As I was trying to figure out if our NextDrop interns (that we had given full time offers to) were interested in accepting, one of them brought up a good point: they said they don’t know how to even think about making this decision. I figured if it was a problem for them, it may be a problem for a lot of people. How to think about the next career move.
The first question: What do you want to be doing in 2-3 years? (Because 5 years is a really long time, but if you can do 5 go ahead) Do you want to be retired? Do you want to be doing your current job (but maybe just at a higher level?) Photographer? Writer? Doing your own startup? Working at a non profit? You get the point- what is that thing that will make you happy?
So now that’s your goal. Now you work backwards. If that’s where you want to be in 2-3 years, what’s the quickest way to get there? Lets take the example of starting your own startup. What’s the fastest way to get yourself there? It really depends on the type of person you are, because what works for one person definitely does not work for another. You essentially have 3 choices: Starting a startup right now, working for a startup, or working in a regular corporate job. Go through your options: Can you legitimately run your startup now? Why/why not? If yes, go for it! If no, figure out what is stopping you. Then you need to understand what you get from each type of job (you can probably get this by talking to people who are similar to you in each of those fields). Based on all the things stopping you, figure out which job will..knock off the most things on the list. If your main thing stopping you is money, then figure out which type of job will put you in the best position to get money. If you’re a great networker then maybe it’s best to work at the startup where you maybe get to meet potential investors/in that space. Or maybe you think you can save enough/convince friends and family to invest so you want to maximize your income (which means maybe a regular corporate job is best). Or maybe it’s experience that’s stopping you. What do you need to start the startup? Do you learn best on your own/freedom to experiment (maybe the startup is best), or do you learn best in a more structured environment (maybe a more corporate job). I think you get it. Just put the least distance between you and happiness.
But in the end, I think the best advice I got was this: There is no wrong decision. You can learn from every job, as long as you keep an open mind.