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Write Your Way to a New Career

 One of the most effective ways to start or accelerate a career transition is to write articles about topics in your “new” field.  Although you may think that only “experts” have the authority to offer advice or insight, you’ll be pleasantly surprised about by how well received YOUR thoughts will be. Sometimes the newcomers in the field have “out of the box” thinking that not only stimulates debate, but also, more importantly, gets your name out there!  Target your abstracts to the popular trade journals read by most industry professionals, not the physician-centric peer-reviewed journals.  If your goal is to enter the healthcare consulting field, for example, an article about healthcare change, healthcare systems management, or using a Healthcare Balanced Scorecard, will have more impact on prospective employers than previous scholarly articles you’ve written on the effects of gamma-butyric-acid on mice gray matter.   

Pitching an article to the trade and specialty-management journals is generally straightforward and easy.  Go the journal’s website and find their editorial calendar.  The calendar lists the topics they’ll cover throughout the year. It will also provide their guidelines for article submission and deadlines.  Decide on an article idea, and think of a catchy title (this is marketing remember!).  Write a short abstract of 30-100 words, or an introduction with three or four bulleted points, of what you intend to cover in the article.  Send your abstract and title to the journal editor via email with a suggestion for where and when in their calendar your article would best fit.  Also add a few lines informing the editor about the specific value to their readers of the information you would be covering. 

Make it your goal to write two articles a year for the popular trade journals. If you think you don’t have anything worthwhile to say, loosen up and let your imagination soar.  If you think you can’t write, start with the just the idea and have an audiotaped discussion about the subject with a colleague, friend, or your spouse.  Have them ask you probing questions to learn more.  Review your audiotape to find a wonderful conversational first-draft of your article. 

Francine R. Gaillour, MD, Business Consultant and Executive Coach for Healthcare Leaders francine@physicianleadership.com (206) 686-4205

Do you have an idea for an article, but having a difficult time getting going? Or feel shy about pitching it?  Contact me for  focused coaching on this topic.   francine@physicianleadership.com


Writing for Clarity and Significance:  Keep it Clean, Keep it Short

In all business and professional environments, your writing style and skills will speak volumes for how you think.  Your ability to express, persuade, clarify and convince through written memos, proposals, business plans—and even email---will often determine your success.  A well-crafted letter can open up new career opportunities for you.  A well-written business plan can spell funding for your new venture.  Here are 10 tips to help you write with clarity and punch:

  1. Keep it short

  2. Avoid unnecessary words like “quite”, “considerably”, “categorically”, “in time”

  3. Avoid a high-priced word when a simpler word will do

  4. Use creative action verbs to vividly paint a scenario

  5. Break up long sections into paragraphs

  6. Break up multiple paragraphs with sub-headings

  7. Vary sentence length

  8. Use wit and humor for tongue-in-cheek effect---if appropriate to your subject

  9. Edit your work ruthlessly

  10. Have someone else read and edit your work

  Here is an interesting perspective on brevity from Business Wire News Service:

Moral: If It’s Short, It Just Might Be More Significant

Pythagorean theorem  

24 words

The Lord’s Prayer 

66 words

Archimedes’ Principle

67 words

The 10 Commandments

179 words

The Gettysburg Address

286 words

Average news release

688 words

The Declaration of Independence  

1,300 words

US Government regulations on the sale of cabbage

26,911 words




 Francine R. Gaillour, MD, Business Consultant and Executive Coach for Healthcare Leaders francine@physicianleadership.com, (206) 686-4205

Francine R. Gaillour, MD, MBA, FACPE
15600 NE 8th Street, Suite B1-173
Bellevue, WA  98008
(206) 686-4205

Francine R. Gaillour, MD   ©2006 Ki Health, Inc.