When I originally drafted my outline for Turn #4 I had broken out narrowing and choosing but after some reflection I feel like they are directly linked.
This is probably the one area where I have received the least amount on advice. When you think about it this makes sense because how we make decisions is a very personal thing.
Some people want to make choices all on their own, others want to get all kinds of input. In the end YOU are the only one who can make the choice of where to work next.
So, how do you make the best choice possible? I had a call with a good friend last week who said there are three things you need to think about: “What’s your purpose, what fulfills you and what’s left to accomplish?” These are good things to weight when deciding what to do next.
Let me share with you my experience and decision making process.
1. Know your value. How much are you worth to your next employer? This is directly related to the problems you help them solve, small problems probably means many people can help. Big problems however, suggests there are fewer people who can help so you can charge a premium. Decide what you are worth but be reasonable. I have turned down 3 jobs because they didn’t recognize my value, perhaps they thought I was desperate…more on this later. Just remember that “Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered!”
2. Know where you are willing to be flexible. What are nice to haves v. must haves? Do you have to drop the kids off at school 3 or 5 days a week? Is working remotely a must? How much are you willing to travel? I had a great role lined up, it was a VP of North and Latin America role and would have been a sweet gig. The only issue was the travel, they wanted me to commit to 50% travel. I was only willing to commit to 30% and neither of us were willing to budge so I had to walk away. It sucked but I was unwilling to sacrifice that much personal time with a young family. I knew where I was and wasn’t flexible.
3. Don’t settle, ever! You have bee given a gift, don’t waste it by settling for a ho-hum job that you will hate in 6months. Be picky and go for the big job. People will try to take advantage of you, they will tell you to take the first thing that comes along, don’t. Make the choice that will make you happy in the long run, not the easy choice that will make you happy today because you can say you “have a job”.
4. Finally, make choices with the right mindset. You have the ability to control your mindset and you will find yourself in one fo two camps: Abundance or Scarcity. When you make decisions from a scarcity mindset you are thinking that “this may be the only offer I will get!”, or, “a bird in the hand…”. However, when you think about things from an abundance mindset you are thinking about the big picture, not the immediate opportunity. It’s no different than in sales, when you have a full pipeline of real tangible opportunities you don’t feel desperate, you feel confident. You are in control and can make good decisions. However, when the pipeline has dried up you get anxious and people can see you coming a mile away, you start to discount your pricing and make concessions to get the deal. It’s no different with the job hunt. Do a lot of networking and your pipeline will be full and you’ll be in control. You won’t make bad concessions and sign up for a crappy job.
Own your destiny and make good choices with the available information. Talk it over with the right people (people you live with is a good place to start!) and get good advice but in the end know that you are making the decision and the consequences of your choices lay squarely on your shoulders.