How to evaluate a new job opportunity and its impact on your career:
Evaluating a new job opportunity can be a very tough task and every single move in your career has the potential of making it or completely breaking it.
Being in the executive search field puts me in the middle of such decisions for many of my candidates and my advice usually has a very strong bearing on their decision to take up the new job opportunity.
Recently I was presented with a lucrative job opportunity myself and was once again in a tight spot and had to come up with a decision one way or the other. While thinking hard to come up with a decision I remembered a talk I had heard a while back by Tiger Thyagrajan who is the CEO of Genpact which is perhaps the largest outsourcing firm of India. Using his tips I was quickly able to come up with an answer (In my case No) and found a great method to guide the candidates I work with as well.
I have always thought about blogging and finally decided to start mycareermuse. A quick guide-sheet on how to evaluate a new job opportunity I believe can act as a good first topic.
I sincerely hope reading this will help you make a quick and easy decision on whether to take up your next offer or drop it.
Part 1: The 3D Plot
All of us can chart our career and our present job broadly on 3 dimensions as per Tiger:
1st Dimension: Skill – What skill are you using in your present job? Skill can be anything starting from Finance, Marketing, Sales, Account Management (In my case leadership hiring) etc. It is basically the key component of your present job. If you are responsible for Business development in your present role, for example, your key Skill is Sales so on and so forth.
2nd Dimension: Cultural Environment – Cultural Environment is defined by what sort of organization are you working in and where. You can be part of an Indian Family oriented business, a startup, a Global MNC or an Indian Professional Firm. You can also define it as a technology firm in India, A manufacturing firm in the USA or a healthcare MNC in Europe. The geography and the setup of the firm define the cultural environment you are part of. I, for example, am part of an Indian startup.
3rd Dimension: Industry Vertical- Industry vertical is nothing but the industry your present organization caters to. Examples are: Consulting, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Technology et al. In My case recruitment consulting is an Industry in itself.
It can be a useful activity if you take out some time and map your present and previous jobs on this 3d plot. Mapping this will help you immensely in taking a decision on your next move.
Part 2: The rules of Movement
After you have mapped your present job and previous moves into this chart, map the new opportunity/role into this chart as well.
Now make a move or drop the offer based on the following:
1. Change one dimension of the three mapped above every time you move, avoid changing 2 dimensions and never ever change all 3 dimensions because it will be a recipe for disaster.
Let’s say you are presently in a sales role in a global MNC which is part of the technology industry. What are the chances you have of succeeding in a finance role in an Indian start-up catering to the automobile industry? Next to zero. However, you have the potential of doing a great job if you continue in a sales role in the technology industry but change to an Indian startup.
2. Over the course of 3-4 moves change all three dimensions once. This way after your 3rd or 4th move you would be doing something completely different. How does doing analytics for a Japanese startup in Japan catering to healthcare industry sound? Well, you can achieve it but it’s going to take time and effort!
Part 3: Some Rules to follow:
1. Create one or two skills which you become an expert in, these skills will act as a safety net for the rest of your career. If everything fails you can return to these skills and survive. What this means is that your first few moves or the next few moves should be about changing the culture and industry dimensions and not the skill dimension, unless you have already spent 7-8 years on your present skill. You must be known for at least one skill if not two. In my case, I have spent 4+ years in recruitment and am consciously trying to create my name in this area.
2. All of us want everything and all of us want it today but how many of us will actually achieve this? Learn to be patient. You must create equity around your skill and create equity of relationships. Knowledge is gained when time is spent and it is knowledge ultimately, that deepens your skill.
When you spend time you also develop positive relationships with people around you. Never ever underestimate the power of time and relationships in your career. These are two things which will help you the most.
3.At a level, don’t worry about where you are getting into, worry more about who are you going to work with and whether you will learn in the environment or not.
4. Last but not the least, the money. Being in the executive search I can tell you most mature organizations and industries that have matured pay a hike in the range of 20-25%. Yes, you read it right.30% is not a market standard anywhere, neither is 40%. When you move always ensure that you have an upside but as long as it is in the range of 20-25% you are good. If you get 40% lovely! But know that it will be an exception and not an industry standard.
Hope this helps some of you!
Want to find out your strengths before you make your next move?
Read Gallup’s Strength Finder 2.0.
Buy it here