Facing a license suspension is one of the most devastating things that a professional can experience. While the terms and details of suspensions vary from state to state and from profession to profession, a suspension has similar effects for everyone. Doctors, architects, nurses, engineers, dentists, accountants or others whose licenses are suspended will suddenly find themselves unable to earn a living in with the skills they spent years—and perhaps many thousands of dollars—acquiring. And that can be just the beginning.
Because suspensions are matters of public record, your personal and professional connections are probably going to find out about it. It's understandable to feel embarrassed and unsure of whether to, and how to, talk to your friends and colleagues about the situation. You might be worried that you'll be shunned and shut out of your social and professional circles and that your reputation will be damaged beyond repair, at a time when you might need empathy and support. And you should be concerned about how an unconsidered comment might impact your ongoing case. It can be a tricky path to navigate.
How to Talk to Your Friends and Colleagues About Your License Suspension
The tough reality is, some people won't respond positively to news of your suspension. But the support of family, friends, and colleagues can be a source of much-needed support during this difficult time.
For example, your friends might know someone who has gone through the same thing or may have even gone through it themselves at some point in their careers, so don't be afraid to reach out.
Friends and co-workers might have suggestions for other ways you can earn a living during your suspension. If you are an architect, for example, a business colleague might know of a job at a university or at another company where you could work temporarily during your suspension. They may also be aware of treatment and counseling programs that can help you if you lose your license because of mental health or substance abuse problems.
Sometimes, the terms of the suspension prohibit you from talking to anyone about the matter. In these cases, it's best to explain the situation and instead stick to topics that are unrelated to the suspension.
What to Avoid When Talking to Your Friends and Colleagues About Your License Suspension
License suspension doesn't have to mean the end of your career. In fact, in many cases, it's possible for suspended professionals to reinstate their licenses. It's, therefore, really important to act in a respectable, professional manner in all of your interactions during your suspension.
This is because, in order to get your license back, you will have to show the licensing board that you are “fit” for professional licensure and that you are of good moral character – or that you have successfully rehabilitated your character, as the case may be. So, if you're looking to reinstate your license at some point, it's advisable to be on your best behavior while your license is suspended. Complaining to your friends and colleagues on social media about the state licensing board's decision to suspend you definitely won't help your cause when it's time to appear before them again and ask for your license back.
It's also important to keep in mind that if you do speak to your colleagues about your suspension – especially those who filed complaints against you – many state boards will view this as an attempt on your part to coerce or intimidate your co-workers into changing their stories, or recanting what they said about you. This will get you into even more trouble with the board, so think carefully about how you interact with your co-workers while your license is suspended.
In addition, suspended professionals such as psychotherapists and accountants who give advice in their professional roles shouldn't engage in any conversations with friends, family, or colleagues that could be interpreted as giving professional advice. Doing so could violate the terms of the suspension and result in permanent license revocation.
Speak to the Experienced Attorneys at The Lento Law Firm About Your License Suspension
Professionals who have had their licenses suspended should not deal with the situation alone. The skilled attorneys at The Lento Law Firm Team have years of experience representing professionals around the country in all matters pertaining to license suspensions. Their Professional License Defense Team can advise suspended professionals about how to connect with their social and professional peers and how to obtain the best possible personal and professional outcomes. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or submit a confidential online consultation form.