I don't know if I can tough out this new Night Team Leader job. Should I quit?

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I have been with an inpatient hospice unit since February on night shift. From day one I have had problem with total inorganization. I have tried to tough it out. In August I was offered a Night Team Leader position that I accepted. My thoughts were I would have an opportunity to get the place in shape and organized. I have been training on day shift for the last 6 weeks. My direct supervisor is a very type A person, wants to be involved in every thing. I continually meet resistance with her for even the smallest things.

I have suggested many idea for changes to the unit and she is very defense about all of them. She will shut me down before I am ever finished explaining me idea. At this point I am thinking of leaving the company due to my lack of ability to make changes, lack of having my ideas considered and total lack of organization. Would this be detrimental to my career? At this point I am getting to the point that I don't want to come to work on a daily bases. It is affecting my time off also.

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Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

Dear Getting to the Point,

If you are finding it intolerable to go to work and thinking of quitting, you're at a crisis point. Sometimes a new job can catapault you to that point.

Should you stay or should you go? Which is best for your career?

You have both leadership ability and an interest in leadership. You want to bring about change and make improvements. Likewise, they obviously saw something in you. They chose you, promoted you, and gave you an opportunity. But it's brought about a great deal of personal stress.

Now it's time to step back and weigh the advantages and disadvantages, personally and career-wise, of staying or leaving, to help you decide.


On the one hand, you are still in training. It could be premature to quit.

While it's normal to be excited in your new role, it's a rookie mistake to make too many changes, too soon. Expect resistance. You knew from the get-go that this organization is very disorganized. Understand that it's going to remain disorganized. Can you find a way to tolerate that?

When stepping up, you first need to learn the role while building relationships, both upstream and downstream. If you quiet yourself, listen to your colleagues, and learn the job, you can use this role to your advantage as a career-building step.

You'll gain experience, and after a year or two, you can apply to management roles.

But-your success as a Night Team Leader in large part depends on your successful relationship with your supervisor. If you decide to stay, you need to repair your relationship with your supervisor. That in itself is a beneficial and transferable skill.

You are going to have to use a different approach with this supervisor you describe as a Type A and a micromanager. Ask her opinion regularly and listen attentively.  Keep her informed of your activities.


Is leaving a job in less than a year detrimental to your career? Depends. It depends on the rest of your work history. If this is a one off, then it's probably OK. If you have quit other jobs after a short stay, then it is probably detrimental to your resume.

At the same time, this new role is causing you a great deal of stress. Stress can be mitigated by changing your attitude or changing your job. Only you know how much stress you are willing/able to tolerate, and if it's worth it.

Consider another option- see if you can step down and go back to staff nurse.

If you decide to quit, just make sure you have another job lined up before you quit.

My final thought for you is see if you can stick it out a bit longer. Set a time limit (say, 6 more weeks) and then re-evaluate.

Best wishes in your decision,

Nurse Beth

On 11/15/2022 at 10:40 PM, Nurse Beth said:

Stress can be mitigated by changing your attitude or changing your job.

This right here.

Either you can change your perspective in a way that makes something doable/tolerable, maybe even enjoyable, or you can change your job.

I'd start looking for another job. Stop making suggestions for now, which will give your supervisor a minute to pipe down (or at least spend her energy bossing someone else around). Do the rest of the training while looking for another job. This plan should allow your next steps to become clearer. If supervisor gets tied up with something else to worry about (and gets distracted from seeing you as some kind of threat) you may be able to performing the role more as you envisioned it. If it's obvious that isn't going to be possible you can leave. Or if you find a better opportunity in the meantime you can also leave.

Everybody has choices. They make theirs, you make yours. No one is forcing this supervisor to interact this way with another capable adult. Life's too short for her kind of misery.