Career transitions can be difficult. The more desirable your next position is, the more competition you will face to secure it.
The top priority of an applicant is to stand out from the crowd. Having a great resume and a strong interview is a great place to start. However, most overlook this simple practice that will cause you to stand out from all other applicants: Follow-Up.
First, you must understand how important follow-up is. A good interview followed by poor follow up will not serve you well. An average interview can be positively impacted by excellent follow-up.
During your interview process, connect with as many people as possible as it relates to a specific opening. When more people remember you, your chances of securing the position naturally increases. After the interview, it is your responsibility to keep each of those individuals updated throughout the process.
With an active search, the time frame for touch points/follow up should be a minimum of seven calendar days and a maximum of ten calendar days. Use a combination of the four levels of communication: face-to-face, telephone, text/email and regular mail. Everybody has their favorite on the receiving end, so try to mix it up a bit. Whatever combination of communication you choose, don't be afraid to let your personality show.
One of the biggest concerns for individuals in follow-ups beyond neglect is, "Will I be seen as a pest?" Remember, you only become a pest when your intervals of follow-up are too short and you're always requesting response. If you follow-up without forcing an agenda, they will be received very well.
Of course, I have only scratched the surface of effective active search follow-up. If you would like to learn more in-depth tips in finding success through active transition, please connect with me.
Here's to your success!
Wiederhold & Associates currently partners with healthcare systems to support their succession planning process. One organization we are working with is unique in their foresight in planning for critical impending retirements. They recognize the need to invest on a longer-term basis to prepare their leaders for future success. Joy W. Goldman RN, MS, PCC, PDC, Executive Director of Leadership Coaching is leading the charge.
As we work with our client systems, we know that we need to leverage confidence AND humility; individual interests AND team interests; a centralized AND decentralized focus; safety AND risk. We challenge ourselves with these polarities as we challenge our clients and client systems.
Our mission is to groom and develop agile leadership that is able to intelligently navigate the challenges and changes that our industry is facing. We look forward to partnering with you as you strategize your succession strategy for long-term success.
Whether it’s personal goals or career goals, we’ve all been there – setting aggressive and ambitious resolutions, chasing after it, hitting setbacks, and eventually become unmotivated to continue.
It is important to set goals, but if you measure success only by achieving your next goal, you probably have not accomplished as much as you would like. Willpower alone is usually not strong enough to overcome setbacks which ultimately result in failure.
Scott Adams, the creator of the immensely successful Dilbert Cartoons, reiterates a Wiederhold & Associates approach to finding success. He states, “When you approach life as a sequence of milestones to be achieved, you exist in a state of near-continuous failure. A system, by contrast, is something you do on a regular basis that increases your odds of success in the long run, regardless of the immediate outcome. People succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do.”
A simple shift in focus from goals to systems will ultimately help you find the success you have been longing to realize. The sense of accomplishment that comes from working the system each day creates a momentum that will carry you to the next goal. You may find yourself achieving goals faster than ever before with a new found personal invigoration.
As you plan your New Year’s Resolution, set your sights on implementing new systems for success instead of a milestone to be achieved. If you would like to discuss what systems could propel you the furthest fastest, give me a call. Together, we can map out a plan to that will put you in prime position to achieve your 2017 personal and career goals.
Here's to your success,
If you think your Master’s degree and experience alone will translate into landing that great executive job, you will likely find disappointment. Why? Simple - everyone else in the candidate pool has a Master’s degree and experience. You need to stand out from the crowd. How does one do this? By communicating your value proposition. What are you known for? What is your brand? What is your calling card? What measurable results are you known to achieve? These are the questions you must answer and clearly communicate in order to make yourself stand out in a sea of executives.
Don’t make recruiters and hiring managers figure things out on their own - it is up to you to communicate your brand, value, and worth. Don’t assume people read every word of your resume - they likely do not. You must stand out by communicating why you are valuable to an employer
How do you identify your value proposition? Ask others. Read your prior evaluations. Look at results in the following areas: service, quality, people, community, growth, finance. Identify themes in your resume.
Remember- organizations have problems and executives have solutions. Communicate your brand by communicating the types of solutions you’ve solved for your employers.
I've done a lot of interview coaching over the last 22 years. If I were to grade my clients' beginning interview skills, most people would have a starting grade somewhere below average. This is by no fault of their own. It is common to not do well on things that are not practiced.
Working with my clients, I can raise the interview grade from a 'C' to an 'A' by practicing these basic principals before, during and after the interview.
Creating this perception starts with preparation. Begin by understanding the five top critical elements of the opportunity so that you are able to address them with current experience and success. Also, develop an effective two-minute presentation which includes humanization, elevator, and your differentiation/value statement.
[ Click here to learn how to develop your 2-minute presentation.]
As you enter the interview, introduce yourself with confidence. Confidence, not arrogance, can set a positive perception from the beginning. As you engage in the interview, pay close attention to the person speaking and begin to mirror to match tempo, breathing, rate-of-speech, directness, etc. This makes each one comfortable with each other and sets the correct filter. Also, know exactly the statement you will make or the open-ended question you'll ask. By demonstrating your interpersonal skills, you give yourself the greatest opportunity to connect with and engage your audience.
When the interviewer engages with you, take your time to understand what is being said before you respond. Generally, people are so caught up in the world of listening to respond that we miss a vital part of the question. Answer questions concisely, close information gaps and enhance the answer when it adds value to the original thought. Always tell the truth but word it in a win-win presentation. This will provide consistency throughout the interview and keep you in a positive position.
Imagine what would happen if you took the time to practice and prepare a well-executed interview. It could be a significant way to separate yourself from the crowd in a very competitive market!
If you would like more in-depth coaching to help you make the most out of your next interview, do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.
Here's to your success!
I advise executive clients for Wiederhold & Associates and I don’t read every word of every resume. Do you think every recruiter and hiring manager does? Chances are they are not. One recruiter told me he takes about 10 seconds to size up a resume. A good resume first and foremost needs to stand out. Many executives have the same tired, basic resume format they’ve been using for fifteen years. Many people think it’s safe to have a resume like everyone else’s- that is certainly true. However, if you want to stand out, your resume first has to stand out.
What makes a good resume? One that the reader can paint a clear picture for the reader within 10 seconds. Stand out. Clear value proposition. Numerical accomplishments that hit as many pillars as possible. As an executive I bring in expertise to the organization when called for, so why don’t more people hire professional resume writers? They, like I used to believe, think they can write their resume on their own. For a nominal investment you can have an expert market your most valuable money-making machine - you. Resumes change every 2-3 years and you and I are not experts in that field. Make it easy on yourself and hire a great resume writer to make your candidacy stand out and clarify your value proposition.
If you want your resume to stand out, contact Jim Wiederhold for professional guidance on crafting your own brand and value proposition.
Labor Day means more than great BBQ and spending time with friends and family. For me, it is a celebration of American leadership, strength, and ingenuity.
In the days following World War II, when the economic strength and power of America was all that stood between the world and the return to the dark ages, Pope Pius XII said, "The American people have a great genius for splendid and unselfish actions. Into the hands of America God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind."
Wiederhold & Associates joins in the national tribute to the American workers who have made contributions and achievements to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country and the world. Happy Labor Day!
When interviewing, please keep in mind one simple rule- answer the question. An amazing number of people think that when they have the microphone (answering an interview question) they can talk as long as they want about whatever they want in an interview. This is understandable as candidates are excited and want to sell, however it’s a turn off to the interviewer.
Throw darts when interviewing- be concise, brief and use facts/numbers to support your answers. If they want more information, they will ask. Remember- the interviewer has a list of questions they want to get through. They can’t get through the interview if the candidate takes five minutes to answer every question. This is a major turnoff and it signals the candidate isn’t in tune with the employer’s needs.
To answer the question is to be a good listener. If someone asks you a yes/no question- answer with a yes or no answer. Listen intently to the words they are using and ask for clarification if need be. Don’t forget to mirror the interviewer- if s/he is a fast talker, then talk faster. If s/he is a slow talker, then slow down. The goal is to make a connection by listening and answering the question. Finally, only practice makes perfect when interviewing so practice with family, friends and colleagues and remember to throw darts, not hand grenades!
I remember conducting an interview for a key leadership role and the candidate kept talking about results and accomplishments from their former job that did not correlate with our environment. We were turned off almost immediately. Remember - organizations have needs, people have skills. Your job is to clearly communicate that your skills are a match with the employer’s needs. You must fully understand why the organization is hiring for the position. What are the key skills and competencies needed? What are the measurable goals that define success?
When looking at a position, the first step is to obtain a copy of the position description and read it multiple times - highlighting pertinent sections that clearly demonstrate the reasons why the position exists (goals, skills, competencies). Organizations want to win- you help them win by clearly communicating how your skills are a good match to meet their needs. When speaking with the employer or recruiter, make sure to communicate your specific (numerical) career accomplishments that clearly demonstrate past success that match with the employer’s needs. Jobs exist to solve problems and meet needs- show them you can do both.
Matching your skills with an employer’s needs is nothing more than good listening. Make sure you understand the needs by reviewing the position description, taking notes when speaking with recruiters or hiring managers, and highlight your specific accomplishments that match their needs.
Check out this site for more help with sharpening your skills to match an employer’s needs.
“It’s a nice day outside.” Does this mean it’s 65 degrees, 75, 82? It depends on who you ask. Unless you ascribe a numerical measure to something it will never be fully clear to an audience. So many executives I advise are not fully clear when talking about their career accomplishments- I’ve been guilty of this as well. “We grew revenue and patient satisfaction improved when I was at XYZ Health System” or “We set up this corporation, joint venture, committee, etc.” These are simply not clear statements when compared to, “We grew revenue by 35% and our patient satisfaction improved from the 12th percentile to the 67th percentile” or “We started a new joint venture that grew market share by 34% and grew net revenue by 40%”.
Many comparisons have been made between the airline industry and healthcare. The pilot knows where the plane is going by following specific numerical coordinates. Do you know your X-Y? What was the origin and destination of your last journey? This is communicated simply by knowing your X-Y’s in one or more of the following areas: service, patient safety, quality, growth, service line development, finance, community benefit, market share, cost containment, productivity, physician or employee engagement, turnover, etc. When X-Y’s are communicated well it sounds like this… “When I was at XYZ health system our HCAHPs went from the 23rd percentile to the 78th percentile over 4 years” or “During my tenure we reduced RN turnover from 35% to 16% in three years.
Organizations want results. If you clearly communicate that you achieve results, your chances for success improve when looking for your next job. Contact www.wiederholdassoc.com for more information on learning how to communicate your “X-Y’s” and taking the next step in developing your career.
To execute well in a network meeting or an interview, you must present yourself in a powerful way. As most of you are aware, the elevator speech has long been utilized as a tool in this area. This presentation focuses on who you are, what you've accomplished and where you're going. At Wiederhold & Associates, we have refined the elevator speech and taken it to a different level.
We call ours the "2-Minute Presentation", and when done correctly, will connect you to your audience as well as align you with the opportunity or the situation.
The 2-Minute Presentation should be as close to 2 minutes as possible, be modified to fit different audiences and contain three distinct components:
Basically, it's your elevator speech on steroids. Here's how it works.
The goal is to make a connection. It's amazing what happens when you find a mutual connecting point to your audience. Remember, relationships are built on personal information, not business. Lastly, the power of the concept of "I, therefore, you." If I share something with you of a personal nature, you will feel compelled to share something with me. Connecting to people on a personal level is an essential part of both networking and interviewing.
There are two key messages here:
The Differentiation Statement
The differentiation statement answers these two questions in a powerful way:
Both networking and interviewing have become highly competitive. On top of that, people have limited time to give you. Bring your A-game with one of the most powerful tools you can put in your toolbox - a well developed 2-Minute Presentation.
Facilitating a successful job transition and search is a complex and intensive process. I have found most healthcare executives are trained and focused in their healthcare leadership roles, but are not experienced nor educated on how to conduct a successful job search and transition.
Frankly, most tend not to be very good at it.
Why is that? Most of us are good at things we do most of the time. None of us would be very good golfers if we golfed every two years. Job transitions are just like that. Executives don't have the opportunity to practice these skills often and there is real value in finding a coach or a partner who can accelerate the process.
Let me share a case of an executive that had tried to go it alone in her job transition and learned that with the right coach, training and navigation she could be very successful in her transition. She had the wisdom to realize she needed guidance to be successful.
To give you some insight, the client was a very high-level executive in a large health system. She had been trying to find a position on her own for approximately two years without success. Her organization had merged with another system who had the stronger position in the merger. The position they had offered her was not at the level she had been at and she decided to move on. She began conducting her own search process and was not as successful as she wanted to be. Eventually, she reached out to me for transition coaching.
What did she learn:
What were her outcomes:
Working with this executive was a very rewarding journey for me because she had been out so long and was concerned about her ability to make a successful transition. We quickly moved her forward with the appropriate skills and were successful in helping her land a very good position. She was an excellent partner.
Transition and search is a very specific sales process – the process of selling yourself! With the right coaching, education and practice you can have a very successful result.
Here's to your success,
Message from Jim Wiederhold, president of Wiederhold & Associates
As many of you are aware, we are in the transition business, career development and executive coaching. We believe that transition should be an holistic approach meaning not just getting people through the transition to the next opportunity but adding skills and knowledge that will make them even more productive in the next opportunity. We have been talking up for several months the introduction of three new programs. The first one is ready to launch and we want to make you aware of it. With the arrival of healthcare reform, we have developed the concept of the three-legged stool. Each one of these legs is extremely important for any healthcare executive to be successful in their careers. These are: quality, strategy and finance.
Our first program is focused on quality. The process will work as follows. Each individual that we work with at the appropriate level will be assessed by our expert. Once the assessment is completed and reviewed by our expert, she will meet with that individual by telephone one-on-one. During that meeting she will review their results and make suggestions that may include additional training in the area of quality. If any additional training is needed, this individual can create an agreement with our expert. The assessment part will fall under the Wiederhold & Associates program. Any additional training will be handled by the individual and our expert.
I do not think anyone can disagree that quality will be a major focus of healthcare reform and that anyone who lacks in that area will have his/her challenges. We are very fortunate that we have located an expert in this area who brings a long history of success in healthcare. Let me introduce you to Debra Honey.
Debra Honey is a visionary Nurse Executive with more than 30 years of progressively responsible and diversified Nursing Leadership experience. She excels at leading healthcare transformational change initiatives and promoting impeccable standards of care within the industry.
Honey Consulting, Inc.
Debra is President of Honey Consulting, Inc., a progressive, hands-on consulting firm offering practical solutions for opportunities and issues facing healthcare organizations today. She provides expertise in nursing services, nursing operations leadership, and operations support to assist and facilitate improvements in performance and outcomes. Debra also provides Chief Nursing Executive coaching and interim Executive Nursing support.
Catholic Health Initiatives, Denver, CO
Debra was previously Vice President for Clinical Operations and Clinical Leadership Development for Catholic Health Initiatives, a national not-for-profit healthcare organization comprised of 68 U.S. hospitals located in 19 states. In this role, she was responsible for nursing clinical operational support for system initiatives and market based organizations. She served as the Executive responsible for system-wide strategy for and implementation of clinical competency programs including competency assessment and staff development for all hospitals. She was a valuable clinical resource on a diverse set of national work groups and task forces.
Signature Leadership Qualifications
Debra is a member of the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellow Program, 2008 cohort, and her diverse leadership experience and areas of expertise include:
She earned valuable direct patient care experience working as a clinical nurse in critical care, emergency services, and surgical services. In addition, Debra taught Nursing at the diploma, bachelor, and masters levels.
Education and Certifications
Debra earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She holds a Master of Science in Health Administration from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management. She is a Registered Nurse in the states of Tennessee and California.
Debra prestigious healthcare certifications include:
The program that Debra Honey has designed for those individuals needing additional training in this area will include the assessment process, an individualized learning plan, the learning modules, individual coaching and consulting, and simulations.
The program is designed to be customizable to best meet the needs and goals of the individual executive. Gaining expanded competencies and quality and safety in healthcare provides a demonstrable competitive advantage to senior executives in the field.
If you have any questions or comments. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. On an additional note, we will offer Debra's services beyond just those individuals involved in the Wiederhold & Associates transition/career development program.
Kyle and I just returned from an eight-day engagement with an organization that will probably be purchased by a for-profit system. This particular hospital is faith-based and has been part of this community for a very long time. I have had the privilege of working with their VP of HR over the last 5+ years with individuals who transitioned out from this organization. He had the foresight to bring us in to work with his executive team and key vice presidents and directors facing an uncertain future. Our focus was to give reassurance, provide new options and give them superior knowledge of the transition process both external and internal. This involved two days of group sessions and 17 individual video interviews with specific feedback for each individual. This not only required a great deal of hours during the workday as well as many hours afterward burning these DVDs and preparing for the next day.
Both Kyle and I are returning home, feeling good about our efforts. We are hopeful that our newfound friends will end up exactly where they want to be.
Whether you're in transition or not, the concept of controllable versus non-controllable and desires versus goals is key to your success. When people are frustrated more than likely what they're doing is focusing on what's not controllable versus what's controllable. Here's a simple example; I can control the phone calls I make. The number of calls, the frequency of follow-up, the message I deliver, and the attitude I convey, but I can't control somebody calling me back, I can only influence them. If we would learn to focus this way, we would be much more successful and much less frustrated. I think we can all agree that frustration is a pretty useless emotion.
So the first thing we work on with our clients in transition is to start defining what controllable and uncontrollable is by the use of very definitive examples like making phone calls and receiving phone calls, asking somebody to expand your network and having them deliver a name. We need to stay focused on what we can control and not on what we can only influence. This applies to transition and everything else whether it’s business or personal.
Now let's add goals versus desires. When someone begins their transition we talk about goals that we can control versus desires, which we can only influence, and are not controllable. How does that translate into transition? We focus on four things which are controllable. First, the number of hours you dedicate each week to the search. Second, the number of calls you make each week which does not include those you receive. Third, asking for people to expand your network and not necessarily receiving a name, you can't control that and finally, getting out pieces of paper which translates into resumes and cover letters to recruiters and employers for specific openings. This also includes direct marketing letters to organizations you may have an interest in working with.
If something is a desire, it can always be broken down into specific controllable goals that will get you there. It can apply to anything business or personal. Try it on and see if it fits.