Is It Time to Leave Your Current Radiology Gig?

July 10, 2018

The jobs are out there and the recruiters are calling. Should you take the chance?

I’m not saying you read it here, first (especially if you haven’t been regularly reading this column for the past year or two)…but I did write a piece within the past couple-dozen moons about the radiology job market showing “green shoots” after a prolonged downturn. And here we are.

Folks track this stuff in different ways. On AuntMinnie, for instance, there are a couple of threads about the number of job listings on the ACR website. It gets more “real” for me when my frequency of unasked-for emails (and now cold-calls!) from radiology recruiters steps up.

And then of course there’s the chatter one hears from fellow rads who have been or are getting into the hunt for new work.

All of which is bound to inspire at least some degree of thought about making a change in one’s day-to-day livelihood. Maybe not so much if you’re already an owner or otherwise meaningful high-ranking muckety-muck in your current digs.

But if you got into your current gig during the downturn, chances are good that the new prospects out there are offering better terms than what you’ve been experiencing. Especially if your current gig has not kept up with the times and sweetened your deal in the past few years to keep pace with the competition (or, God forbid, to reward you for the good track-record you’ve been establishing with them).

So, yes, maybe it’s time to move on to a greener pasture. Or is it? Best to take a good, long look at the bird you’ve got in your metaphorical hand than the duo calling from the job-listing bush. Yes, chances are that you’ve accumulated a few dissatisfactions, frustrations, even grievances with whomever you’ve been working for the past while. But they’re the devil you know.

Meanwhile, whatever other job-prospect you are contemplating is a big black box. You only know what their little blurb says they’re offering. Maybe they’ve got a reputation you know about. At most, someone you know has worked with them, or heard from others who have. There’s plenty of room for you to be in danger of stepping from your frying-pan into their fire. And for what-a smidgen more money? Vague promises that you’ll move upwards in their organization more readily than you have in your present one?

Still, let’s say you’re sufficiently unhappy in your current digs that you’re willing to take that leap of faith. Or that the job listings are so much better than what you’re currently experiencing that it seems foolish not to go for one.

A variation of the old wisdom is to reject the first offer: Don’t desperately lunge for one of the initially available gigs. Yes, the job market is doing well. But it’s also still heating up, and there’s no reason to believe that will change anytime soon. If you snap up the first thing you can, you might not be fully benefitting from the favorable trend. This upswing might go on for months, even a year or two before it hits its peak. Take your time…not only will you have a better chance of making the right move for yourself, but offers from prospective employers might continue to increase.

Or you could go the other way, if changing jobs more frequently doesn’t faze you (I, myself, hate such upheaval, but to each his own). Suppose your current situation is intolerable, and/or some new prospect is just too great to pass up. Go ahead, take the plunge if there aren’t strings attached (such as if the new gig has “exit costs” for leaving it too soon). If things doesn’t work out, you just might find yourself ready to leave for a subsequent gig while the job market is in a good enough place to offer you better options.