Choosing the right job

By | March 11, 2023

“I itch to do something new”, this is how a PM I’m mentoring explained why she is considering new opportunities. “I really didn’t like the people I talked with, and the business is not going to grow further” mentioned a good friend of mine about his recent experience interviewing at a company.  

Changing jobs is a very stressful experience. Unfortunately, many people are now forced to change and choose a new job.  

It is important to have a good framework to decide which job is the right one for you at your current stage of your career. Many people optimize for the sake of change or for revenue rather than optimizing for what is best for them. Let me share the framework I have been using for a few years now. This framework is inspired by decision tree algorithms. Decision tree algorithms are used in machine learning (and statistical learning in general), they are a representation of all possible solutions to a decision based on certain conditions. It breaks down a problem into smaller, more manageable components by creating a tree-like model of decisions and their possible consequences. I do not intend to go in depth in decision trees but if you are interested, Harvard Business Review has an excellent article on Decision Trees for Decision-Making (and yes, it is from 1964 so nothing novel here). 

The framework, at a high level, is composed of multiple categories, composed of weighted elements. These categories will be unique for you, they should represent everything that matters to you. In each category, you will also have a set of elements. Each element should have a weight representing how valuable or important it is for you. For each job opportunity, you should use a scale (I am using 0 to 10).  

This is how it looks like, conceptually:  

Conceptual view of the Decision Framework

To make this more concrete, here’s a super simple example with values.  

What is important is to find all the categories that matter for you and what are all the elements that compose that category. Set a proper weight for your personal value and find the right value for each element of a job opportunity.  

Personally, I have categories like “technology”, “people management”, “location”, “organization”, “customer relationship”, “growth & impact”, “compensation”, “risk”, “work-life harmony”, and “family impact”.  

I’m trying to stick to this template to stay consistent in my values for each job opportunity:  

0 None 
2 A bit 
5 Average 
7 > Average 
10 A lot 

Feel free to grab that spreadsheet here and make it your own! 

Good luck in your decision and I hope this will be helpful.  

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