How to Avoid a Spooky and Frightful Associateship
In October, we celebrate all things that go bump in the night. But a frightening relationship with a new optometry practice shouldn’t be keeping you up at night!
Your desire to land a job can sometimes outweigh your fair and honest assessment of a potential associateship. That is why we’ve created a list of indicators that will guide you in your evaluation and help determine if you should move forward or give that associateship opportunity the “BOOt” (see what we did there).
The state of a practice’s equipment can tell you a lot about the practice itself. First, is the practice clean and well-organized? If there is equipment out of place or not well-marked, this can be an indicator of a dysfunctional office environment and could point toward weaknesses in leadership. Second, is the equipment modern and up to date? Not all the equipment has to be fresh out of the package, but investments in equipment upgrades may indicate the level of devotion that current practice owners have put into their practice. Equipment upgrades speak volumes to the perceived longevity and overall success of the practice. Take a look around and note the condition of the equipment for a quick, surface-level understanding of the practice itself.
Understanding the financial footing of a practice is vital. The clearer that a potential employer can be in relaying the current financial state of the practice, the better. Ask a lot of pointed questions. Not just about the previous year’s numbers, but about the long-term financial trends. Generally, if a practice is seeking an associate, it should be because owners want to meet an increase in demand. However, that is not always true, or the spike in demand could be an outlier in the overall flatlining financial health of a practice.
Appointment Scheduling Responsibility
Who is responsible for bringing in new patients? Clarity on this point in the beginning of a relationship is important. Will it be your sole responsibility to recruit new patients, or will you be working with the owners to deploy practice-wide marketing strategies?
Philosophy of Care
Every person approaches their job differently. No matter your industry or profession, your philosophy for work is unique. When selecting a practice, it’s good to understand its overall philosophy of care to determine if your ethics align. Every practice will approach care in a different way, so finding the office that best aligns with your personal philosophies provides you a better opportunity of realizing job satisfaction and avoiding professional frustration.
Opportunities for Growth
Identify your opportunities for growth before you accept the position! It’s important that your employer understands your desire for professional growth. What is your next step? Are you hopeful to become a partner one day? What certifications or continuing education can the practice provide so that you can continue to make progress along your professional path. Nobody wants to feel stagnant in their job. Professional growth is an important factor of achieving job satisfaction.
Let’s be clear, many online reviewers are there to air grievances. It’s far more likely a patient will jump online to blast a practice than it is to receive a glowing review. That being said, as the number of total online reviews grows, trending feedback (positive or negative) can be a good indicator of patient perception. And while this may not stop you from accepting a job offer, it can provide a clearer picture of what you are walking into. Positive or negative, you’ll want to be fully aware of the community perception of your new practice.
This one is obvious. How are you going to be paid for the work that you do? There are infinite compensation scenarios that practices can deploy. Gaining compensation calculation clarity before you accept an associateship ensures everyone is on the same page regarding compensation expectations.
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