8 priorities that shape your career decision

My decision to leave L&T was reactive. While I evaluated the opportunity using some criteria, the move itself wasn’t planned. As overwhelming as career planning is, it is important get started. Start with a long-term vision, break it down to define short-term milestones, and then come up with an action plan. I did this exercise with my entire team and it was all worth the effort – everyone had found enough challenges and was working towards a personal goal. It also lead to 0 attrition. Action items will usually be along the lines of enhancing your toolkit, business acumen and people skills. It could also mean updating your resume. And it could well demand getting out of your comfort zone to meet those goals.

I feel associating ranks to one’s priorities and analyzing quantitatively really helps trade-off between opportunity cost and risk. I’ve used it not only with job offers, but also when looking at houses, and funny enough, my life partner. Remember, everyone has different needs and priorities. The list below is how I look at choices – not necessarily in that order. You might need to tweak it for yourself – download or view the spreadsheet online.

1. Opportunity & Toolkit

  • Enhances your toolkit?
  • Offers challenges, opportunities to learn?
  • Novelty*? A new domain / technology / vertical / market
  • Gives access to good mentors & a network?
  • Opens new avenues in the future**?
  • Offers better title***? Consider position in the organization hierarchy, competition
  • Offers a better role? Influence v/s Authority, Leadership
    * Novelty alone shouldn’t be a driver
    ** Don’t overrate future prospects when starting your career
    *** Opt for a rationalized, industry-wide title

2. Goals & PassionSource: runnersgoal.com

  • Makes best use of your passion?
  • Gets you a step closer to a future goal?
  • Aligns with personal interests – wealth, network, travel?
  • Gives a meaning, purpose to your life?

3. Risks

  • Leaving your comfort zone?
  • Chances of failing in the new role?
  • Relocating to a new country/city?
  • Could this be short-term? Changing jobs too often?
  • Employment contract? Notice period?
  • Is your gut sounding an alarm?
    * Answering No means low risk, high score
    ** Taking no action also has its own risk

4. SalarySource: shortwhitecoats.com

  • Fixed & Variable pay
  • Salary components, Tax benefits
  • Annual Bonus, Profit-sharing
  • Take-home salary, savings
  • Eligibility for next appraisal cycle

5. Benefits

  • Vacation/travel allowance
  • Reimbursements: telecom, fuel, gym, etc.
  • Insurance & Medical coverage for self/family
  • Loans, Child care/education, Discounts, etc.

6. CultureSource: altitudeacquisitions.co.uk

  • Does the organization value people?
  • Hires for the long-run, recognizes & invests in people?
  • Promotes education, training, conferences?
  • Fits your personality, aligns with your values?
  • Has well-defined vision, mission, values, ethics and sticks to it?

7. Work-Life BalanceSource: stellatesori.com

  • Work hours, timezone, daily commute
  • Flexible hours, working remotely
  • Does it require to be away from home – travel, relocation?
  • Work pressure, Time-off

8. Industry & Brand

  • The market/sector has positive outlook?
  • Is it a dynamic, recognized brand? leader / growing market share
  • Stability, Risk, Recession sensitive, layoffs

I put this into a spreadsheet that you can view online or download. Hope this helps you solve the problem of plenty 🙂 I would love to hear your ideas on improving this further.

If you’re going to update your resume next, consider moving to a 1-page resume template that has a much better success rate.