Pain Management: Your Career

Posted by Bernie Reifkind on August 16, 2012

In my job as a health care executive recruiter, the number of resumes that I see on a daily basis is staggering.  Some resumes are spectacular-not just their design- but the content of someones career and the decisions that they have made.

More often than not, I see resumes that may be drafted well- however the content (one’s career) is a disaster.  Good careers are made by the small informed decisions that one makes about their career on a daily basis.

That bears repeating, good careers are made by small informed decisions on a daily basis.   In the context of changing jobs, what criteria  is absolutely necessary to make an informed career decision?

Candidly, it’s a lot easier to understand the criteria to make an informed career decision on why not to make a job change.

First, take a look at your own resume.  Have you made more than 5 job changes in the past 3 years?  Have you made more than 7 job changes in the past 5 years?

If so, your resume probably has more holes than Swiss cheese and the bottom line is that employers are not only looking at talent and accomplishments, but they are looking at stability.

One’s job stability is a major factor in the hiring process.

The first step in exploring the pain management in your career is to take a candid and unbiased look at your resume or track record.  Have you made too many job changes?  If so, why?

Does your resume reflect a stable track record?

Of course, there are plenty of legitimate reasons why someone has made a lot of  job changes.  The economy, company acquisitions, downsizing, new administration, needing to earn more money, etc.  But too many job changes can bring pain to a resume and a career.

The number one reason across the board for making a job change for most people is their boss.  Money of course is a factor but changing jobs soley for the money should rarely be the only reason for making a job change.

Making job changes for the sole purpose of making more money is a big mistake.  What if you are receiving the big bucks but your work life will bring daily misery?

Obviously we all want to make more money.  However, a good career decision to change jobs has to make sense on many other levels as well. 

Questions that you should be asking yourself when changing jobs are: will this be a job that you can remain at for at least 3-5 years?  Other than money, why take this job? Do you like the people that you will work with?  How does your family feel about the new job?  Does this job make emotional sense- will you be able to have an outside life or will you be working 60- 80 hours per week? 

Consider pain management in the following context.

Healthy people understand the need to visit a doctor for a health check up every year or two.  The same thing with visiting a dentist.  Also, we bring our car to the mechanic for a service from time to time.

We do these things so that we can ultimately avoid or manage any future pain.  It is pain management, clear and simple. 

Why not pain manage your career?  If you are making unhealthy choices in making job changes, then a self reflected intervention is due.  What is really going on? One has to look at the big picture of a career.  Imagine what your resume will look like if things do not work out in a new job.  If you accept a job, than plan on sticking with your decision. 

Too many job changes = too few opportunities.  No one wants to hire a “job hopper.”

A good rule of thumb is to only make a job change if you can honestly see yourself in this new job for 3- 5 years.  Period. 

Otherwise the pain may become unmanageable.

I am Bernie Reifkind, CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc.  I can be reached at 1(800) 801-1400 or email at  I welcome your phone call.

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