If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re looking for a job. You may be unemployed and looking, or perhaps you’re currently working but looking for something more. Regardless of your situation, your job hunt should be about advancing your career, not just finding your next position.
A well-executed job search can result in multiple options, especially if you’ve diligently created your Forty-Year Vision® and know where you want your career to go. What do you do when you’re faced with multiple job opportunities? How do you choose? Our advice: always opt for the one that advances your career in the direction of your Forty-Year Vision®, and that may not always be the obvious choice!
Consider these scenarios:
When the ‘Ideal’ Offer Isn’t the Best One
You’ve worked your entire career as an accounting manager in a bank, and as 40 approaches you lose your job. It’s time to become a controller — the next step up — ideally in a company near home. After following GetFive method, you get three offers:
- Controller for a bank only 10 minutes from home.
- Accounting manager for a quickly growing bank in a neighboring area that will require a long commute.
- Accounting manager for the health-care division of a major insurance company 200 miles from home.
Which should you choose? Job No. 3 works best for your long-term vision, and will look best on your resume when it’s time to search for your next job again. It will add two new industries to your resume — health care (a growing field) and insurance (broadening your financial services experience).
When Position Matters More Than Money
Of course, everyone needs a salary but there are more important considerations than just how much a job will pay. What if your ultimate goal is to one day work for a non-profit organization? If you were faced with these three offers, which would you choose?
- A staff marketing position dealing with international issues for a credit card company. Salary: about $90,000.
- Head of marketing for the classical music division of a major music company, also paying around $90,000.
- Head of marketing for a non-profit research organization, paying about $75,000.
Easy but boring, the credit card job might be reliable employment but wouldn’t teach you anything new. Plus, you would only be a staff marketer. The music company job has a better title but is very specialized, may not fit with your long-term vision and could lead to failure if the job is too difficult or your co-workers aren’t a good fit. The lowest-paying job for the non-profit comes with a good title — head of marketing — and aligns with your long-term vision. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to make contact and network with some powerful people in the non-profit world.
When You Want to Make a Contribution
Your long-term goal is to do something significant for your community yet earn a good living doing it. You’re offered a promotion at work that comes with a substantial pay increase, but will require you to invest more hours; you’ll have to give up your volunteer activities outside work.
- Take the job, assuming you’ll have plenty of time later in life to do something meaningful?
- Turn down the promotion and revisit your Forty-Year Vision® to find new ways to focus on what’s most important to you?
By turning down the promotion, you can start thinking about how to better accomplish your goal — such as quitting your job and starting your own not-for-profit company.
All of these choices rely on clear vision. Having a vision, and planning on how you’ll achieve it, gives you perspective. Without a vision, it’s easy to get side-tracked or to think too big or too small. It also makes you less concerned with competition, because you know where you’re going and it’s more important than what others are doing.
It takes less than an hour to do GetFive’s Forty-Year Vision® exercise , and about a week to do a full assessment (become an Insider to access the entire assessment). Once you’ve done the exercise, write down your vision, goals and the action steps you’ll take to achieve your goals.