Sunday, 23 September 2007

Getting specific

Let's assume that you are through the worst of limbo, and now are at least doing something different or trying something new. Let us also assume that you have a good idea of what your strengths are, as difficult as these seem to be to act on. Finally, let's assume that exercise is providing you with sufficient control over your life to feel as though your actions do have an effect on the world.

You now have the tools to get a little bit more specific about your potential career. It is difficult to provide generic advice to such an individual decision. Even 'do the thing you love' would not work for everyone I know.

But an excellent piece of advice for me was to create a personal framework with which to judge potential jobs. This framework is a list of criteria you value in your job. This could be money, hours, ability to work where you want, autonomy, ability to have flexible hours, clear promotion structure. But it should also cover the type of work you aspire to. Mine included elements of creativity, one to one work, and the chance to be an expert in something (rather than being a generalist as a management consultant). List these criteria in a spreadhseet and weight them. On the left, list the jobs that interest you and score them against your criteria.

The end results look like this:

But this is not the end of your career decision. It is just the beginning.

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