Choosing your next job

Karan Chawla / April 26, 2021

2 min read

  1. Always, always, always choose the people — The people you work with every day will be by far the biggest factor in your work happiness. Great people will be invested in your success. They will offer to teach you and mentor you. Work might change over time, but the culture and the team will form the bedrock of your experience in this new role.

  2. People don't leave jobs, they leave managers — The manger you would be working for may be the most important factor in choosing a new role. While a horrible boss will make you detest your job, a mediocre manager will create something even more dangerous; a stagnant situation in which you end up stuck in your career. It's a great sign if multiple people have worked together before — a signal of positive trust.

  3. Optimize for the bigger opportunity — All else being equal, choose the job that has the most upside, even if it has a lot more ambiguity. Here's the thing: the safe predictable job is still going to exist in 2 years. If you can take the "riskier" role and decide you don't like it after 18 months, then you can leave and take the safer job. But by taking the earlier, bigger path you open yourself up not just to better challenges but also faster advancement.

  4. Go where you'll learn — 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 grander opportunities in the future. That’s not to say that you should forget everything you’ve already learned because, of course, that’s a big part of your value. 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.

All of this advice, of course, assumes you have the luxury of job choice, and is targeted at tech and related types of 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 💜

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