Career Advice: How To Choose The Right Next Step

10 December 2018

1731 Original

​Choosing the next step in your career can be a daunting experience, particularly if you’ve been in your current role for a significant period of time.

Salary is just the most obvious of numerous personal and professional implications of your decision. There’s role responsibilities, travel requirements, personal wellbeing and professional fulfilment to think about, to name but a few.

Little wonder many prefer to stay put in their current job! With such potential for significant change, there’s clearly risk that things could work out worse than before. The grass may seem greener on the other side… but equally, perhaps better the devil you know?

Our 5 Point Job Selection System

Imagine there's a job offer on the table, or even just an inkling of one. How will you decide whether it's right for you?

With so much to consider, we recommend applying a systematic approach. Break this big decision down into 5 key areas: skills; remuneration; lifestyle; purpose; opportunity. By reviewing each of these independently, we believe you’ll give yourself a clearer picture of how opportunities compare and contrast.

Gut feeling, of course, will always give you something that systematic scoring can’t. Instinct is your body’s natural guide, after all. But instinct alone can rarely handle the complexity of a decision to move career, which involves so many moving parts.

Side Note: Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman’s bestseller Thinking Fast and Slow provides fascinating insight into how our brains use both an ‘fast, instinctive’ System 1 and a ‘slow, deep, logical’ System 2 in order to make decisions. You’ll need both when making a job choice!

Here are the 5 areas we recommend you focus on individually, [Score each 1-5 and total up]:

1 – SKILLS & EXPERIENCE

Can you do the job? Does it fit in that sweet spot between comfortable and challenging where you’ll be in control but stretched and engaged? Think practical skills, industry knowledge, relevant experience. Employers and recruiters will clearly assess this too, but you know yourself and your capabilities best.

Score 1-5 ___

2 – REMUNERATION

Salary and beyond – how generous are the rewards for this role? Undoubtedly, maximizing incoming cash will be a priority for you and your family. Consider also additional benefits like pension, healthcare, car, travel allowance and more.

Score 1-5 ___

3 – LIFESTYLE

How will your professional and personal life be affected by this role? Consider your commute, the workplace culture, demands and responsibilities and any additional travel. Be honest with yourself – any new role has to fit with your life.

Score 1-5 ___

4 – PURPOSE

Fundamentally, we all want to do work that aligns with our core values, whether that’s driving innovation, supporting others or achieving big ambitions. How well does this opportunity fit with your values? With aligned purpose, Monday morning motivation comes naturally.

Score 1-5 ___

5 – OPPORTUNITY

Thinking longer term, would this role open greater doors for the future? Perhaps it’s a chance to gain valuable skills, experience, or to build networks. Conversely, are you at risk of painting yourself into a corner? All actions have consequences.

Score 1-5 ___

How did your opportunity stack up?

Score 0-10 – Look elsewhere
Score 10-15 – Accepting serious compromises
Score 15-20 – Strong potential, worth exploring
Score 20-25 – Excellent opportunity

Finally, you’ll want to do this exact process for your current role or any internal promotion. Looked at systematically in this way, the comparison may surprise you.

Considering your options? The first step is being open for opportunities. Register your CV with Pentasia today orbrowse our jobs to see where your career could take you.