I've been out of work three times in my career. I talk about each on Today's show. I hope someone gets something out of it that helps them along the way.
Today in health, it making a job transition as , it's Friday. You're not just look back over my week. Think about my conversations. And come up with a topic to talk about. And that's what we're going to do today. We're going to talk about job transitions. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system.
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Alright, I've been out of work three times in my career. The first was right out of college. So probably two times in my career, but I'll touch on all three and hopefully share something. That may be a value to someone out there. , and as I said, , I had a couple conversations this week talking to different people, but, , one of them was somebody who's making a career change.
And, , I probably have at least two or three of those conversations a month. Of the people who are looking to go from one thing to another, or they've been let go, or they're looking to go to another health system or fill in the blank. And so I have those conversations all the time. And to be honest with you, they're very different conversations depending on who you are, where you are in your career.
, what kind of moves you're you're trying to make, but I want to talk to you about my transitions and maybe you'll get something from it. So, , I was married the day before I graduated from college and. We were scheduled to move to Wolfborough New Hampshire upon returning from our honeymoon. Now Wolfborough is a vacation town in the middle of New Hampshire, not the easiest place to start a career, but that is where my story started. So, ,
, and this was back in the day. This is a 1980. No, yeah. 1989. , newspaper ads, phone calls, , friends of friends connecting me with people. And after building a log cabin to make some money. , because I was newly married and doing other odd jobs. I finally landed my first job at Huggins hospital, checking people into the ed.
And, , , that's a great case of, I got that job and I was checking people in and they had one computer sitting over in the corner. And they said, well, we don't really know what to do with that thing. So I, I fired it up. I put DBAs on it and I created the program to actually check people into the hospital back then in 1989 and, , at Huggins hospital in.
Central New Hampshire. But anyway, the, the advice I give people just starting out is figure out what you may want to do. Long-term and get on with a company that does that really well. That's not what I did. I took whatever job was available in New Hampshire before we moved soon after that, because.
, you almost had to go to a city to, to get anywhere. So, , but figuring out what kind of work you'd like to do long-term and then find a company that does that really well. , how do you do that? You do that through networking. For those of you who have a. A parent or parents with a strong network, don't be too proud to use it. , your best path to your first job is through your network and like it or not, your parents were the first members of your network.
, for those whose parents can't or won't help. , , don't sweat it. , but the concept really still applies. Your next job is through your network. If your network is small. , you, , you, you just start to build it out
, one of the things I want you to remember right now, as you're thinking about this, remember the kindness of the people who gave you their time, their experience, and their expertise in this journey. And because you're going to do the same thing when you can. All right. So the question you have is how do you network? It's really pretty simple.
Get it out piece of paper or computer, I guess, but we used to get out a piece of paper and I still like working off of paper from time to time. And this is a good exercise for that. Make a list of the People who are in the career or in their careers early in their careers. Even some older people, I've had some people.
, I've been shocked that how generous people have been with their time. , with me, people who have rewritten my resume after they, they read it. I had an executive, an executive who ran the London branch for a major consulting firm. , he took the time to rewrite my resume and, , I am.
, forever grateful for that. , so, , you make a list of the people, , Have a direction of the type of work and the type of company you want to work for and begin calling people and setting up meetings. Tell them what you're looking for and ask them if they know of anyone or if they have any ideas or any thoughts, ask them to make a warm intros where they can. And that right there is networking.
, a friend used to tell me that he made a list between jobs and he knew that he would have a job before his Les got to a hundred people. Now that may sound like a lot, but once you get good at networking, , and the networking conversations, you're going to find that it doesn't take that long. All right. So that's my advice to you. Just starting out, just graduated from college, just trying to get going. You're going to have to learn how to network and by the way, if you learn how to network.
It's I'm going to get into this, but it's really going to be valuable to you at every phase of your career. All right. So the next time I was out of work was right after Y2K. I had attained a great VP level position at a fortune 500 company. In my early thirties, I was overseeing a 160, 180 million. , dollar P and L , but the company enter chapter 11. And we were bought and I was on the street. I had a job almost immediately, right after that. And that company ran into the.com. Bubble burst. , and, , , they weren't gone.
But the division that I was hired into was gone. , and that was only about six months later. And so there you are. I'm on the street again. And for that time, I went without a paycheck for about six months. And th that was a, that was interesting time because I, I really thought given my experience and whatnot, that people would find me they'd reach me. , they'd know that somebody, this good was on the street and that was a bad mindset going into that. And so I went six months without a paycheck.
And to be honest with you, I hope everyone has that opportunity in their life. It humbles you and it gives you empathy. For people who are out of work. , in this case, I started networking and the conversations led me to start my first business. Which I did for roughly the next five years.
And this is the point I was getting to when you get really good at what you do. So I was really good with technology and you are good at networking. It turns out that starting a business is not all that hard. My takeaway from this was dedicate yourself to your craft, protect your reputation and always be networking.
Help people out along the way they're going to help you out. And so I started receiving contracts. I kept networking sales essentially is a form of networking. I kept networking and I just kept having contracts come along until somebody plucked me out of there and said, Hey. You're your little business. Isn't enough. You should be doing more for the world.
And, , that's a story for another day. All right. So the last time I was out of work, , was a little different, right? So this is leaving St. Joe's as CIO of a 16 hospital system. And also that's set me up to be a CIO for another health system. So. , when you attain this level, you become familiar with the executive search firms, health systems use retained search firms, almost exclusively for their executive roles. When you attain this level, you need to network into these firms.
In the it world, there are a handful of large players, and then there are regional players, which you will have to seek out if you're looking for a specific health system, but don't worry people in your network know who these people are with key for Korn ferry, Kirby, and associates for. , full-time roles. You have B Smith and starboard advisers for interim placements.
, there are 20 more of these players. And that are out there and they're, well-connected in healthcare. I was able to interview for five CIO roles through this route to I outright rejected one, one cold, and the other two ran their course and I was not selected. And the CIO. Who beat me out, our good friends and well-deserving of the roles. And actually if I thought about it, both have been on the show several times.
, during that time, I kept doing work for my peers in the industry as a consultant. And I also did coaching and I started the podcast and it It turns out that when you're good at networking, it isn't very hard to start a podcast over the last five years, the coaching and consulting where the primary business. For the first three years, but now the podcast and events that we put on for the community has taken over my passion and my time.
So I wanted to share these stories. As I spoke with the CIO this week, who was currently looking for the next role. I know that feeling well. Eh, , to try and time you question your worth several times along the way. The reality is that your worth is far greater than your economic value. You're, you're a father, a mother, a husband, a wife, a brother, sister. You're a friend, your son, daughter.
You're a, a community member and, in my faith journey, my faith experience. , you would be considered valuable because of the value that God places on you. So don't get discouraged, keep making the phone calls and building your network. , if you're struggling, I may or may not be able to help you, but I will. If I can bill at this week, health.com.
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