Home > Kadri > How to make a career decisions

Making a career decision

This time of year is sometimes used for long and hard thinking about future steps in the life of individual and sometimes some hard conversation about the goals we have in life and if the road we are taking is leading us in the right direction towards those goals.

I had some talks about how to assess what is the right way for future career/life decisions and after some thinking I remembered that some time ago I wrote about approach called Ikigai, that can offer general framework for assessment of your potential direction.

IKIGAI article


Three frameworks for a career decision

But in reality, when you are making a career decision, which has potentially high impact on quality of your life (some my even call it “algebra for happiness”), you need to estimate your options and potential decisions from three independent frameworks, that cannot be separated, when a final decision is to be made.

First framework is YOU. You are what you are and you can’t replace your-self if you didn’t get the best deal in life. But you can optimize the framework, especially if you first learn enough about it, to know where the limits and preferences are.

Second framework is A COMPANY. Some will call it culture, some will call it management, some will call working environment, whatever you decide to use as a representative format, you need to understand the structure and the mode of operation of your targeted environment.

Third framework is A MARKET. In life a market is a whole world, but if you decide to play in a local game, make sure you understand local dynamics extensively and you are no stranger to global trends. Remember, no man is an island.

Questions to ask your-self for a career decision

YOU – framework

  • What does a money mean to me?
  • What is my emotional level sensitivity?
  • What is my risk level sensitivity?
  • What does a position mean to me?
  • What does a freedom of choice mean to me?
  • What does a friendship/a family/a free-time mean to me?
  • What does a development mean to me?
  • What is a development/growth for me?
  • Do I want to play locally or I am prepared to take a chance globally?

A COMPANY – framework

  • What is the size of a company?
  • What is the business model (how a company makes money, what is profitability, how working intensive it is,…)?
  • What is a company playground and who are the competitors?
  • What kind of ownership there is? (Public, private, VC, Corporation)
  • What is the capital structure? (Patient or in-patient capital, debt level)
  • What are the goals of the capital/ownership involved – image, financial return, exit, survival, decision power,…?
  • What is a company talking about publicly?
  • What are the employees, a customers, a partners talking about a company?
  • Is it a single company or part of a group of companies?
  • What is the management structure, who are the people running a company?
  • How close you are to a company vision and if a vision is really something company is reflecting through its behavior?
  • Is a company filling a position or a competence gap with me?

A-MARKET framework

  • What are the industries I can play in, what are their short-, mid-, long-term perspectives?
  • What are the territories I can be a player in?
  • What is my knowledge level, how can I expand it, in order to adjust it to a market needs?
  • What is my value to a market, can a market monetize my knowledge, skills, competences – value?
  • Can I monetize my-self in the market?
  • Will my value grow or decline based on market trends?
  • Does a market know about me?

What is the right career decision

The one that can connect all three frameworks, where you can define your profile and then match it to a company structure in a way that will be relevant to a market development. And once you do that, you should be ready for a constant adjustment. After all, we are living in a world where you need to run in order to stay on the same place…and then run a little faster to move forward.

Next step…build an algorithm to make decision for you…it should not be so hard…translate answers into numerical values, set the weights. create targeted outcomes with value ranges…but that is a story for another “What if?”.

You may also like
Hector Garcia, Francesc Miralles: Ikigai; The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life
Ikigai concept -tool for helping to understand the role of people’s engagement in the business world

Leave a Reply