There are many factors to consider when evaluating opportunities. Some are tangible and others are not. Every office and every opportunity is unique, so it is important to investigate them fully to determine which one suits your wants and needs the best.

Compensation is important but it may not be the primary determining factor in accepting a particular position. Understanding the compensation structure and earning potential is key. A lower percentage in an office with higher fees and healthy patient flow is better than a higher percentage in a slow office or one that has heavily discounted fees.

Location is often a limiting factor for various reasons. Your significant other’s career, family obligations (such as caring for an aging parent), and children involved in school activities are all important life factors that impact where an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist will choose to practice. Sometimes relocation is simply not an option. Often times, the best opportunity is not located in a big city or a saturated market. Having the flexibility and willingness to relocate allows you to be more selective about the position you take.

Career Goals can range from working as an associate to being a partner or solo owner. They may also include clinical and/or leadership positions within an organization. Decide if the position has the potential to lead you along the correct path to achieve your ultimate career goals. Picture that position on your resume. Will it help you in the future if you should find yourself searching for another position?

Practice environment includes not only the physical space and equipment but also the people in the practice. If you want to utilize state-of-the-art technology, you probably won’t be happy in an office that is outdated with no plans to upgrade. Chemistry among all team members should be considered as well. You should look forward to going to work every day and interacting with your co-workers and patients.

Clinical advancement usually includes the opportunity for mentorship and continued learning within the office as well as outside of working hours. If you have a desire to expand your current skills or become more efficient, you should look for a group setting where colleagues are available on a daily basis to exchange ideas. CE benefits and the ability to take time off to attend courses would be advantageous.

Job security can be evaluated many different ways. Has the practice experienced a high turnover rate in the past? How tenured are the current associates and other staff members? Long-term staff members are usually an indicator of a practice that offers career potential. A documented plan for partnership or transition to ownership indicates the owner is serious about hiring someone long-term. Security can also mean meeting your financial obligations. With large student loan debt and/or increasing family demands and the rising cost of living, finding a position where you can meet and ideally exceed your financial goals may equal security and provide peace of mind.

Ranking your priorities may be very helpful in assessing opportunities. There are no right or wrong answers to what your priorities are. They may change as you transition through your career in eye care. Once you determine what is most important to you, it should become clear which position would be best. If you need further assistance in determining the best opportunity for you, ETS Vision would be happy to help.

ETS Vision is a Vision Recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing Optometrists, Ophthalmologists and Practice Leadership professionals throughout the United States. www.etsvision.com

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