Should I be looking for a new position in senior care?

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Julie Rupenski, President and Owner of MedBest
Julie Rupenski, President and Owner of MedBest

You have been in your senior care executive director position in a well respected senior care company  for a year or two. You came into a building that was at 86% occupancy and it is now at 93% occupancy. Your staff turnover is reasonable, and your staff is happy. You are making good money and your position in the organization and the organization itself is stable.

It all sounds good right?

Except for a couple of things . . .  

  1. You are bored.
  2. You have hinted that you would like to move up in the organization and it feels like no one is listening or no one is caring . . . or maybe even worse, you wonder if they think you are not as good at you think you are.
  3. You look around and see other people just having a lot more fun in their executive director positions.

The Big Question: Is it time to make a move?  

Considerations

The answer is a solid maybe.

At the end of the day, you need to look at your current big goals. While there are lots of options and permutations, big goals fall into two categories:

  1. Personal
  2. Professional

These goals change over time. It may be that if you are a new mom or dad, or you are approaching retirement, all you really need is an attitude adjustment where you are grateful for your position, your company and your team while you get your biggest satisfactions at home.

But if your big goal is advancing your career, it is very likely that it is time for you to start your search. Here are some considerations when you are thinking about making a change in the senior care industry:

  1. You should talk to your current company leadership to really make sure you have hit a dead end. That conversation should not start with “I am thinking about quitting,” but there are questions you can ask that will help you figure this out.
  2. Make sure you really are as good as you think you are.
  3. Proceed cautiously. Start by talking to an executive recruiter about what you are looking for and what the market looks like. Ask them what things you can do improve your chances of finding the next great opportunity.
  4. Remember that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. In other words, a new position always looks perfect and once you start your search the old position will look worse than it does now.You need to be extremely diligent about making sure the new position will really get you where you want to be. It is terrible to go from one dead-in job to another.
  5. Ask yourself what the downsides of the new position are. There always are some.
  6. Be prepared to discover after you start your job hunt that where you are is not as bad as you first thought.

The good news is that the senior care industry is growing exponentially right now. And the need for top management is extensive. With baby boomers entering retirement, and ALFs and CCRCs popping up at alarming rates, the market is becoming more competitive now than ever. So that means, executive directors and upper management with experience in senior care companies are at a great advantage to start looking.

Perhaps the biggest thing you need is patience. 

Julie Rupenski is resident and owner of MedBest. Current open positions can be seen at medbest.com.

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