About John G. Self

John is an executive recruiter & speaker sharing his thoughts on healthcare, recruiting, digital technology, career management & leadership. 

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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System
7 November, 2011 Posted by John G. Self
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22 May, 2018 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Management, Career Networking, Interviewing Skills, Job Search
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Finding A Leadership Job Takes More than the Minimum

Posted May 22nd, 2018 | Author: John G. Self

The unemployment rate is approaching record lows and Baby Boomers are beginning to retire, so that means that competition for the best jobs will ease.  Right?  No, not at the executive level. There, the competition is still intense especially in industries with contracting or changing business models like healthcare, communications, media and publishing.  In those industries, with 20, 30, 40 or more applicants for the good jobs, the intensity has actually increased

It will take more than the minimum effort to advance your leadership career.   

The old saying that finding a new job is a full-time job is spot-on, especially when you consider industry consolidation and a steady stream of newly minted MBAs and those other graduate degrees flooding the market.  In healthcare, for example, industry consolidation means fewer jobs.  However,  over the last 10 years there has been an increase in hospital management degree programs both in traditional settings as well as on-line programs, and many Baby Boomers have decided to hang around for four or five more years to pad their retirement plans.  

Some candidates, based on their performance in the job search process, are clearly not ready to deal with this reality. They seem determined to hold on to the way they have always looked for work.  The problem with that rationale is that the job search rules have changed and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Job applicants who choose to ignore these realities do so at their own peril.

My advice to those candidates who have not embraced this new normal job market is to stop pushing back, quit trying to convince yourself that embracing the new platforms and strategies is not necessary for you and that nothing has changed.  

Here are some key areas where change has occurred:

  1. Customize your resume for each job.   Sending the same resume to every job opportunity makes you like everyone else. In a time when brand differentiation is just as important in career management as it is with consumer goods, digging in your heals is a good way to be eliminated from a search during the resume review.  If you send in your resume and never hear from the employer or their recruiter, this may be one reason why.
  2. Enhance your social media image.  Not only do you need to create a strengths and values-based profile, you must also join industry groups where you can connect with your peers and post information that has value for the group.  Every time you post, your picture shows up in the news feed.  This is where recruiters spend time looking for talent. LinkedIn is the primary platform, but there are others.  I have a personal and a business Face Book page.  
  3. Build a robust professional network.  This is an essential tool for effectively managing your career.  It is time-consuming but it is this network that can help you get to the table for consideration for jobs that are not posted on-line. Building a robust network means you must take the time to engage your network. And remember, it is a two-way street,  to receive you must also give.  
  4. Become a better storyteller.  You must sell your value to the prospective employer.  if you think you are too important, or too good to sell yourself, then you will probably experience a great deal of rejection and frustration. Do not expect employers to look at your resume and “get it.”  You need to sell your value — your strengths and your accomplishments.  To do this you must be prepared to answer two kinds of questions:  those that require a fact-based response and those that beg for a story, an illustration that will make you memorable to the interviewer.

I welcome your thoughts and examples of your experiences. If  you have questions, you can reach me at AsktheRecruiter@JohnGSelf.Com.

© 2018 John Gregory Self

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20 May, 2018 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Management, Career Transition/Outplacement, Interviewing Skills
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Selling Your Value: An Essential Interview Skill In A Competitive Environment

Posted May 20th, 2018 | Author: John G. Self

The following presentation is taken from my course on interviewing skills.  I recently presented this information to the Congress of the American College of Healthcare Executives in Chicago.  If you have questions, you can contact me at AsktheRecruiter@JohnGSelf.Com.

This was our Saturday video blog that can be found at John G Self YouTube under the videos tab.


© 2018 John Gregory Self

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17 May, 2018 Posted by John G. Self Posted in Career Management, Career Transition/Outplacement
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Three Questions and the Two-Year Rule

Posted May 17th, 2018 | Author: John G. Self

Editor’s Note: The following blog was first posted in May 2013.

  • How do I hunker down?
  • How do I get through this?
  • When will things get back to normal?

For healthcare executives who are approaching the end of their careers and find themselves asking these three questions with greater frequency, I have some bad news.  It is not going to get any better.  The reimbursement and regulatory environment is only going to be more challenging.

The transformative changes in healthcare are part of the “new normal,” according to Seth Godin, who writes about the marketing of ideas in the digital age.

The challenge executives are facing today, are the ones they will face for the foreseeable future with the exception that they will probably get worse.

Healthcare executives really have only two choices:  change or perish.

While these challenges afford leaders with unmatched opportunities, they are an impossible barrier for those who are stuck “in the way it’s always been.”  If you have heard yourself think these questions or, God forbid, actually said them out loud, now is the time to begin planning for an orderly career transition.  Do not try to hang on because you have reached some false calculus that the troubling predictions of what it will be like to run a hospital over the next five to seven years are greatly exaggerated.  They are not.

The damage that you can do to your organization by trying to hang on to the job will not endear you to your board, your medical staff or the community you have long and faithfully served.

Consider this – a two-year rule.  In 19 years of leading executive search assignments in seven countries across four continents and observing hundreds of hospital leadership transitions, I have found that there is a two-year rule for career management.  The CEOs who went loudly and badly into the good night of retirement, usually stayed two years too long in the position.  If they had left two years earlier, they could have gone out on top, a hero, a respected business leader who did a good job instead of the recipient of whispered, unflattering comments of what a bad job he/she did.

Stepping down as a hospital CEO is not the end of the world, especially for those with a distinguished career.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it does not have to be the proverbial oncoming train of boredom or irrelevance.

There are second career opportunities – structured and entrepreneurial – that can produce enormous satisfaction and deliver value.


© 2018 John Gregory Self

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