Parents offer great advice if we will only listen.
Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t, was a frequent admonition during my growing up years. I suspect many of you heard those exact words or something similar.
There is a connection between that advice from our parents and how we approach our career. Over the years I have interviewed countless people who want to be a hospital CEO or some other senior executive even though their skill sets and record of job turnover suggest otherwise. “But that is what I am educated to do,” is not an uncommon response when you challenge their career pathway. Sometimes their look of deep disbelief replaces those actual words, but their pushback is there. That they may not be suited to be a CEO or operational executive is not something the want to consider.
This is a tough conversation to have with someone who is in their mid career, especially when previous career transition coaches have not broached this critical subject, all evidence of their client’s tattered track record to the contrary. Many transition coaches facilitate the process of helping the individual find the same or similar job some place else which frequently leads to the same end.
This is where understanding your value proposition comes in. My colleague, Nancy Swain, a member of the faculty for the recently completed Congress of the American College of Healthcare Executives, perfected this concept in the late 199os and has used it successfully to help senior executives understand their true strengths and to find the right role where they can excel.
The value proposition concept, condensed down, is the process of identifying those things you do well and supporting them with quantifiable evidence of previous accomplishments.
Providing evidence of your skills is the ultimate test of whether you are in the right career lane.