Former MidMichigan Health President Terence F. Moore Continues His Survival Strategies and Career Advancement Strategies Series


There is a higher likelihood that executives will change employers several times during their career than the likelihood that they will stay with one organization for their entire career. Sometimes it’s by choice, but unfortunately it’s often because of a number of factors beyond their control.

Therefore, the cautious executive understands the importance of preparing for his next career change while he is currently employed. Executives who don’t use some of their time to position themselves for their next job search are making a big career mistake. don’t think about your work like your career. Your job may be the most important stepping stone to your career, but it’s not your career.

While employed, put these work activities on your to-do list:

Continue your training

What a tragedy that many executives spend a concentrated period in their university studies and then focus solely on the work at hand. A number of self-improvement courses and formal academic programs are available for professionals. If these don’t interest you, listen to some of the great speeches available on YouTube. Listen to Simon Sinek, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins or John C. Maxwell. Some of the best speeches and advice ever given are free for anyone who takes the time to download and listen to them.

Even if you don’t plan on getting another degree, consider taking courses that will build your capacity in finance, economics, human resources, or any other area where you lack expertise. Make it a priority to find programs and seminars that will benefit you the most. Often, your current employer can pay some or all of the expenses for these programs.

Participate in professional associations

There are regional, state and national associations for almost every profession. All provide opportunities to meet others in your field or industry. Participate in the development of your leadership skills. It is not enough to attend association meetings. Look for leadership positions within the organization. One way to make sure that happens is to volunteer for jobs that no one else wants to do.

Hone your communication skills

Of the thousands of executives I’ve known, there are only a handful who couldn’t improve their speaking skills. The rest of us are just a work in progress. And, more often than not, the writing skills of these same executives also leave something to be desired. To perfect your speaking skills, the most important factor is practice. Teaching at a nearby college or university — where you present to students — can be a great learning experience, and it can look good on a resume.

If you can’t teach a class, at least look for professional speaking engagements. Getting in front of an audience of professional peers and delivering an effective presentation is one of the hardest things you can do. To hone your writing skills, write articles and books. The best advice one can give in this regard is to just start. It takes time, but it allows you to develop in-depth expertise in a field. And in doing so, you expose yourself to colleagues in the field, which improves your networking skills.

Maintain an up-to-date job search file

Keep the file at home and include the information you will need for your next job search. At a minimum, the file should include copies of your one-page, two-page, and multi-page resumes. And those resumes should be updated every four to six months. Also include the names and addresses of potential employers you may wish to contact regarding a career change, as well as contact information for appropriate executive recruiters and search firms.

Add to the file any information or clippings you have saved about anyone you plan to contact. If your organization has used an outplacement company in the past, find out as much as you can about that company in case you are forced to use it due to layoff.

Part 2 of this article will address two other important questions in preparing for your future career change or advancement.

Terence Moore, former president of MidMichigan Health and co-editor of The Health Care Executive Search: A Guide to Recruiting and Job Seeking, wrote this column as part of a monthly series focusing on career survival and advancement. for the Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected]


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