Letting Go Is Hard to Do Knowing When to Leave Your Job

February 1, 2013

by Ritch K. Eich, PhD

Ritch K. Eich, PhDOn the morning of December 12, 1941, just five days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, newly minted Brigadier General Dwight D. Eisenhower was summoned from Texas to meet with Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall. He was directed to present Marshall with a strategy within just a few hours to lead to victory in the Pacific. Without delay, Eisenhower drafted a three-page memo outlining his strategy. His action is illustrative of one of the most important leadership tools too seldom used in health care marketing today – strategy.

Executives, managers, and others in transition (for example, many of President Obama’s first-term mar­keting campaign staffers) need a personal strategy to guide them in their careers. Their strategy should have benchmarks by which they can judge whether the time is nearing for them to move on in their careers and not overstay their welcome.

Successful health care marketers typically possess a strong strategic bent, substantial conceptual skills, an engaging personality, and proven analytical ability. Yet few seemingly deploy personal strategies in their own careers. According to executive search firm Spencer Stuart, chief marketing officers across all industries average just 43 months in a particular job. This rela­tively short tenure suggests that marketers would definitely benefit from a strategy to guide them in their professional pursuits.

You, as a health care marketer, must be able to discern when the time has come to leave behind a comfortable, challenging, or captivating job – however difficult that may seem. Knowing when it’s time to say goodbye is a sensibility that’s often lacking. A career strategy can help immensely.

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