Please accept this letter as my 100% total endorsement and recommendation of the career counseling and executive outplacement services that you provide. Please feel free to use my experiences that I describe below to any interested candidates.
After 25 years of solid employment, at a strategic level, within a large hospital system in Dayton, Ohio, I found myself looking for a new career opportunity. I managed, led and had functional responsibility for areas such as business development, strategic planning, physician relations, marketing, ambulatory facility development and also line responsibility for areas such as outpatient departments, facilities and security. My last position with this System, was President and CEO of a diagnostic imaging center joint venture company with the hospital’s radiologists. My personal transition began when the System realized that it needed to buyout the radiologists and integrate the JV back into the hospital for managed care reimbursement reasons. Once the integration was completed, I found that there was not a comparable position within the System that would allow me to continue to grow. The recent economic downturn also hurt me from a timing perspective as the System reorganized to reduce costs. To make a long story short, I was out of a job and on a severance package for the first time in my career. I must admit that I was in a state of shock. I’m sure that I went thru the normal grieving process, and then I got the call.
I was called by another member of the Jim Weiderhold network, who was also in a transition mode, and he told me about this guy named Jim Weiderhold and he suggested that I give him a call. I did, and the next stage of my career began. I had a great conversation with Jim on the phone and, as a result, approached the System HR VP about utilizing Jim’s firm for my career counseling and outplacement service. I received approval to GO, if it could be done at the same cost as the outplacement service that the System currently utilized. Jim agreed, and our journey began.
My wife and I traveled to Houston to meet with Jim about his process. I decided to take my wife because she too was experiencing the same emotions, concerns and vulnerability that I was. We had a great 2 days in Houston. A brief summary of our experience follows:
We reviewed the Transition Plan that Jim coached us in preparing (Vision, ideal position, ideal organization, compensation and benefit needs, community preferences and acceptable relocation parts of the country). My wife and I had lived in Ohio our entire lives.
We reviewed the Top 10 Criteria for the Next Position that Jim asked us to prepare. We found this document to be a critical “check and balance” test for us as we considered various opportunities as they arose. Amazingly, my new position matched 100% of the key criteria that we had envisioned.
We updated my resume which had not been thoughtfully touched in many, many years.
We conducted practice interviews and learned many “interviewing tips and recurring themes”. My wife sat in as an observer during the process and provided me with valuable insights and observations.
We learned about the importance of developing my network and the time commitment necessary for my job search. More importantly, I learned how to develop my network and number of calls necessary for success.
Following the two day, one-on-one, training program we returned to Dayton and began the process. Jim and I scheduled a regular phone call every two weeks to update each other on my progress. I also found that Jim was available and accessible whenever necessary between the formal phone calls. Jim was my “conscience” as he challenged me to call, call, call and develop my network. As opportunities arose, Jim was able to give specific contacts that had direct knowledge and experiences (both good and bad) with the organization I was talking to.
Probably out of shear terror of the unknown, I worked extremely hard at following the Weiderhold process. It all paid of for us big time. A brief timeline:
I learned of my fate in Dayton August, 2009 We visited Jim in Houston and started the transition process in September, 2009. Had my previous employment terminated and started severance January 1, 2010. Started my new position in Atlanta, Ga. on April 19. 2010 (a perfect match with the Top 10 Criteria; the position is right in my sweet spot).
I became a bit disenchanted along the journey when I made to the final cut with 4 different opportunities, but failed to close the deal. However, as Jim and I look back, we both realize that none of these opportunities were the ideal match. One of my big take-away’s is to be patient and don’t jump at the first opportunity. Make sure that you have solid alignment with your Transition Plan and your Top 10 Criteria. Also, as proof that 80% of jobs at the senior level are filled as the result of relationships, the person that opened the door for me at my new employer was a good friend and colleague of new System’s COO.
Finally, let me share a little about Jim on the personal side. Sure, there is the formal, technical side of what he does. Sure, he has got to be one of the most connected resources in the country at the C-level and senior executive levels. Sure, he has developed one of the broadest and deepest networks in the country. But more importantly, Jim is a great human being. He has been my coach, mentor, advisor, psychologist, and confidant. Jim truly knows people and understands the needs, wants and emotions on both the candidate and the prospective employer side of things. He has always been there for me. I have found Jim to be one on the most honest and insightful people I have ever had the privilege to meet.
We still talk regularly. We’ve had dinner in Atlanta twice over the last couple of months. I consider Jim to be a good friend.
As I started this letter, I highly endorse and recommend Jim Weiderhold to assist you with your transition journey.
Name withheld for privacy