Ep #17: How You Know It’s Time to Quit

Clinicians Creating Impact with Heather Branscombe | How You Know It's Time to Quit

Things may have been different in past generations, but these days, nobody trains in their chosen clinical career with the intention of working in one place for the rest of their working life. There is nothing wrong with spending your career in one place. However, if you’re ready for a change, how do you know when it’s time to quit?

Whether it’s a change in your life circumstances like you need to relocate, you’re looking for more money or potential career progression, or the practice you’re working at doesn’t seem to align with your core values, I’m showing you how to know when it’s the right time to move on, and giving you one reason why you might consider staying where you are.

Tune in this week to discover how to know when it’s time to quit. I’m sharing what’s worked for me on my journey as a clinician, how to decide on your core values as a clinician and how they match up with your current situation, and everything you need to know about deciding on quitting or staying in your current position.


If you love what I’m sharing in this podcast and you want more, you can download my free Getting it All Done at Work process.


What You’ll Learn:

  • How a workplace aligning with your core values as a human can make or break your work experience.

  • What you can do to get a sense of what an organization’s core values are, even if they’re not explicitly listed anywhere.

  • Why growth looks different as your career progresses.

  • How to deal with a situation where you think you can’t grow in your current workplace.

  • Some of the reasons you might want to quit, and one reason why you might want to stay.




Full Episode Transcript:

Episode 17, How You Know It’s Time to Quit.

Welcome to Clinicians Creating Impact, a show for physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists looking to take the next step in their careers and make a real difference in the lives of their clients. If you’re looking to improve the lives of neurodiverse children and families with neurological-based challenges, grow your own business, or simply show up to help clients, this is the show for you. 

I’m Heather Branscombe, Therapist, Certified Coach, Clinical Director, and Owner of Abilities Neurological Rehabilitation. I have over 25 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, and I’m here to help you become the therapist you want to be, supporting people to work towards their dreams and live their best lives. You ready to dive in? Let’s go.

Hello there, friend. I am so excited to be speaking with you today. And I have to say, obviously, part of this excitement is recording episodes, this is quickly becoming one of my most favorite times of the week. And if I’m being honest, I have some residual excitement because I am getting ready to go on vacation. 

Now, don’t worry, I’m going to be recording some extra episodes, so we’re going to continue to be on the same path of weekly podcasts while I’m away. And I have to say, batching episodes and even talking about batching episodes makes me feel like a real podcaster. I mean, I do understand that I am a real podcaster. The fact that you are listening to this podcast means that I’m a real podcaster, but just saying things like, “I’m going to batch some episodes,” I don’t know, somehow leads to just some legitimacy for me. 

And I’ve had some people really ask me why I’m doing this podcast and I just want to clarify, if I haven’t done it well enough already. I’m really doing this podcast because fundamentally I love clinicians. I’m so grateful for the profession that I have and so much of my gratitude comes from the amazing people that I’ve been able to work with over the years. 

So this is really just me giving back. And obviously there’s some other outside opportunities that have already occurred by doing this podcast as kind of a natural byproduct. But I just want to say this is so much less important to me than to just deliver content to professionals that I so enjoy working with. So, again, thank you for being on this podcast journey with me, especially for listening today. 

I do want to say, if you are finding value, the best way that you actually can thank me is to go and rate and review this podcast on whatever podcast listening app or device you are using it on. And even better, if you can share it with a colleague that you think could benefit, I would love that. And again, thank you to so many of you who are doing that already. 

So today’s episode comes from a social media post. And funny enough, it has been one of my most viewed posts. I have some thoughts about why. I’m not really sure that I’m ever going to understand why, but it has definitely been a more popular reel on my social media. I take that to mean that it has some kind of value for you as the podcast listener so I wanted to take the time today to share the information that I shared there and also expand on it. 

Now, if you aren’t following me on social media, I go by Heather Branscombe, all one word, dot coaching on Instagram. If you just search my name there’s really not a lot of Heather Branscombes in the world, fun fact, so you will probably find it. 

So follow me there to hear some of these topics sooner. And if you have questions about it, let me know. I am always happy to DM with you. And then, as I learn more about these questions, I love the idea of taking these questions to the podcast and expanding on them if I think you might benefit from hearing more. 

Now, maybe our parents or grandparents’ generations thought differently, but I want to start by making the assumption today that no one trained in their chosen clinical career, at least these days, with the thought that they would work in one place for the rest of their career. Now, I do know in my class there happened to be 35 people, I was one of a 35 person class.

I actually do know of one person in my class today who is still working for the same place that he started with, again, more than 25 years ago. And I think that’s amazing. If you know me or my class you probably know who this is. If not, it doesn’t even matter. Just know he is an amazing clinician and I’m so grateful that he found his home for the last 25 years. But I also think it’s amazing because it really is the exception 25 years later.

The truth is most of us are going to change positions over our career. Sometimes for more of those external situations because maybe your partner has a new job, there’s a change in your family status, or something else. And then there’s times where those circumstances are more internal. 

So I want to talk today about those specific kinds of situations and help you to decide for yourself when it’s time to change your position and quit, and maybe one reason why you might not want to. Now, I get that I could be biased here because, again, I’m not only a clinician, I’m a clinical director and a clinic owner. And I do want this information for every clinician, including the ones that work for me. 

So let’s talk about it. The first reason that you might know that it’s time to quit is when your values aren’t aligned with the organization you’re working for. Values can sound sometimes soft, sometimes fluffy, but I really want to offer you they really can make or break your work experience. I really noticed that a lot for myself and how our core values are so important at Abilities in the middle of the pandemic. And I like to say proudly that we hire to our values, we train to our values, and we really even fire to these core values. 

Now, not everybody is going to have explicit core values, especially as an organization, hung up on a wall. And I want to say you really can get a sense of what an organization’s core values are by how people operate and the overall culture of the organization. It’s why at Abilities we spend so much time thinking about values when we hire, because I know, as a clinical director and as the owner, we eliminate so many issues by being very clear and then checking in for those core values. 

So you might want to decide what your core values are. You may never have even thought about that, especially about what your core values are as a clinician and how they match or how they might not match with your current situation. I want to say even if you’re working for yourself, there could be times when you are inadvertently working against your own core values. Doesn’t that blow your mind to think about? I know that that can be true. 

In terms of my own experience, the core values of Abilities are my core values. And, obviously, it would be weird if it wasn’t. Again, as the founder, clinical director, CEO, all of the roles that I have, it would be weird if it wasn’t that way. But even with that being said, I’ve noticed that there are times where I, myself, was behaving in ways that were against my own values. 

So for example, one of our core values at Abilities is to respect and value people. And what I’ve noticed in the past – I was trying to think of if this has happened recently, and I’m happy to say that it hasn’t happened recently, although it doesn’t mean that it might not happen again. But it’s definitely happened in the past. 

When there are times when I want things done in a hurry, I can definitely see that there have been times where I am prioritizing the timeliness over the value of respecting and valuing people and their perspectives and sometimes their timeline. When I say that I’m not saying that I don’t expect things to be done in a timely way. That’s not really what I’m talking about, it’s when even in a timely way doesn’t feel timely enough for me. That’s my own indication that I’m going against one of my own core values. 

So if your core values are fundamentally different than where you work and if you don’t have the opportunity to influence or to change them, as to being a solopreneur or a clinic owner or some other kind of management, then I do want to offer that it might be time to quit. 

So the second reason that you might know that it’s time to quit is that you see no opportunity to grow. Now, when I say grow, some people may decide that they don’t want to grow. And that’s totally okay. 

Also, I want to say growth is relative. Growing could mean to you growing your clinical skills, growing in your capacity to serve people, growing in a leadership way. Any of these options or none of these options are always available to you when you think of growth. 

Depending on where you are in your career, growth can definitely look different. Growing could even look like growing in another area in your life while still feeling good about the job clinically that you’re currently doing. So I also want to say opportunity. When I say the opportunity to grow, the word opportunity doesn’t always have a universal understanding of what an opportunity looks like. So opportunity is a thought. It’s not really a fact. 

So if you don’t think that there is an opportunity to grow, that might not actually be a fact. So I just want to say as an employer myself, I love it so much when people come to me with a goal to grow. Even if they don’t know how that’s going to happen, that actually makes me even more excited. It really speaks to me, it speaks to my inner clinician that inherently wants to help people and specifically wants to help people to grow. 

Again, this is why I’m doing this podcast, I love helping people to grow. I just want to offer that there might be opportunities that either your supervisor or your employee sees because they have a different perspective to you that you can’t see in your current position. So give them the benefit of the doubt and just reach out to them and let them know that you’re looking to grow. 

I guarantee you, there’s really no downside to that. And there’s potentially an amazing upside to that. I know that I am not the only employer in the world that wants to hear about what you’re looking for and wants to be offered that opportunity to co-create the opportunity for growth that’s specific to you. So, again, please give your employer the chance to do that if you can. 

That being said, if you don’t see an opportunity to grow, then it could be time to change your position. I know, for me, this was one of my main reasons to leave an amazing position that I was working at at a child development center right before leaving to start my own private practice, and more specifically to start Abilities. 

Now, it’s not the only reason that I left. But one reason of many reasons that I had is that I saw that in my current position at that time at the child development center was, ironically, I had an amazing supervisor, I really do. To this day she’s still in that position. I really do admire her in so many different ways. 

But I also noticed she wasn’t that much older than I was myself. And so I knew at the same time I loved leadership and I really wanted that to be part of my career going forward. So for me, starting my own clinic allowed me to get the growth I was looking for, which was one of the many reasons I decided to leave my position at that child development center, even when it was amazing in so many other ways. 

So the third reason that you might know that it’s time to quit is that the needs of the job are no longer meeting your needs. There are definitely times that the position that you have no longer meets the needs that you have for the rest of your life and it could have met your needs at the time. But things change. It could be a new goal outside of work. Again, it could be a family change or something else. 

Now, while I think that many positions are becoming increasingly more flexible, and I know we at Abilities are very flexible in our expectations, even with that there are times when the needs of an organization do not meet the needs of the clinicians who are working there. So you really do get to decide what you need in a job. And you get to express those needs to your employer. And then your employer gets to decide if that works for them. And if it doesn’t, then it might be time to quit and to move on. 

So one example that I can think about in my career is there was a time that I loved this opportunity so much that I actually commuted to this clinical opportunity an hour each way. And fun fact, you may already guess it, if you haven’t, that’s totally fine, too. That was before I had kids. And then after I had my first child, I really decided that that didn’t fit my family needs for childcare. So I decided to change my position. 

Now, again, it was nothing about that first position, and it was everything about my commuting needs. So, as I conclude this, I do want to say there’s one thing that I want to offer that isn’t a great reason to quit. And that’s that the thought that you might have that things are better somewhere else than where they are right now in your current position. 

Now, again, this is whether you work at Abilities or whether you don’t work out abilities. To me, this can be a version of shiny object syndrome. And I get it, I’ve even thought it myself. It’s also of that same flavor of the grass is greener somewhere else. It is so easy to think about how another job could be better. And I’m not even saying that sometimes that isn’t true. 

But what we fail to see in those kinds of situations, that in life and even other jobs, there is this concept of the 50/50. Meaning that 50% of our life is going to be awesome and 50% of our life is going to be some version of awful. So there could be different and amazing things about this new job that you’re looking at, as well as less amazing things that are different in the new job as well. 

There is no position that is all daisies and roses and unicorns. I’m here to tell you that just doesn’t exist, even in my own job. And when I’m talking to clinicians about starting with us, I clearly know as I’m talking to them I am living and working in my dream job. Again, it should be my dream job. I’m the owner, I have ultimate control over what’s happening. And it doesn’t mean that my job doesn’t have that 50/50 aspect to it as well. 

Some days aren’t always amazing. But the days that are amazing are well worth it. And the parts that are challenging, that’s part of my work is to work on that. The fun thing is if you do move to a job because you think that things are going to be better somewhere else than where you are now, you actually get to move your brain and your brain’s thought patterns when you go to a new job. 

So the meaning that your brain makes in one position that might not be serving you or these thoughts that your brain is giving you that might not be serving you are some of those same thoughts that eventually it’s going to make and those connections that it’s going to create in the new job. And this is exactly why when we have a new staff member that comes on board and they are overall, like it almost feels like over excited when they start with us with Abilities. I’m truly thankful for that. And I don’t take too much stock in it. 

I don’t mean to think that they’re lying about that. I believe truly that they are feeling everything that they’re feeling. And eventually they, too, will see that there are pros and cons about every single position, including working for yourself, working for others and including working for Abilities. 

I think the key difference that I’m offering is that when these negative thoughts and feelings come up, first, I don’t make that mean that something has gone wrong for either myself or the new clinician. And second, I’m offering them an opportunity to use those thoughts and feelings as a way to connect with themselves, to be able to gain some awareness of themselves and their thoughts, and then to consciously and deliberately make an empowered choice of what is the next best step for them. 

I truly believe in people’s abilities to know what is best for them. And I’m so grateful that I get to practice that every day as I support clinicians abilities. It really is why this job is my dream job. And it really is the reason that I have no intention of leaving, even when it gets hard. 

So I want to offer a similar opportunity to you, not necessarily to quit and work at Abilities. But I mean, let’s be real, if you do, that’s amazing. And I would love to explore that with you. But rather, I want to offer that opportunity for you to use whatever thoughts or feelings that may have drawn you to this podcast episode today, and then to use it for your own benefit. 

So how is your current position aligned with your values? How is it aligned with the ways you want to grow next and the overall needs of the job? And given that awareness, what do you want to do about it? I can’t wait to see what you do next and the impact that you create with this information. Let me know how it goes, and I will see you soon. Bye for now.

If you enjoyed today’s show and don’t want to worry about missing an episode, you can follow the show wherever you listen to your podcasts. And if you haven’t already, I would really appreciate it if you could leave a rating and review to let me know what you think and to help others find Clinicians Creating Impact

It doesn’t have to be a five star rating, although I sure hope you love the show. I’d really want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome podcast that provides tons of value. To learn more about me and the work that I do, visit my website at www.abilitiesrehabilitation.com/clinicianscorner to download your free getting it all done at work process and to see what I’m up to. Thanks so much.

Thanks for joining me this week on the Clinicians Creating Impact podcast. Want to learn more about the work I’m doing with Abilities Rehabilitation? Head on over to abilitiesrehabilitation.com. See you next week.

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