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Thinking of Making a Career Transition?  What's Your Value Proposition to a New Employer?

One of the most difficult aspects to career transition is figuring out what you can do that will be "valued" by a non-clinical employer.  "How can I add value" is the #1 puzzle you should solve before you start knocking on the doors of any company--- and certainly before submitting a resume.  Before approaching a company or decision maker, it will be important for you to have narrowed down a handful of either business problems you are uniquely equipped to address, or a specific corporate area that would fit your skills AND be the place for you to ADD VALUE.
Here are three approaches to strategizing about how can you fit in and contribute:
1.  What corporate division would be a natural fit?  Sales? Marketing? R&D? Product Development? Implementation/Customer Support?  Add-on Sales?  Remember that you must know how you will either ADD REVENUE or REDUCE OPERATIONAL EXPENSE as an employee.  Review these corporate areas and honestly answer the questions:
    • SalesThis is the main area of revenue creation for the company
      • Can you sell?
      • Do you enjoy sales? Being with people? Closing deals?
      • Can you communicate well?
      • Can you educate well?
      • Will you travel extensively?
    • MarketingThis is an ongoing operational expense and cost center
      • Do you have vast industry knowledge and insight?
      • Can you communicate well?
      • Do you have good or new ideas?
      • Do you have formal marketing training?
    • Product Development/ R&DThis is both a capital expense and ongoing expense center
      • Do you have ideas for new products?
      • Do you have ideas for improving existing products?
      • Can you manage teams?
      • Can you manage projects within a set budget and timeframe?
      • Are you well versed in the company’s technology or products?
    • Product Implementation/SupportThis is an ongoing operational expense
      • Can you communicate well?
      • Can you manage customer teams?
      • Are you intimately familiar with the uses of the product?
      • Can you optimize the use of the product?
      • Can you manage project teams to meet milestones?
    • Add-on Service (sales) – This is a source of additional revenue
      • Can you sell?
      • Can you educate?
      • Will you travel extensively?
      • Can you generate ideas for additional product and service sales?

2.  Another strategy for  deciding where you will add value to a company is to "try on" one of the value propositions below.  Is there a "fit" based on your passions, skills and domain interests?

    • Your industry knowledge & communication skills can help a company make sales or improve sales win/loss
    • Your connections, industry knowledge & facilitation skills can lead to advantageous business partnerships
    • Your industry knowledge & strategic thinking skills can define the company’s market segmentation and market entry approach
    • Your industry knowledge, creativity and project management skills can lead to development of new products
    • Your industry knowledge and training skills can lead to faster product-to-user life cycle

3.  Notice that these "value proposition" statements above are action and value oriented. It is not enough for you to say: "I would really like to be a product manager." Instead, walk through this next set of questions and come up with specific and detailed answers ("Because I’m a physician" is NOT a good answer):

    • What challenge in [product management or other corporate area] do you perceive that you are uniquely qualified to tackle? Why?
    • What would you do differently than the people currently in that role? Why?
    • What kind of improved results do you envision from your direct participation? Can you be specific and quantify?
    • What is the potential negative consequence for the company of NOT having you in that role? Can you be specific and quantify?
This topic above is an excerpt from my home-study guide Physician's Definitive Guide to Career Transition, To learn more about the guide click here.

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

Physician Career Transition:  Be a Solution to a Business Problem 

Many physicians are stumped about how to approach a transition from clinical practice to business or industry.  Think like a marketer:  first, what is your core competency (your unique skills, passion, gift or talent), and more importantly, what is the business problem you will solve for a prospective customer?  Particularly for physician executives in administrative posts, it is important not to rely on professional certifications, even an MBA.  Research your prospective employers well before you contact a decision maker within the company.  Understand what PROBLEM, CHALLENGE or OPPORTUNITY they face.   Then brainstorm about how you would approach the problem, challenge or opportunity.  It is not enough to say to yourself  “they really need someone like me.”  Once you have an idea of how you would help solve their business problem, then you are ready to contact them.  

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