Whether starting out in a career, moving to a new company, or choosing a new role/team inside of a megacorp, fear and confusion can reign.
Don’t despair! Here are 4 tips to make your decision easier:
The people you work with every day will be by far the biggest factor in your work happiness. This isn’t measured just by whether they’re good happy hour companions or quick with a witty joke, however.
(Though that can't hurt.) 🍹🤭
Surround yourself by people who you click with, who you admire, who share your values.
You shouldn’t choose a job based on a specific promise of the work you’ll be doing any more than you should choose to marry someone based on their haircut.
Put even more practically, you’re going to be spending at least 8 hours every workday with these people—make them count!
Crappy team = crappy work experience, no matter how exciting the work is.
Especially inside of a big company, the manager you would be working for may be the most important factor in choosing a new role. No other single person will have as much impact on your success and happiness at work.
It is widely-known that the #1 reason people leave jobs in their boss. Bad manager = unhappy employee.
It can actually be a great sign when you find a place in which multiple people have worked together elsewhere before—a signal of positive trust.
All else being equal, choose the job that has the most upside, even if it has a lot more ambiguity. Take a job at the startup, on the newer & less well-established team, the risky project. Nothing can vault your career forward faster.
You can still go to Amazon and help scale services. Yay. That job designing some aspect of the Facebook ad engine or coding Salseforce's table view will still be there, and 100,000s more like it.
But by taking the earlier, bigger path you open yourself up not just to better challenges but also faster advancement.
When leadership is needed, you’re the obvious choice: you’ve been there since the start. The risk turns into career reward.
You don’t have to play it safe!
Chances are, your next job won’t be your last job. Too often people put everything else above learning when, in actuality, learning is what propels your career more than anything else. It’s what sets you up for great opportunities in the future.
Done consumer? Do enterprise.
Done Azure? Do AWS.
Done megacorp? Do startup.
But be willing to choose the job that will push you, especially if it feels a little uncomfortable or exciting. The safe job won’t grow you.
During your interview, ask explicitly how the team supports learning. Ask what they’ve learned over the last 12 months. Get concrete examples of opportunities people had to step up into new, uncomfortable roles.
Many people have financial, family, and other considerations that limit their choices; I've been there too and know you have to take the job you get. 💜
Choose great people, a team that shares your values, and the best manager you can find. Optimize for a big opportunity, and go where you’ll need to learn and try new things.
Do this, and you’ll make a great choice! ✨