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If you find yourself in the job market all the good economic news to the contrary, do not despair. You are not alone.  

In healthcare, once considered the layoff proof industry, health systems, hospitals and other providers are frantically working to realign their organizations to meet the demands of a changing business model. This means making some tough calls on expense reduction and layoffs. 

Black Book, a market research firm, predicts that by the year 2022, healthcare providers, primarily health systems and hospitals, must reduce their overhead, on average, by 24 to 25 percent just to break even. Chief Executive Officers have heard the warnings and they are busy trying to get their organizations ready for this reality.

So, even though our national economy is booming in terms of employment, there are business sectors where life is not so rosy; transformation is driving consolidation and expense reduction.  The evidence for this change can be found in the number of senior executives who are now in the job market for the first time in five to 10 years, or longer.  

What they are finding is a startlingly new world when it comes to looking for a job. The rules of the road from five years ago are vastly different.

If you are beginning to get organized for a job search, here are three important points to consider:

  1. Does your resume clearly reflect your value?  Your  value is the sum of your experience and your accomplishments that will clearly show the prospective employer that you help them.  Do not send a generic resume. Customize the Professional Summary to specifically tie your value to the needs of the client as outlined in the on-line posting or in the job summary document provided by their recruiter.  When you send a generic resume you are essentially telling the employer or the recruiter,  ‘I am qualified so you figure it out.’  When you take that approach,  you are wasting everyone’s time.  You probably will be eliminated
  2. Highlight your relevant experience.  I can almost hear the prospective employer now: “OK, so you have 25 years of leadership experience.  How does that benefit my specific needs?”  Remember, you are not the only one looking for a job.  There are probably 20 to 30 other executives sniffing around the same deal.  You improve your chances for success fly differentiating yourself from everyone — connect your relevant experience to the employer’s needs. Spell it out for them! 
  3. Are you prepared for the tough questions?  Why were you selected for the layoff versus someone else? What were your deficiencies? What skills or competences would have spared you from the chopping block?  Here is a hint for these types of questions: The least good time to develop your response to those types of questions is when they are asked.

 If you have questions or would like more information on our highly regarded career Transition/Outplacement service, email me at CareerTransitions@JohnGSelf.Com   We are here to help you.


John G. Self is Founder and Managing Partner of JohnGSelf + Partners, and executive search and career transition advisory firm based in Dallas.  

John has advised dozens of healthcare executives on career management and transition strategies, including some of the nation’s highest profile leaders

For more than 20 years, Mr. Self has led high-profile executive searches for hospitals across the mainland United States, Hawaii and Alaska.  He has recruited in seven countries on four continents, including Australia, South Africa, the Republic of the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates. His search work includes hospitals, health systems, home care and hospice, and pre-hospital/mobile healthcare and traditional EMS providers.

He has held healthcare leadership positions in the not-for-profit and investor-owned hospital management field, including Hermann Hospital in Houston where he served as the first director of that organization’s famed Life Flight program. Prior to joining Hermann in 1976, John worked as a crime writer and investigative reporter for The Houston Post.  

He is writer, blogger, author and an award-winning speaker. Over the years has dedicated countless hours to coaching executives and graduate students regarding career transitions and personal brand management.  

In 2010 he was awarded the American College of Healthcare Executives Regent’s award as the senior healthcare leader of the year in North Texas.