How to move on to another job?
I feel it is time for me to explore other job options in my area. I am currently working at a clinic 25 miles away (~30 minute commute one-way) for the past ~2 1/2 years with a doctor that doesn't fully utilize her technicians. I am one of two RVTs at my clinic, along with 6 other techs (2 are finishing with school) and the unregistered techs are given the same responsibilities as the RVTs are. I recently became state licensed and with it received a very menial raise (granted, a raise, but I was expecting a larger one given my accomplishment and what I know I can bring to the clinic), a raise that was combined with my yearly raise. I just feel like there is no room for me to grow here and I don't feel I am as respected as I should be. She keeps telling me how much I have improved over the past months/years, but won't allow me to perform simple tasks such as obtaining an ear cytology.
I do not want to leave on bad terms, but I am almost afraid to leave this clinic because I know she will make me feel bad or give me a guilt trip about it (as she has done to techs who have left in the past). But I am spending so much money on gas for a paycheck that barely even pays the bills and cover student loans, I don't get sick days, no benefits, and heaven forbid I attempt to call in sick. And I have brought up some of these issues with her before.
My question is - should I submit my resume to other clinics that I know are hiring? Will the potential future employer contact my current employer if I don't list them as a reference? I don't want to go behind her back, but I am afraid if I mention that I am seeking employment elsewhere, she will give me a guilt trip, not give me a good reference (because she wants to keep me), or worst-case, let me go. Just in general, how should I go about doing this? I know there are clinics hiring in my area that are MUCH closer to me but I am afraid to drop off a resume for fear they will call my current boss.