How to Know if This Promotion Is Right for You

MHE PublicationMHE April 2020
Volume 30
Issue 4

Healthcare and business professionals share insight on the reasons you should or shouldn’t take a leap into a new career step.

You’ve just been offered a promotion. Congrats! This should be great or you - and your career.

But hang on. Not every promotion is the right fit. The wrong one can kink a career path instead paving the way forward.  

David Wildebrandt, a managing director at the Berkeley Research Group’s healthcare practice, notes that promotions and leadership are earned privileges and not given rights. If most of the following are applicable, then you should think “go” and not “no” about this promotion.


· The promotion is aligned with your capabilities and not occurring just because someone left the organization so now there’s a void to fill. For people who should be already working at this level, the promotion is an acknowledgment of their abilities.

· It is matched with your skill set and allows you to showcase your hard and soft skills.

· It’s not a high-risk venture in general, meaning you can feel safe taking this next step. This should be a calculated risk to push yourself, but you also need to be realistic.

· You can actually see and understand what success looks like in this next role. Clarity is everything.

· You don’t have to do a lot of soul-searching or think about reinventing yourself because the promotion means a role that seems to require totally new or unpredictable skill sets.

· You have a clear understanding of what your team looks like and a feeling of how they will work with you. You shouldn’t have to use a lot of “I” statements because your job will be less about you,and more about successfully developing the people under you.

· Your future hiring philosophy will be to replace yourself, and you’ll have the bandwidth and scope to do just that. You have the support of the organization to assemble the team and resources you need instead of having to be a superstar every day to get it done yourself.

· If you are switching employers, is the new employer keeping up? Does your new employer make sure the customer is at the center of everything and offers customers the technology and access they are used to in other facets of their lives? 

“Anyone in the post-ACA era of operational efficiency and reimbursement degradation must understand how to deliver high-quality care and services while receiving less,” says Kevin Groves, PhD, an associate professor of management at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School in Malibu, California, and president of Groves Consulting Group, a succession-planning and leadership talent development firm.

Here are some of the attributes of a job or an employer that he advises clients to be on the lookout for: 

· The organization is cognizant of the mass consolidation taking place in healthcare and is reacting appropriately with a well-aligned, integrated delivery model.  

· The top management team has stability and longevity in defining the strategic direction of the organization. Research shows that when a CEO departs, half of the top team will also leave. 

· Succession planning and the talent development process are robust. Management is methodical and thoughtful about both.

· You sense that your own career interests and needs are being weighed and valued as you’re being considered for the promotion.

· If it’s a smaller organization, you will have opportunities to exert a broader influence and engagement in different functions and business units as you seek to broaden your own capabilities and skill sets. Some might be more external-facing, perhaps with involvement in, for example, fundraising.  

· There is a perceived or real sense of alignment of working styles that complement those of the CEO. Executives are willing to collaborate with you on specific areas such as operations and finance. There’s a strong, symbiotic relationship between a well-developed board and the CEO.

· Your career won’t stall once you accept the role, and career development is supported.

· The organization utilizes a comprehensive onboarding and acculturation process - a formal transition experience throughout the first year that effectively facilitates one’s transition into a new organization and local community. Management knows that where you live and what you can do there when you’re not working is as important as the work you do.

If much of the above applies to your next healthcare job opportunity, chances are you’re on your way to a rewarding new chapter. your professional life. Congrats! If it doesn’t, pause and consider. 

Stephanie Stephens, MA, is a journalist, producer, and host in Orange County, California.

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