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Do I tell clients Im leaving my veterinary practice?
Q: After helping open the practice and being there nearly every day for seven and a half years, Im moving on to a new job at a pet resort with some of the same clients. Is it appropriate to leave a note for clients who know me for the team to share after I leave? Im leaving in good standing.
"Even though you have clients who will miss seeing you when they come in, as a client it would be awkward to be handed a note explaining your exit. The other team members could certainly share that you have moved on to a new opportunity and share your feelings of sadness leaving those clients and pets you have bonded with over the years."
Nancy Potter is a Firstline board member and practice manager at Olathe Animal Hospital in Olathe, Kansas.
"First of all, I would check with the owners of the practice to see how they feel about the note. They would probably want to read the note before giving their blessing. If you go on to work at another clinic, the current practice owner may feel like you're trying to entice clients away to the new practice.
"Once you have the owner's blessing, the note should still be vague and professional: 'Thanks for your kindness over the years. I'll miss seeing you and your pet. Best wishes for the future.' Avoid putting an emphasis on the new job. It makes it look like you're trying to drum up business for your new boss.
"If your clinic has a monthly newsletter, you could write something there. Again, the note should be short and sweet-especially if you're going to work at a business with similar clientele.
"If you work at a larger clinic, it's possible clients may not notice your departure unless you've had a close client-employee relationship. It might be best for you to ask the team to offer a standard answer if someone asks. For example, 'Susie no longer works here. She had the opportunity to take a position with another company and asked us to wish you and Fluffy well in the future!'"
Pam Weakley is the practice manager at Dickman Road Veterinary
Clinic in Battle Creek, Michigan, and a Firstline Editorial Advisory