Accepting a job knowing you'll leave it in a few months...
March 23, 2014 2:41 PM   Subscribe

Job in question is an on-call healthcare position that's interesting, but I know I'll be relocating soon. Details inside.

Unable to find anything matching this description in the archives:
Interviewed for and offered an on-call healthcare job, which will require me to sign up for 3 shifts per month, which I may or may not be called in for, plus as-needed coverage for other sick calls. Loved the team, and the setting and the experience would look good on a thin resume where I'm trying to build up experience as a newbie in the field, and the income would be great (and greatly needed) for me.

Catch: I'm leaving the state in about 7 months and didn't mention this in the interview. They didn't ask about that, either, so I don't know if a long-term commitment is a priority for them, but I feel a little queasy "don't ask, don't tell"-ing them. FWIW, the training is very short for healthcare (a couple weeks), I am a quick study, so the investment for them is relatively low, and I would be hired in a pool of a half dozen other per diems. The setting is one that is challenging, so I think they expect some attrition, but since I have mine planned, don't know if that makes my accepting the position more questionable.

Please share your thoughts, experience, and advice. Thanks!
posted by pocksuppetteer to Work & Money (12 answers total)
Take it. Seven months is a long time, you might not go anywhere, especially if you end up taking this job. Life leads us to unexpected places, and plans often don't work out. Jump at any offer you get.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:45 PM on March 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

As Sheryl Sandberg says (about maternity leave, but I believe it's applicable for basically everything), don't leave until you leave. A million and one different things can happen between now and seven months from now, and you shouldn't unnecessarily handicap yourself during that time.
posted by telegraph at 2:49 PM on March 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses so far. Don't want to threadsit, but want to add that it's incredibly unlikely that I'll stay beyond 7 months. I may need to leave earlier, too.

Also wanted to add that I'm interested in knowing if people think it's wrong to withhold the information of knowing that I'll leave.
posted by pocksuppetteer at 3:06 PM on March 23, 2014

If you tell them, and as a result you can't work -- well, that doesn't seem right to me.

Give them notice in six or six and a half months. They can hire a replacement. It was always a possibility that you would leave this job, anyhow, only now that pssoibility is likely and has a date certain.
posted by J. Wilson at 3:17 PM on March 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

What's the downside, here? It's not like they can tell you no when you resign. There's a slight risk of them not being a good reference, or of burning bridges when you leave, but if you don't take the job, you won't be getting a reference or experience in your field at all. The potential that it'll be fine is better than the certainty that you will gain nothing by not taking the job.

Re it being wrong to withhold this information, keep in mind that if they didn't like you, they'd let you go without shedding a tear. They're not hiring you to be friends, they're hiring you to do a job. You should look at it the same way.
posted by Sara C. at 3:18 PM on March 23, 2014

Take the job.

Don't them them your relocation plans because, frankly, it's none of their business. Employers are not your friends. They act in their own best interests, not yours. You have to act in your own best interests, not theirs. Your only obligations to them are set out in your contract (if you decide to work for them). It is highly unlikely that your contract requires you to tell them about plans that may or may not come to fruition 7 months from now.

When you leave, give them adequate notice as required by your contract, or more if you're comfortable with that. Do whatever handover tasks you need to do help smooth the transition for your replacement.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:22 PM on March 23, 2014 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Quitting in 6 1/2 months when you're only really responsible for taking 3 shifts a month isn't really leaving anyone in the lurch. I think the nature of on-call work is that it's like temping for a lot of people -- you're just doing it for the time being until something better comes along. The difference is you already know when that something better is coming along! Take the job and don't tell anyone you're leaving until you give your two weeks' notice.
posted by jabes at 3:26 PM on March 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

They wouldn't tell you if they were in danger of going under or anything else that might make it a shitty place to work seven months or even days from now. Take the job, and start writing your transition plan on Day One to make it easier on the next person (NOTE: this applies to everyone starting a job).
posted by Etrigan at 4:36 PM on March 23, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It's a per idem position. They are building a pool of people. They are not guaranteeing work. Per diem is by it's very nature a more transient and unstable work method. When the census drops you'll be the first one without work. (And you'll be the last kind to work a double pay holiday.) Absolutely take it without a second thought.
posted by SLC Mom at 5:38 PM on March 23, 2014 [3 favorites]

Transient staffing is familiar and expected for such employers. And awfully sad but true: Employers are not your friends and likely wouldn't much blink about screwing you over if that's what was necessary to get the job done.

Take the job, and really kick ass at it. Takes shifts, learn, network, impress, make them all love you, and then...oh gosh, this thing happened and now I need to move, golly I've really enjoyed my time here...they'll be bummed but it won't be foreign to them.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 10:43 AM on March 24, 2014

I work in a psych hospital where we have on call/per diem workers. SLCMom has aren't the only one in the pool and if you give them the respectable amount of notice they will have someone else in the pool to pick up your share. Take it.
posted by MultiFaceted at 7:39 PM on March 24, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for the affirmation, MeFites.
posted by pocksuppetteer at 1:14 PM on March 25, 2014

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