Whether you made the decision quickly or you have chewed on it for awhile, it can be quite liberating when you realize you’d like to leave patient care. But, like any other liberating decision, if you aren’t resolute in your choice, you can quickly start to feel uncertainty and regret, and you might let small stumbling blocks morph into insurmountable obstacles if you take the wrong attitude.
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1. You might face judgment and envy.
Leaving patient care is a big move. Our educational programs prepare us to treat patients. What they do not prepare us to do is:
When you announce your plans to transition into a non-clinical career, it’s important to know that there will be some people who are unsupportive of your choice.
And that’s OK.
Yes, some of these people might have felt like friends and trusted colleagues, but they’ll suddenly turn cold and ask you about “your little website” or “that healthcare recruiting thing you’re pursuing.”
The important thing to recognize is that, by choosing to pursue a non-traditional path, you’re essentially choosing a path that deviates from what they feel is their calling. And it calls into question whether they are making the right move by staying put.
Many of us are familiar with FOMO (fear of missing out), and when people make unsupportive comments about your decision to pursue a non-clinical role, their comments are smacking of FOMO.
Don’t let them get to you.
You’re taking your own path, and you’ll be happier for it!
2. The transition might not be easy.
When I decided to make the move to leave patient care, I thought I might make a somewhat simple leap back into my old career: web design.
It didn’t happen.
It turns out that my design skills were a bit obsolete and dated, and companies weren’t eager to hire a designer-turned-PT-turned-wannabe-designer. What a shock 🙂
But running NewGradPhysicalTherapy (NGPT) had shown me I had a passion for writing. So I pursued health-related copywriting as my next move.
That, too, was not easy.
I had to take on free writing assignments to build my portfolio. Then, I had to take shorter writing contracts getting paid lower rates while I worked as a per diem rehab liaison.
But, eventually, you’ll land jobs that pay a little more. Soon, you’ll get jobs where you’re pulling in $30-35/hour. Then it will be $40-45/hour. You might even be working from home!
Some folks are able to leap right out of patient care and into a non-clinical role. For the rest of us, it might not be so easy.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible! If finances aren’t an issue for you, you can even consider getting an additional certification or degree. We’ll discuss those options in later articles.
3. Your resume and cover letter are essential when you leave patient care.
I cannot stress the importance of a good non-clinical resume or cover letter enough. When we posted an ad for a social media manager on NGPT, I was astounded by how many people applied for the role without updating their resumes with any relevant social media experience.
Even if I can go online and see that you’re active on social media, just like any other job, I’d want to see that you took the time to tailor a resume for your job and understand the importance of highlighting your transferrable skills.
The same goes for your cover letter. If you’re opting to apply for a social media manager role at a healthcare tech company, you simply cannot send a generic cover letter and PT resume and expect that company to consider you for the role.
You need to explain who you are, why you are applying for the role, what resonates about the company, and how your experiences make you the best candidate for the role.