I’ve been asked to do a seminar on career decisions, which is something I get asked about frequently. Here are my favourite ideas to help you.
- Go for variety. If picking between two jobs, I’d definitely go for the one where I will learn more and meet new people; the one that’s a bit different to what I’ve done before. Breadth of experience and size of network will usually get you further than depth of experience in the long term. Check out 80,000 hours for some ideas around career choices and the importance of variety.
- Choose your manager, don’t wait for them to choose you. Having a manager who will push you, respect you and bring the best out of you is a huge deal. But it’s rare. If you spot someone like that, get in their face and pester them for a job. If you interview for another job, check the references of the manager by finding out people who have worked for them before.
- Park your ego. Don’t get blinded by the $$ signs. A title and a pay rise are great….for around a day. And then for the next 2 years – 8 hours a day – you have to live with the reasons why they had to offer that title and salary (maybe because they couldn’t attract someone otherwise).
- Define your own role. If you’re after an internal promotion, don’t wait around, make a pitch for a new role (but you must make it based on a solid business case) which will make your CEO/boss look good, and help them hit their financial KPIs.
Connecting all four of these tips is the idea that you have to take control of career decisions, not wait to see what happens.