Whether you are a new graduate, a seasoned veteran of the workforce, looking to make a change, or are facing a new job opportunity, it is important to understand the reasons for your career decisions. Jake Livengood, assistant director of Graduate Student Career Services at MIT Global Education & Career Development Career Services and a communications instructor at Brandeis University, encourages job seekers to take time and consider the reasons for and alternatives of a job change. Some possible questions to ponder:
- What type of work would I still enjoy doing in a year? In three years? In five years?
- Which work schedule would be better?
- Which place would provide a better work-life balance/blend?
- For which type of work would I say, “I really enjoy this,” versus “I can do this but ‘meh'”?
- Which organization would you be most proud to say you work at?
- Which position would allow you to grow most professionally?
- Which position would allow you to try new things?
- Which position would provide the greatest fun challenge?
- Which position fits you best culturally?
- Which position would allow you to be healthiest?
- Which position provides the most security?
- Which opportunity would provide the most flexibility regarding work schedule?
- Which position has a better commute?
- If a snowstorm were to come, would you be able to work from home? Take the day off?
- Which has a better retirement? Which has a better retirement match?
- Are the organization and/or department financially stable?
While some of these questions may not apply to your own circumstances, taking stock of the pros and cons of a job change, a promotion, returning to or extending an education, or any other major life opportunity will help prepare you to make informed decisions with long term consequences.