With the health system IT environment in a volatile state, and many CIOs thinking of looking at new opportunities, I wanted to share a recent question that I received from a health system CIO. My response may help if you are facing a similar situation. Let me know if you have some other ideas to share.
I just took a new CIO role at a small facility and now, just over one year into it, I’m being recruited for a CIO role at a larger healthcare organization. The new role would have more responsibility and a higher salary – it would definitely represent growth in my career and, in a perfect world, I’d jump on it. My question is: is just over one year long enough to be at a job? Would I be doing the wrong thing to my current employer by leaving? Would I be creating a black mark on my resume that might haunt me down the road?
Dear CIO #1,
Leaving a job after one year does raise a red flag to any hiring manager or recruiter looking at your resume. It usually takes three to five years in an organization for a CIO to develop and work through a strategic plan and implement it, so that is one consideration. Your relationship with your current employer may be tarnished, but I have seen employers who also understand that it is hard to pass up a great opportunity when comes it along. They may try to counter offer, which I strongly discourage you from taking.
There are many “ifs” to this answer:
If the larger organization is working directly with you, you will want to find out as much as possible about their situation. Are they financially sound? Could they be acquired? Why did the last CIO leave?
If you are working with a recruiter, they need to give you as much information and background to help you make an informed decision. There may be multiple candidates competing for the job. Keeping your job search confidential is critical.
If you leave, do you have a successor in place?
If it truly is a better, bigger opportunity for you, it may be time to move on, but be prepared to explain why you made the transition after one year. Acting on a better opportunity seems to be an accepted way to move ahead in a career.
Finally, this move will not haunt you, if you create a successful multi-year stint at your next employer.
Good luck with your decision.