How to Prepare for Your Next Career Move or Promotion

Published September 2, 2021

A successful career move requires you to effectively advocate for yourself. That starts with understanding, and more importantly, communicating, your value. To start, there are two important questions I challenge my candidates to answer:

“Why is my organization better because I am there?”

“Why will someone become better for being a part of my organization?”

These questions are step one in reframing how you see your value. The next step is getting clear on skills, accomplishments, and successes in your life as a whole. Knowing this can help you position yourself as the ideal candidate and ultimately get the job.

Create a Master Capabilities List

Take an in-depth look at your background to create a master capabilities list. This list includes all the skills and capabilities you’ve developed throughout your entire career and life. When creating this list, don’t just think macro or those that are relevant to your current space. Think micro too, like your ability to develop, lead, and analyze, in addition to your technical skills, soft skills, and other industry-specific abilities. 

The power of this list is that it gives you a foundation and reminds you of all the skills you possess but might otherwise write-off or forget about.

Create a Master Accomplishments List

An accomplishments list helps you recall the many things you’ve been successful with in your life. Notice how I said life, not just career. Again, this list should include the many accomplishments that best demonstrate your abilities in action in work but also:

  • School
  • Family
  • Sports teams
  • Hobbies and clubs
  • Volunteer activities/causes 

As you make this list, remember that these accomplishments don’t need to be big. The most important factor is that they help demonstrate your capabilities in action.

Determine Which Capabilities Speak Most to Who You Are

You bring many influences to your work, but what speaks most to who you are? Often these are the ones that are more likely to engage you in a meaningful way, put you in a flow state, and create a positive impact.

For example, I’ve put on large events in the world of extreme sports from scratch, coordinating with the city council, the tourism board, and the community. In 2007 I put together the world championship of slalom skateboard racing in a small town in North Carolina.

This accomplishment speaks to something I love doing while also demonstrating my ability to negotiate, coordinate, organize and bring people together in the workplace. By branching out to skills in every area of your life, you can better express your value. 

Create a Short, Succinct Story Around Your Impact 

Go back to your accomplishments list and create a short succinct story about why your top two or three accomplishments mattered. How did those accomplishments impact lives? How did each one prepare you for a larger challenge that came later? Who also learned or grew from the experience? 

This story shows that you’re an “impact-player” and can create meaningful change and experiences in your roles.

Prepare for Your Next Career Move

Use these strategies to understand your value while effectively and succinctly advocating for yourself. You’ll show up more powerfully in interviews and give a better sense of who you are and what you can do when you have a holistic view of your skills and accomplishments.

Marion Spears Karr MA, FACHE, Managing Director, Atlanta is Comhar Partners’ Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice Leader. He has over 30 years of experience in healthcare executive recruiting and talent acquisition. He brings a distinguished set of skills in leading successful recruitment teams that specialize in nursing leadership, C-level, Vice President and Senior Director-level searches. He has developed a deep understanding of the complex challenges facing healthcare leaders across all sectors in the current market.

This article was originally published in the September/October 2021 American College of Healthcare Associates magazine.

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