Article: Career mobility - to move or not move


Career mobility - to move or not move

Still debating on whether the offer at hand is the right one for your career? Here are 5 must checks to help you arrive at a decision whether its worth your while to make that all important switch.
Career mobility - to move or not move

So you have finally arrived at the juncture where you need to take a call, to jump ships or rather which ship to choose. More often than not, it’s not such a straight forward decision. The grass is greener on the other side syndrome makes every opportunity seem a better prospect against the reality of the current context. How does one take an objective view and choose the best possible option for oneself? 

Career mobility is one of the most crucial elements which help accelerate one's growth but only the right opportunity helps unlock inner potential. Read on to find more about 5 aspects one must check for before accepting an offer at hand.

Role complexity

One of the foremost factors to look for is an upgrade in terms of role complexity, not difficulty. A role which is difficult to do may not necessarily be complex. Let me elaborate with an example, an oil rig driller’s job is highly difficult and requires a great deal of skill but it’s not complex.  A rule of thumb one can refer to while adjudging complexity in current or prospective jobs:

  • The timespan of the impact of work – What is the time horizon in which the role holder’s contribution comes to fruition. While at an entry level, one is looking at the outcomes within a month or two (value creation for present), at a leadership level role the impact of decisions made or work done is only realized after 3 to 5 years (value creation for future) or sometimes beyond the tenure of role holder (contributing to value systems).

  • Environment dynamics – What kind of inherent complexity does the role has inbuilt due to the way the organization is structured or the way the business operates 

  • Scope of people management – One of the aspects to look out for is whether the output is to be orchestrated through others or self, as people management brings in an added layer of complexity to a role  

  • Impact on business financials – Although every role has an indirect or direct linkage with business financials, the closer a role is to impacting the bottom or top line, the more complex it becomes due to the number of variables that influence decision making. Things to check include whether there is P&L accountability, budget management, savings target etc. associated with a role
  • Depth of knowledge required – Another factor which determines complexity is the degree of specialized knowledge (not experience) that needs to be applied while the role holder discharges his or her day to day duties. 

  • Number of stakeholders to manage – A point to look for while evaluating a role for complexity is the number of stakeholders the role holder directly has to manage and influence to get work done

Skills portability

An important thing to look and check for in a role is whether the skills that one will acquire in this role are portable or sector agnostic. For one the specialist knowledge and experience in itself will serve as an exit barrier when one runs through the course in the prospective organization. 

Learning in the discomfort zone

Growth always encompasses change and discomfort (dubbed growth pangs) and it is minimal or zero when one is operating out of the comfort zone. So seek out whether the role on offer really makes you think twice about your own abilities to deliver. If it does, chances are high that you will have an exponential learning curve. 

Alignment to career goal

One of the most crucial questions one must answer is whether the role will help you move closer towards your long term career goal. For some people, a roundabout way, a couple of detours are good as it gives a well-rounded perspective and life experience, for some speed is of the essence. Whatever the case, remember both the journey and destination count. 

Opportunity and balance

Finally take a bird’s eye view of what is on offer in terms of sheer opportunity, by this I mean does it involve sponsored mobility (that is the organization is rewarding a more complex role in view of required mobility which brings is faster rewards), Will the organized disruption created by accepting this role result in a positive risk-return? Or Will this role be able to accommodate the life work boundaries one has set for self? 

Here’s wishing you a more thought through and clear decision making ahead. 

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Topics: Culture, Employee Relations, Life @ Work

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