two weeks I've been asking myself that question.  I've experienced some things over the last few weeks that have made me start to wonder if that time has come for me.  This morning the light bulb went off.  It might be time to make a change.  I looked at my caseload and felt overwhelmed before I even started.  I don't mind working hard, but I'm tiring of not sharing the load equally.

First, my horse died a few weeks ago.  He'd been sick, looked to be recovering then went bad quickly.  Training that horse was the main thing that kept me in this area.  If I don't have to make arrangements for a horse, I can live anywhere.

Second, I had a run in with a petty co-worker.  We weren't communicating very well.  When I asked to meet with her and the manager, I was told how rude and disrespectful I've been to her.  She was offended that I would even mention this to our manager and felt it was an insult to her skills as a therapist. All I said was we were having trouble communicating and I wanted to clear it up before patient care was affected.

Third, I will be finished with my classes this January.  I can take the geriatrics exam anywhere.  If I decide to pursue my PhD, I can do so in Dallas or in St. Louis where I'm originally from.  That's a tough call.  Dallas would be warmer (and closer) but I miss many things that are only found in St. Louis.

There are more job opportunities now than previously.  It probably wouldn't be too difficult to find another job if I decided to leave the city.  There are plenty of hospitals and whatnot here in Houston.  A re-assignment wouldn't be difficult either.  Besides, my company has a branch in Dallas as well.

I like what I'm doing.  If I move, I won't be able to recreate this position somewhere else.  I'd have to prove myself all over again.  It doesn't matter how good you were.  It matters how good you are.  Of course I could find something I like better.   I could find something completely different.  I might not find anything and decide to stay put. 

Something, in addition to my attitude, has to change.  Moving has the appeal of something new.  Staying is comfortable, but will require me forcing some changes which might not be possible.  One of the benefits of being a PT is the ability to change jobs easily.   In the short term I won't be making any changes.  I'll focus on my next class (pharmacology) and research my options.  I will also talk to my manager.  The problem is I'm undecided if fixing things where I am will fix everything.


Hey Toni, First of all, sincere condolences on the loss of your horse. So much of our lives are governed by our animals.

I understand all too well the wonders and hardships of change (have a look at my blog!). You have vast opportunities in front of you now. Yes, you may have to prove yourself again, but it doesn't take long to see when someone really has their act together.

Just be aware that no matter where you go, there will be petty co-workers and those that don't hold up their end of the work load. Moving won't change that.

Now it is time to do what PTs do best...evaluate.

Good luck!

Dean Metz September 3, 2009 9:42 AM

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