Make the Right Career Move: Part 1

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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.

    This was the situation with a financial services professional client. She could stay in her present position, relocate to another business unit or take an overseas assignment with an international business.

    Having options is great: What a wonderful confidence booster! However, there’s also a lot of pressure trying to decide which option is best.

    To make the right choice, you have to decide what factors are most important to you and then you have to choose the option that best addresses these factors. Decision making operates on two levels: the rational with our head and the emotional with our gut. Both are important in making the right career move.

    Rational Analysis: The Job:
    A good decision is an informed decision. Therefore you start out by gathering good information about the qualities of your options.. 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:

    1. The job description
    What are the key objectives? What competencies are required? How is success determined and rewarded? Does this agree with your expectations?

    2. The culture
    Does the department/organization have a distinct ‘way of doing things”? What kinds of behavior does it admire and reward (dog-eat-dog or we’re all one big team)? How well do you think you’ll fit in?

    3. The incumbent’s success
    Who has been/is successful in the role? What characteristics do they possess? What skills beyond the job description do they use? ? Do you have what it takes?

    4. The available resources
    Does the role/department appear to have adequate resources? Do you have a budget and will it grow? How much training and development will be available to you? Do you need additional resources?

    5. The career path
    Where have people in this role typically moved? What is the average tenure in the position? How does this fit job, using the same scale. Finally, multiply these values together to give the score for that row of the table.

    So far, you’ve looked at each job’s qualities in an objective manner. However, it’s also important to consider how your decision feels. You need to get in touch with your inner self and think about how well the career options fit with your overall sense of self and personal fulfillment. Part 2 focuses on the analysis of satisfaction criteria.

    Career Success Tip:

    This type of analysis is not just for career options outside your current company. Some internal moves may take you to business units that operate quite differently from the rest of the organization. It’s important to understand your criteria in these areas regardless of whether your move is inside or outside the company.

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?