Why I started looking for a new job while working at SJ

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Up until this time, I have been working at St. John Medical Center for over four years. I was ready for change. I felt I have outgrown my position of Project Specialist, which I sort of considered to be ‘wanna-be project manager’. There certainly was enough work for me to do, but I starting taking on responsibilities for which I either lacked equivalent authority or was untrained in how to leverage my chain of command. Or perhaps if it was the latter, then maybe my chain of command was vague enough to where it was not evident how to escalate issues. Escalating issues is what I would really learn at my next job.

I like to do things right, so obviously that takes on more work, and that was generally the problem there: Like camels, we took on more and more work, “absorb by existing resources”, yet no significant recognition was portrayed. I had the unfortunate luck of having over six bosses in those several years, which made matters worse when the response for my request for a raise was something to the effect “log some goals in the performance measuring tool, and we’ll track against them.” To that I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. I was basically getting compensated the same way I was when I first started, yet I’ve grown a lot (certainly as much as anyone could reasonably expected to have grown in my position). So, what about all of that progress?

Once I got my last boss, with whom I looked forward to working more than anyone else on my team, I was quickly disappointed by his arrogance and personal agendas. I never really thought St. John’s had stellar management because of “old blood”, slow turnover, but later I would learn to appreciate how kind the employees there were in general, which was something I took somewhat for granted at the time because I thought people were kind like that everywhere.

Aside: Later I learned what managers in large organizations work like, which raised the proverbial bar for my expectation of managers to such heights that now I actually feel a bit sorry for St. John’s and Tulsans who in general follow Tulsa’s leaders. I guess that is the basis of my hypothesis why some communities flourish more than others do.

After a steady stream of disrespectful events, or maybe it was simply my observational selection bias due to my pessimism to where I noticed more unfavorable events, I set out to seek a new career opportunity. I knew I was worth more, but most importantly, I felt I was ready for much more. We also wanted to move out of Tulsa, and Dallas was a feasible and desirable option. I started applying to many jobs. I answered one post on a job board and, to my surprise, later I learned that this post was actually a recruiter, even though the post read more like it was written by the hiring company itself. In short, that started my relationship with TEKsystems.

Little did I know just how much those recruiters want to make their money, so even though I temporarily let go of searching for a new job opportunity shortly after that, the recruiter kept working for me. He found me a string of BMDI technical project management positions; I even had a phone interview on January 26th for which I drove home from work during lunch.

Then, a few weeks later, I got a phone call from my recruiter about a high-level project management position within a Project Management Office at Tenet. The position sounded like more than I could chew at the time, but I thought, “What the hell! It may be good interviewing practice for me. If I can’t handle, surely they wouldn’t hire me.” They did not do phone interviews, so I had to take a day off and drive into Dallas. The rest is history.

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