Enjoy the Ride

March 16, 2010

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” That’s not just the name of Warren Zevon’s biography, it’s also a line I heard at HIMSS. I was meeting with a senior exec from one of the major EHR companies.

By Jim Gibson

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” That’s not just the name of Warren Zevon’s biography, it’s also a line I heard at HIMSS. I was meeting with a senior exec from one of the major EHR companies. I could feel his enthusiasm as he described the opportunity ahead and the challenge of capitalizing on it. Seemingly a high energy guy by nature, he described a pace that was exhausting one minute and exhilarating the next. I wondered aloud where details like sleep would fit in when he smiled, patted me on the back, and uttered that famous phrase.

For those who made their way to the HIMSS exhibit halls, you may have noticed what I did. Sure, it was enormous, with almost 900 exhibitors, but that’s to be expected. I was struck more by the newcomers and those vendors that had significantly increased their profile with much larger booths. I expected to see certain companies with huge booths, but there were some that simply took me off guard. More than once I said to myself, “I never thought of them as being in healthcare.”

It’s a sign of the times. Health IT is hot. And that translates into lots of opportunity, including on the career front.

As noted in my previous posts (see below), the health IT job market is awakening, and the phones are once again ringing with new career choices. As you answer those phone calls and weigh career alternatives, don’t disregard the latent opportunities in front of you. To the best of your ability, try to evaluate these options dispassionately, avoiding the “grass is greener” temptation. As you consider your current situation, don’t overlook the possibilities in staying put.

Most departments and organizations are still shaking off the chilling effects of the recession. But some things appear all but certain. Regardless of whether you’re working in a hospital, physician practice, health plan, vendor, or any other area of health IT, you are in for a wild ride. And it will create unforeseen chances to rise to the occasion and show your true potential. This will be an all-hands-on-deck situation, and it will make for turning points in many careers.

We all want challenge, fulfillment, and even some fun in our jobs. The next few years are likely to provide all that in spades, if approached with the right attitude and enthusiasm. When you look back in a few years, you may realize you never worked so hard in all your life, nor felt more fulfilled. You may find yourself reminiscing and saying, “Wow – what a ride!”

Jim Gibson has been in healthcare for 25 years. In 2002 he founded Gibson Consultantsafter several years in healthcare IT and group health insurance. Gibson Consultants is a national search firm specializing in healthcare IT companies. Like Jim, the other professionals of Gibson Consultants enjoyed successful healthcare careers before turning to executive search. Follow Jim on twitter http://twitter.com/jim__gibson or reach him at (203) 431-1536 or [email protected].