Career Choices: Categorizing, Analysing, Short-Listing

Now that I’ve started blogging about my career — I graduate in four months so it’s kind of about time — I find that I have lots of say. Here goes.

Categorizing & Visualising Career Options

In my previous blog post on my career, I mentioned a whole list of companies that I’d like to work for and jobs that I’d like to be doing. I’ve since found a way to categorize those better. That, in turn, has helped me present my options visually as follows:

Career Choices Categories Chart

Of course, the real benefit of categorization is that it helps me organize my thoughts and job application strategies better. My only problem now is that this list of companies is very long…and it will only get longer as I continue my research.

The Process of Short-Listing

To make that list smaller, I intend to follow the standard rational decision-making process of listing pros and cons and, through that, eliminating companies that don’t fit the bill. This short-listing will start immediately but will continue throughout my research and job application process as I’ll be constantly gathering data on, and from, all of these companies.

Of course, the elimination process itself will take into account a little more than just simply pros and cons. In fact, for each company I am listing:

  • Positives: for example, it has a good training and development programme; it is doing work that I find interesting; work hours and habits are pretty flexible; and so on.
  • Negatives: for example, the work is good but not exciting enough (to me, at least); the work environment is far too formal or hierarchical for my liking; the company is great but I don’t think I’ll get along with the person who’s going to be my immediate manager; and so on.
  • Deal breakers: for example, it’s Sydney-based (while I want to stay in Melbourne); its web portal is run by an external vendor while it is managed internally by the VP Marketing (i.e. there’s no job for me there); the job being offered is below my expertise and there are minimal growth prospects; and so on.
  • Deal makers: for example, my immediate manager is leaving in three months and is looking to train a replacement (who happens to be me); I love the people and the job is exactly what I’m looking for; the dress code is jeans and a t-shirt; and so on.
  • Verdict: this will be my conclusion on my current prospects with that company and will, in most cases, be a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. And, even though it might be a ‘no’, depending on why that ‘no’ came about, I might still keep the company in mind for networking and/or future hiring purposes. For example, I might find the perfect job in a perfect company that has just finished its round of hiring and won’t be hiring for another six months or a year. The verdict for here will be ‘no’, but I will want to keep an eye on this company in the coming years.
  • Rank: based on the positives and negatives listed — each of which is weighted differently (more on this in my next blog post) — this will be my ranking of the companies that get a ‘yes’ verdict. Eventually, I hope to come up with a short list of 5-10 top-ranking companies that I seriously want to pursue.

I’ll keep you posted on how things go.