13 and counting…

Today, to celebrate my blog’s first anniversary,  I’m writing my 100th post.  It’s about my 13th job. 

That I’m up to job 13 means that I continue to stay faithful to my self-proclamation – as a strategic job hopper. 

I am now working as the commercial director at an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of medical supplies.

That said, rest assured that I will continue to blog – and to work on my book projects.  That’s another pact I’ve made with my readers.  I even have some inspiration to drive me through my back-to-back schedule as a writer and employee (and wife).   The other day I came across a CEO of a 50,000-large organization who blogs.  Logic tells me that if he can, well I can too. I say.  And it’s been 2 months since I’ve been keeping my pact – with you.  So far, so good…

In the spirit of keeping it real, here I answer questions I’d be asking about the change I’ve just made in my career.

How does it feel to be back on high heels and a business suit?  

As much as I loved my jeans/t-shirt & bare-footed existence (while I was writing full-time), I’m enjoying the change.  It feels kinda’ good to dress up.

Is my work-life still being guided by my reason for being?

Absolutely.  I would not have it any other way.

In addition to waking up every day as a writer with the vision to inspire and empower people to create, follow and  succeed on their own  path –  my vision as commercial director is:

To defend the safety of patients (yours and mine).

I’ll elaborate.

The OEM I work with is my family’s business.  For close to three decades this small giant has been manufacturing disposable medical supplies – like syringes and catheters.  Our company was born to produce high quality medical supplies – not a small feat in a Latin American country.  In fact we’re the only Latin American OEM supplying the market – the rest are multinationals. 

Why have I made it my vision to defend the safety of patients? 

At the risk of getting in trouble, I will share with you what I learned in my 60-day induction to the healthcare system in Colombia. 

After traveling around, visiting some of the largest hospitals and meeting with providers of health-care products (i.e. drug-store chains), it’s quite evident that most buying decisions are being made by administrators – not scientific commitees or nurses and doctors.  It’s obvious that the main driver is cost reduction, not quality or the improvemet of patient safety.  Priorities are inverted.  Product sterility and patient safety are often last on a long list of commercial priorities. 

As a manufacturing outfit, that for close to three decades has been following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and is certified by world-class regulatory bodies (ISO-9001-2001) – we know what it takes to manufacture high quality goods.  And this is where we differ from most of our competitors.  In other words, most lower cost products being used at hospitals and being sold at drugstores across the country, have not passed the test of our quality assurance laboratory. 

It’s these findings that set me on the path to defend the safety of patients. 

Simply put, if I, as a manufacturer don’t fight for patient safety, then who will? 

And that, my friend, is another fulfilling reason to wake up for everyday.

So was it nepotism the main reason behind my appointment at my family’s business?

Valid question – I’d be wondering that too if I were you. 

The answer is a resounding no.  

I pose the question on your behalf to share with every aspiring strategic job hopper the number one insight I’ve gained after more than a decade of hoping around jobs: (drum roll please…)

Every single job has a reason for being in your career. 

(Read that one more time – and make a mental note.)

Right now it may not be obvious to you what that is, but nonetheless, there a reason behind every experience.  Taking from my own path, not so long ago I discovered the reason behind my tour de force through the healthcare industry in Australia. 

Starting out, I had no idea that I would one day work in my family’s business.  That possibility was not a reality when I accepted my first, second, third or fourth job in the health-care industry in Australia.  On top of that, a decade ago when I moved to Sydney, Australia, I had no idea that years later I’d be coming back home.

The opportunity opened up a few months ago.  And because of my experience, because I endured stapling papers and stuffing envelopes as a marketing coordinator; waiting ad-infinitum in doctors’ offices as a medical sales representative; using my right brain to understand complex market data as a consultant; and finally (almost) giving blood as a national sales and marketing manager at a start-up malpractrice insurance company – I am now ready to cease this opportunity.  Which at times, I admit, feels like a dream come true.  Yes, I now feel that every single experience is an integral part of my career puzzle. (yes, even the time when my boss wrote me a memo for refusing to order a cab for another manager or the time when…) 

Yes reader, I have arrived. 

Being that I am now working with my family, does that mean that my job hopping days have come to an end?  Must I now remove ‘strategic job hopper’ from my blog’s heading? 

It’s hard to say – mostly because more than ever, I’m aware of my modus-operandi – and hence I’m open to the possibility that I will eventually seek out other opportunities.  Because…why not?

In line with my strategy, I am giving my current job my absolute best. That’s mostly because that’s how I know how to work.  It’s also because it is my family’s business. And lastly, it’s because I recognize that I have no idea what the future will bring.  That means that my professional track record is still on the line.  In fact, delivering results matters more now than it ever has. And more than ever, I feel prepared to deliver.

Will this blog be about strategic job-hopping?

Actually, it never has been.  Since day one, my writing,  has been  guided by my vision to inspire and empower people to create, follow and  succeed on their own path. 

While I strongly advocate strategic job-hopping, that is not the driver behind my writing. Inspiration and empowerment are.

That means that my posts will remain faithful to this vision.  Now they will benefit from my new experiences – as a commercial director in a Latin American country – with the perspective gained after more than two decades working, first in the US and then in Australia.

My advice to you:  stay tuned.  My blog has just grown up – it’s one year old!

Thank you all for your support during one of the most amazing years in my life.



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