Land That Dream Product Job - Decision
Resumes -> Applications -> Interviews -> Negotiations -> Decisions
This is the final stage of your job seeking journey. At this point, I’m sure you’re full of excitement. After all, you’re seeing the fruits of your hard work throughout the process.
Chances are, you have multiple offers so you’ll have to decide which one to take. Even if you only have one offer, you still have to decide whether to take it or not.
So this final post in theLand That Dream Product Job series is dedicated to sharing my tips on how you make the right decision, for yourself.
I’ll cover the 3 steps:
🤔 Know What You Want
🔐 Decide and Commit
🤔 Know What You Want
What do you care about the most in a job? I know, there can be a lot, like:
Work life balance
Domain of interest
Obviously in a perfect world, you have this one offer that hits highest points on all of the above. If that’s the case, good for you! You may stop reading now.
In reality, more often than not you cannot have everything. So you’d have to prioritize. How to prioritize obviously varies for everyone. But here’s how I’d approach it:
Where are you headed? think about your near term and long term goals. What got you start job searching in the first place? Where would you like to be in 5 years? What would be the most reasonable next step toward that goal?
Be true to yourself: it’s not like you have to sugar coat it to your recruiter (that all you care about is mission blah blah). If you really care about pay (honestly, who doesn’t?) prioritize it. If you really hate high stress and long hours, prioritize work life balance. No one is going to judge you for it because it’s your own exercise, your own decision.
Double click: when you’re about to prioritize a dimension, push yourself one level deeper and ask: “why do I care about this”? Just as a made-up example: If I intuitive consider prioritizing Brand, why? Is it because it feels cool and I can make a shiny Linkedin post about it (btw, even this is nothing wrong), or in fact, it contributes to developing my personal brand as a coach and a blogger? Again it’s not about judging your preference. It’s to make sure you REALLY want it relative to other things.
Try to focus on your top 3, and move on to evaluate.
First of all, I firmly believe that the job offer decision is not a pure science. It’s science + art. Just like most product decisions.
What do I mean by that? Creating structure and data points gives you clarity and enables you to turn an emotional decision into a logical one. However, selecting a job that you’ll spend (on average) several years with, rightfully should be highly subjective and personal as well. I’m not sure if you have ever created a matrix to evaluate your significant others before you decided to date / marry them. I know it’s not entirely the same, but you get my point.
Anyhow, let’s start from the easy part - science.
This is obviously an over simplified sample. Basically:
You have your top 3 dimensions
You score each option (including your current job, unless there’s reason why you have to leave). Make sure your scoring scale is not more granular than 1-5 (or you’re creating trouble for yourself to decide over small deltas)
You sum up the score!
Now there are advanced things to do (if you want/need to):
Weight the dimensions: e.g. if salary is relatively even more important than brand, give it more weight. (by multiplying it by 1.5X, 2X, etc.)
Add 2ndary dimensions: score these other non-top-3 dimensions that you also feel you care about. Obviously weight the top 3 higher.
And this gives you a scientific winner.
Now here comes the harder part - Art.
In the example about, each option differs only by 1 point in score. If you already feel great about that option, no question asked, don’t overcomplicate. Except that most of you might not be so sure just because they feel so close.
Look at the matrix and ask yourself:
Are there things that cannot be accounted for in dimensions and scores?
Are the scores and weights really reflect how I feel?
This might be a dream company you’d wish to work for for 10 years (which might not be 100% the same as brand or any other dimension). There might be a close friend you who’s currently working there who can support your onboarding emotionally. Your spouse strongly prefer you to work in a specific company for unsaid reasons. Etc. etc. Think about these “hard to measure” aspects that you care a ton about, to either adjust your scores/weights where you can, or just say “I’m just gonna add 5 points to this option, who cares”.
Now that you’re ready…
🔐 Decide and Commit
Deciding on any one option might always give you the fear of missing out on other options. It’s human nature.
Just keep in mind that, most if not all of these options on the table are chosen by you in the first place. Why did you decide to step into the interviews and go through the full process? They most likely have already met your basic criteria. Like it’s a product role, it might not pay miserably at least, and you don’t mind exploring what the company and the product is about.
All this is to say: whatever you choose, it’ll NOT be a wrong decision. The only wrong thing you can do here is to overthink, to turn it from a good problem to a negative problem, and to not commit to your decision.
Also, it’s not like you’re choosing a place to spend the rest of your career/life on. In tech, it’s encouraged to always be staying on our toes, to keep our options open, and change when the time is right. This is not to encourage job hopping. In fact the opposite. I’m encouraging you to fully commit to your decision, join and do the best work not only for the company but for yourself - to learn and to grow, so you’ll have even better options (in the same company or in the market) in the future.
I’d always love to hear from you! Comments below.
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