Leaving Your Healthcare Job? Decline the Counteroffer. Here’s Why.
When a healthcare provider gives notice to their employer that they intend to resign, in many cases, the employer will respond with a counteroffer. Through a counteroffer, the healthcare organization offers to pay the provider more and to address the factors the provider is dissatisfied with (like work hours or organizational culture) in hopes that the employee will stay.
Losing an employee, especially a healthcare provider, can be costly, inconvenient and disruptive for an employer. It is much easier to convince the provider to stay and offer to pay more and fix issues. Unfortunately, many problems employees have with their jobs can’t be fixed. That’s why accepting a counteroffer isn’t always the best solution. Often, it’s best to just move on and consider new possibilities.
Consider Why You Want to Leave Your Position
If you’ve realized you’re unhappy with your position and have decided to leave, try to pinpoint why:
- Are you underpaid?
- Are you overworked?
- Are you burned out?
- Do you feel unappreciated?
- Have you lost your passion? Are you bored?
- Are you unhappy with the work schedule and hours?
- Do you dislike the leadership, colleagues or work culture?
- Do you lack opportunities for career growth?
- Do you have too much administrative work?
- Do you have too few or too many patients?
- Is the practice environment too fast-paced? Too slow-paced?
- Would you rather work in a different specialty?
- Do you dislike the city or location?
- Do you have a family who wants to move?
- Does the area have a high cost of living?
- Is there a long commute or bad traffic?
If you’re unhappy with your position but the facility is happy with you, be prepared for them to make a counteroffer when you notify them that you intend to resign. While this can boost your ego and make you feel valued at the moment, consider whether accepting the counteroffer is a good idea. Review the reasons you have decided to leave your job. Will the counteroffer fix all of those issues? Chances are, it won’t.
Top 5 Reasons to Say NO to a Counteroffer
Here’s why you should think twice before accepting that counteroffer:
- A counteroffer WILL improve your salary, but it WON’T fix your other issues with the job. While the employer can pay you more, and they might even adjust your work hours, they can’t do much to change the way you feel about the work culture or location. They probably can’t fix issues with colleagues or leadership. To resolve problems like your passion for your role and interest in the specialty, patients, or practice setting, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Your employer is limited in what they can improve. You’ll have to prioritize your happiness and well-being, which may mean turning down a counteroffer.
- You were being undervalued and underpaid in the first place. Let’s face it. The position isn’t the right fit for you any longer. Your employer hasn’t been rewarding you for your full value in the first place. Asking for a raise is one thing, but deciding to leave, then being paid to stay wasn’t your plan. It may feel awkward. When you’re in the ideal position, you’ll be well-rewarded for your specialized skills, expertise and time – and you won’t have to ask for it. The right opportunity is out there; it's just a matter of finding it!
- Your relationship just won’t be the same. If you’ve already told your employer that you don’t want to work for them, even though they’ve countered to keep you, it just won’t be the same. You’ll have lost a bit of their trust. They’ll wonder whether you’re loyal to the organization. They may also wonder when you’ll decide to leave and suspect you’re looking for other employment.
- Your employer may start shopping for your replacement. If your employer knows you’re only staying for more money, and the buy-in is not there, they may start looking for someone else. Rather than paying you more when they know you’ve lost your passion, they may wish to find a new employee who is excited about the job and willing to take a lower salary. While you may think you’ve solidified your position at higher pay, in actuality, you may have sent up red flags and spurred your employer to look elsewhere.
- You have infinite opportunities “out there.” Deciding to leave your position may be intimidating, but you have a world of opportunities to look forward to – and a skilled recruiter can help! You can take another permanent position, work locum tenens or travel assignments, or switch practice settings. You can move to another city or state, find an area where your family will be happier, or settle in a place with great schools if you’ve got kids. You can seek a position with opportunities for leadership and career growth. You can decide what schedule you’d like to work, how fast- or slow-paced a practice you’d like, and whether you want to work in a rural, urban or suburban environment. You can meet new people, learn new things, and rekindle your passion for medicine.
So, how do you tactfully reject a counteroffer?
If you’ve decided you want to leave your position and you’re not interested in accepting a counteroffer, go in prepared:
- Be polite. Don’t burn any bridges. Do your best to preserve relationships.
- Be firm. Avoid wavering. Know what you want and stick to it.
- Be concise. Avoid going into too many details about why you have decided to leave. Don’t complain. You’ll be moving on anyway!
We’re excited about helping you take the next steps in your career. See our current opportunities for physicians at Cross Country Search.