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Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians.

  Showcase Your "Home Run" Accomplishments, Part 4,
by William S. Frank

A CEO Struggles With His Accomplishments
Most of us, perhaps even all of us, struggle with feelings of inadequacy, even though we've accomplished a lot. During a recent consulting meeting I was surprised to see these words written by a physician executive who had been president of several large healthcare companies: "I have a large number of significant accomplishments, and people for whom I have a great deal of respect, note and comment favorably on these accomplishments, and also express confidence that I can continue this record in other areas.

"Yet I was usually surprised when I achieved them (even though frequently I did it with ease). The circumstances were usually that these problems/opportunities simply became available to me in the course of my life or job, and it just seemed up to me to handle them. Very importantly, I did not aggressively seek them out (though I often did make myself noticeably available) and so made no promises about how well I might solve them. "In the search for a new career, I feel that if I could bring myself to make these accomplishments more a part of my self-image, I would fare much better. The tangible evidence is there, but I seem to want the potential employer to interpret it and him place me in the new job, without my having to explicitly promise miracles.

"This is what has always happened in the past—and I have always had strong achievement in every new job. But I am still reluctant. I feel this behavior by me is not logical, and can result in my being underemployed (because I'm being rather passive in the selection of the new job). Just realizing that it's not logical doesn't seem to help that much. I really need some help on this one."

Apparently, Mark got the insight he needed. Shortly after writing this, he became President of a high-tech startup company. Today, 15 years later, he is co-Principal in a successful investment management firm for high-net worth individuals, many of them physicians. Most people feel insecure from time to time, and naturally, a career transition heightens that. Concentrate on your successes, and keep reciting them in your mind. Just remember, the future holds great promise for you.


  • Everyone has work accomplishments, but. . .
  • They're not always easy to see.
  • You may have to ask for help to find yours. Ask friends, peers, and colleagues. Ask partners and past and present patients. If you're employed by others, ask your bosses and direct reports, whichever is appropriate. Ask your spouse/partner for their input.
  • Read accomplishments other people have written to give yourself ideas—but don't copy theirs.
  • Do several drafts. Don't expect them to come out perfect the first time.
This is one of the most worthwhile career exercises you will ever do. Take your time here. Don't rush. Don't gloss over it. You can easily afford to spend several hours—perhaps several days—documenting your past performance.
There's a $50,000 resume, a $150,000 resume, and a $250,000 resume—and the difference between them is often simply the character and strength of the accomplishments. Your resume should read $10,000-$50,000 above your last salary level, and it will if you agonize over your past achievements.
If your resume is full of hard-hitting accomplishments, you'll shorten your job search considerably. Doors will open more easily. You'll be interviewed more often. Your interviews will go much better, and you'll be hired sooner. Good luck, and happy writing.

:: Go to Part Five.  :: Index of articles.

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