Blog Topic Categories


7 November, 2011 Posted by John G. Self
no comments
19 June, 2019 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Coaching, Career counseling, Career Management
no comments

Emergency Preparedness, Your Career Are Linked

Posted June 19th, 2019 | Author: John G. Self

As large health systems with high overhead grapple with the need to reduce costs in the face of likely cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, the whole concept of one of our current hot button topics, emergency preparedness, takes on new meaning.  

That creating larger health systems to improve their  market negotiating power drives up costs is no surprise to anyone who has been in the industry for any length of time.  Bigger does not translate into lower costs when it comes to healthcare providers.

Reductions In Force, Spending

Two weeks ago, Common Spirit, the new company that includes Dignity Healthcare and Catholic Health Initiatives, announced that they plan to strip out $2 billion in costs over the next four years. Their first month’s financial results were troubling, with higher costs and lower revenue. 

Now Providence St. Joseph Health System in Renton, WA announced that they, too, will be reducing administrative overhead costs.   

There are other  organizations who are quietly taking action and other cost reduction announcements are expected through the remainder of 2019 and could well accelerate if the economy begins to slow.

In plain English this means there will be layoffs, or as consultants like say, a reduction in an organization’s labor intensity. 

Providence St. Joseph to cut 700 Positions

The estimated number of job casualties at Common Spirit has not yet been released.  In Providence St. Joseph’s case, up to 700 full-time positions are involved.  The executives who are included in these reductions in force will enter an already crowded, competitive job market. 

Emergency preparedness is an important hot-button subject for healthcare providers these days and many organizations are investing in this important initiative with a growing number of cyber attacks, cyber extortions, and catastrophic weather events. 

Executives who workin the healthcare services segment should understand that it also applies to their careers.

Good Performance No Longer a Guarantee

Being go-to-market ready should be an important topic for healthcare executives who may be pushed out of their jobs because good performance is longer the job guarantee it once was in the healthcare industry.

If you are unsure how you will fare in the job market in the event of an unexpected career disruption, the first step is to secure a career transition readiness assessment so you can react before you are surprised.

If you would like more information on emergency preparedness for your career, you can find us at,  on LinkedIn or our corporate Facebook page.

© 2019 John Gregory Self

18 June, 2019 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career, career advancement, Career Building, Career Coaching, Career Transition/Outplacement
no comments

Your Professional Network: Purpose, Size and Making It Work for You

Posted June 18th, 2019 | Author: John G. Self

A recently laid off executive had her first meeting with a career transition advisor.  When they finally got around to talking about the size of her professional network, the conversation went something like us:

working with recruiters

Q. What is your underlying philosophy for professional networking?

A.  What do you mean?

Q.  How many LinkedIn contacts do you have?  How big is your overall professional network?

A.  Between 350 and 500.

Q.  Give me a breakdown of who is your network by category?

A.  Silence…

Q.  How do you use your network?

A.  Silence…

Here is my take on those issues:

Underlying philosophy for professional networking – Networking is an important and time-consuming process.  Building a robust network can be beneficial for professional development and in the event of a career setback, an important resource to help you in your job search, but this purpose is not, should not be, the underlying reason for networking.   The most successful business networkers will tell you that sharing information and helping others should guide your intentions.  The more you give, the more you receive.

How big is your network on LinkedIn? – The size of your networkshould be driven by your career strategy. If your goal is to connect with professionals of similar experience and interests, then a realistic size is 1,500 to 3,000 connections. That is a manageable size to leverage to achieve your goals.  If you are selling products, services or books and the Internet is a key market driver, then a larger network is appropriate. Unless you have plenty of staff support, or a lot of extra time on your hands, trying to manage a network of 15,000 to 25,000 that some LinkedIn Open Networkers proudly crow about is simply not practical. Bigger is not always better.  The bigger your garden, the more time and energy you must invest to cultivate it. 

Be strategic regarding the people you include in your network – If you are a digital marketing expert focusing on retail, for example, connecting with a financial planner is Seattle or an Orthodontist in Hoboken probably does not make a lot of sense.  Develop a strategic networking plan and stick with it.  Know who is in your network.  Career strategies sometimes must be adjusted so do not hesitate to weed and prune your garden of contacts – those who are not engaged or no longer align with your goals.

Using your network – How you use your network is driven by your networking strategy.  A good rule to remember is to seek out those colleagues who can provide mutually beneficial value. A productive and rewarding network is built on thick mutually beneficial relationships in which your colleagues feel comfortable in reaching out to you for advice, or because they want to share with you.  The bigger your network, the harder it is to be effective in leveraging its value.  If you are looking for a job, the one way you DO NOT use your network is to ask the contact to help you find a job, even if they are a recruiter.  That approach rarely works.

© 2019 John Gregory Self

13 June, 2019 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career counseling, Career Management, Career Transition/Outplacement
no comments

Finding A Job After Being Fired

Posted June 13th, 2019 | Author: John G. Self

Finding an executive leadership job in some industries is one tough slog, even with a pristine record, but if you have a background glitch or two, nothing major but you received some media attention, well your job search just got a lot harder.

Executives make mistakes.  It is not uncommon.  Most of the time it is not career ending.  A little time heals all wounds, but in industries in which there are more executives looking for work than there are jobs, like healthcare, for example, the smallest of blemishes can still create real job search challenges.

Five Issues Executives Should Consider

If you are a senior leader and you stumble, there are five issues that are important for you to address:

  1. Severance Agreement – When an executive is forced to leave an organization under a cloud, presumably with bad press, it is important to engage an attorney to negotiate a severance agreement.  Usually the employer will offer a severance package unless there is serious cause for the termination.  If you have an employment contract, hopefully one that your attorney helped you negotiate when you were hired, then insist that it be followed.  If you did not include a provision for outplacement consulting, make the ask.  They may not agree, but crisis management transition advisory services can run from $12,000 to $25,000 or $30,000.
  2. Clear Reference Process – Surprisingly, many executives do no clarify how any possible references will be handled. We recommend that this language be placed in the severance agreement which will be covered by any breach of agreement language. Identify an officer of the organization who will be the official spokesman for this subject. Prior to completing the severance agreement, ensure that this individual understands what should and should not be said.
  3. Career Transition Coach – Engage a career transition coach who understands career crisis management, preferably someone with experience in public relations.  Notice I said a career transition coach with crisis management experience.  There are PR firms that handle this type of situation but most have zero experience in dealing with the re-employment strategy, and that will be critical.
  4. Leave Town – Unless you live in a major metropolitan area with ample networking opportunities, leave town.  Losing a high-profile job is embarrassing.  If your organization is located in a smaller community, that can only magnify the challenges of moving beyond this career setback.  Consult your career transition advisor, but I cannot imagine they will want you to stay in a smaller community where everyone seems to know everyone’s business – whether they do or not. 
  5. Take Your Patience Pill – Do not plunge back into the job market unless a friend offers to hire you. Consider forming a consulting “storefront” and work with your advisor to develop and execute a career restoration strategy.  Finding a new opportunity will probably take a while so do not set unreasonable expectations regarding the time it will take to land another position.

For more information, email us

© 2019 John Gregory Self

Comments closed.