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How to Choose Between Jobs

Congratulations! At this point, you’ve now mastered the interview process and have your choice of jobs. Many people wish they were in the same position as you, they wish they had the same problem. However, keep in mind that the job you choose is critical and you have an important decision to make. This choice will dictate your life for the next few years if you wish to maintain a stable job history.

In this chapter, we will list out a few factors you should consider while deciding which job is right for you. We break them down into controllable and uncontrollable factors.

Controllable Factors

These are factors you can determine through research and you can use some of the techniques in this book to get the information you need. Rate each of these factors on a scale of 0 to 5. Five indicates that it matches your expectations completely and zero indicates that it does not at all.

Career Relevance

If you researched the industry and the job position in Chapter 1 before you started applying for jobs, you should be landing jobs that you are interested in. This should be rated a “4” or “5.” However, if you already had jobs lined up before you bought this book, this will require a little extra thought.

Growth Potential

This indicates the possibility for growth in salary or position throughout your career. You can determine this by talking to other people who have started off in the same position. Complete a LinkedIn search for professionals who have worked in the same position in the same company. Have a look at their career path. Does it match your expectations?


This is a very subjective field, but is of great importance to a lot of people. Do you have to live close to your family? Is this position in the city or the countryside? Are most similar jobs in the city or countryside? Are you a city or country person? Is the weather something you would like? When rating this, see if the current position matches your expectations. Consider potential jobs you might be interested in the future that are also in a similar location.


This is of utmost importance to a lot of people. Everyone wants to get paid as much as possible to get that great vacation to Hawaii, or to increase their savings, or to pay for their child’s education. However, it’s important to realize that every job has a range of values that are paid to an employee based on his/her relevant experience, job location and education. This range is listed on websites like Payscale or Salary. You can try to negotiate salaries to the upper range. Check out some of the great tips in Chapter 9 on how to best do this. You must also realize that you might have to undergo a pay cut if you switch fields or industries without any significant transferable skills.


Uncontrollable Factors

The uncontrollable factors are factors that cannot be accounted for in company or field research. The workplace is a chaotic place and every job, every person, every manager can have an impact to your happiness on the job. There is no way of figuring this out unless you talk to people who are working in the same team. If you can, try to get their contact information on LinkedIn and give them a call. Do be aware that they might not be entirely truthful as they are working for the team that they are talking about. It’s your call.


There are all kinds of bosses in the world and every boss has their strengths and weaknesses. However, there are bosses that are hated by everyone they come across. These bosses can make a great job miserable. If you hear about this kind of boss beforehand, beware!

Team Environment

Different personalities prosper in different environments. Some people are stimulated by environments that are challenging and active while others are intimidated by this kind of environment. Some people like a laid back environment while others are bored to death by this kind of environment.

Job Creativity

Does your job involve using your creativity to solve problems on a daily basis? Or is it doing the same task in a repetitious manner? Which do you prefer?

Work/Life Balance

This factor generally depends on your industry. Certain industries have longer hours than others. In some cases, however, the hours can change depending on the team environment and manager.


What’s Important to You? Rank these factors

All these factors are important; some of them are more important to you than others. Others might view these factors differently. For example, a single guy starting his career would give more importance to factors like career relevance and growth potential while a married person with three kids might give higher priority to Work/Life Balance and location. Rate each factor on a scale of 0 to 5 based on how important they are to you. A rating of “5” indicates that the factor is of utmost importance to you while a rating of “1” indicates that you do not care about it.

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Let’s take the example of Bob from previous blog posts. He has followed all the advice in this book and has landed two great jobs. Let’s call them Job A and Job B. He goes through the job selection matrix process for each job and comes up with a score.

In the second column, Bob determines how important each of the factors are. For example, Career Relevance and Growth Potential are most important for him so he gives them each a value of “5.”

In the third column, Bob thinks about the extent to which Job A satisfies each factor. For example, Job A’s salary is low, so he gives it a value of “2” while the growth potential is high, so he gives it “4.” Bob then does the same for Job B in Column 4.

He multiplies the values in Column 2 and 3 and puts the product in Column 5. Then, he multiplies Column 2 and 4 and puts the product in Column 6.

After that, he adds all the values in Column 5 (Job A Totals) to get a Master Total of 91. He does the same for Column 6 (Job B) to get a master total of 71. This indicates to Bob that Job A is 20 points better than Job B (or 28% better). Bob chooses Job A.

Bob chooses Job A based on what’s important to him in his job search criteria. It is customized to his satisfaction and he chooses a job with more career relevance and growth potential even though it pays him less. Someone else might have picked Job B if he considered salary as very important to his career.

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Now that you have figured out where you want to work you can start negotiating your final salary with your employer.


Abhishek Kumar

Author, Career 3.0


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