Bridge Burned; Integrity Sold

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By John Garrett

There is a Field Service Specialist (FSS) that is new to medical imaging. Let’s call him “Bob.” Bob goes out to look for a job. Bob is excited and looking for the right fit. He has a great resume, outstanding attitude, and interviews well. Bob gets a reasonable offer to get his career off to a good start, his start date is in three weeks. Bob accepts the offer.

A week later Bob gets contacted by another company that he had interviewed with previously and asks him to come in for another interview. Bob goes on that interview. An offer of a few dollars more an hour is made to Bob. Bob accepts the new offer and three days prior to his start date with the first company, he contacts them and declines the original offer.

What has Bob done? Secured a better position? Set out to make more money? Possibly, but there are other factors to consider. It is also very possible that Bob has just made a serious mistake. This mistake may limit his career in profound and far-reaching ways.

If you have been in the imaging service industry for more than a few minutes, you have probably heard people say that this is a small industry. If you have been in the imaging service industry for any length of time, you know the truth of the saying. Everyone knows everyone, or at least knows someone that knows them. This can be a wonderful asset or a career-destroying reality. This makes integrity one of two primary factors in a career (the other is skill/ability). If it is well known that you will do the right thing and own mistakes, you will be of value in the industry. If you cut corners and try to obfuscate mistakes or “get away” with things you will eventually find yourself in either a difficult situation or working in a different industry.

In the case of Bob, the job he declined a few days prior to his expected start date, is with one of the larger health care systems in the USA. He will be marked as “no rehire” and will not qualify for any jobs in that company. He has just locked himself out of a significant number of future job opportunities. It is important to note that taking a higher paying position is not the issue. It is the lack of notice. The short notice creates a financial impact to the company that thought he was coming onboard. There were other qualified candidates that may no longer be available, and it may require a new recruiting process which gets expensive. There may be work he was expected to do that will require that outside service be called in due to the missing team member.

Further, the hiring manager or director knows other hiring managers and directors. He talks to them at conferences and local HTM association meetings. That hiring manager may eventually leave that company and become a hiring manager with another company, further limiting the Bob’s career options. This is an important consideration throughout a career in medical imaging. Burning bridges and loss of integrity can have a much higher cost than the extra money made at the onset.

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