The career of a health system CIO has many ups and downs and, at some point, you may decide to leave your current employer. As you network with colleagues, talk to friends at conferences, or discuss opportunities with recruiters, you will be asked, “Why do you want to leave your job?” It is important to have your answer ready and prepared for when you get these inquiries. Others may have viewed your job with envy and thought it was a perfect position for you in a perfect company, so you need to sound credible when you say that it may be time to move on.
Reasons for leaving
There are many reasons for moving on to your next best job, and here are some examples from candidates seeking a change:
- “I’ve been with the same organization for over 20 years, was promoted to CIO five years ago, and now want a new and bigger challenge.”
- “I joined the health system a year ago as CIO, but there’s a new CEO who has decided to bring in a new C-Suite. I have to seek a new position.”
- “My organization has lost funding for all new IT projects, and we are only on maintenance right now. I want to be challenged by a growing dynamic organization.”
- “My hospital recently was acquired by a larger entity, and my role as a CIO will be eliminated, but they offered me a different role in the larger organization. It’s not what I want, so I prefer to leave.”
- “I have always reported to the CEO, but he left and now I report to the COO.”
- “I have a system CIO position, but I miss being close to the end users and having direct contact with the IT projects.”
As long as you’re being honest and accurate, these are all legitimate reasons to look elsewhere.
Pitfalls to avoid
A chance to interview and possibly get a new job can really be exciting. But beware of these mistakes when you are interviewing and networking:
- Do not say anything negative about your current employer and employees. This is a small, close industry — what you do or say travels through many channels quickly.
- Use your references wisely. Do not list them on your resume or forget to call or stay in touch with them. Don’t use references from jobs in the distant past or from your current job, unless they know you are leaving.
- Use caution regarding who you tell about leaving your job. If you hear about an opening from a friend or colleague, don’t be afraid to inquire about it and express your interest in a confidential manner.