Make the Right Career Move: Part 2

Sections of this topic

    Imagine that you’ve been offered two different positions and you have to decide which one you want.

    Or perhaps you’re already in a good job, but something that seems to be a better opportunity comes up in another company.

    To make a wise decision you must operate on two levels: The rational with our head (see part 1). Now we’re going to focus on the emotional with our gut.

    Emotional Analysis: Personal Satisfaction

    Armed with the facts about the job, you next think about what you are looking for in a great job. Since the whole point is to find the best option for you, you need to do a self-analysis as well. On a scale from 1 (poor – lots of red flags) to 10 (great – lots of winning flags) how would you rate each position on the following satisfaction criteria?

    1. The work itself
    What you will be doing on a daily basis should be the primary focus of your satisfaction criteria. Unless the work is satisfying, it may not really matter whether you make vast sums of money. The things to consider are Job responsibilities, Authority to make decisions, Leadership/supervision, Variety, Autonomy, Challenge, Self-expression/creativity, Physical environment. How flexible is the job – can you mold it to provide greater satisfaction?

    2. Financial considerations
    What you are paid is important when making any career decision. Your salary and bonus potential determine whether you can buy a new home, purchase a car, go on vacations, or start a family. It’s important that you have a good idea of what you need to achieve a reasonable standard of living. Does the salary, benefits, incentives and growth potential give you a safety net to put most of your energy into working not worrying about finances ?

    3. Culture and relationships
    You will spend a large portion of your day at work. It is important that you get along with your co-workers and feel like you fit in. Sure, there will minor disagreements along the way. However, you should be comfortable with the cultural elements such as dress codes, expectations about socializing, work / life balance, etc. Are you comfortable or hesitant about the culture?

    4. The company’s reputation
    People tend to want to work for organizations that make them feel good about what they are doing on a daily basis. Look at the company’s size, values, leadership, products or services, industry, reputation and contributions to society. Does it make you feel good to work for this company?

    Now What?

    Once you’ve worked through the job analysis and the satisfaction analysis, which option or options scored highest? Does it make sense to you? Are you ready to make a decision? If not, then run it by a friend or mentor or coach to get validation.

    But what if you still uncertain? That’s OK. First revisit your analyses and see if your thinking or scoring might change. Also get feedback from others who know you – family, friend, mentor, colleague, etc. If you are still uncertain, then there may be other things tht are getting in the way. perhaps it’s time to seek out a coach.

    Career Success Tip:

    Stop thinking money is everything. Don’t let others define success for you. Only you can define what is most impotent in your life and only you can set the right priorities for your life and career. Remember you’ll be living and working for many years. Make the most of them.

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?