Job Search Planning was our topic in class this week.
We worked as groups to identify our top priority
needs (security, challenge..) and desires (money,
prestige, intellectual growth…) in our first position.
The groups were each chosen randomly.
We then aligned groups’ membership so that each
group contained all academically oriented Ph.D.
students, all small company oriented students and
all large institution oriented in others. As one might
guess the top priority choices changed in a noticeable
Finally, we talked about how emotions influence
our decision process: how loss aversion (over-
reaction to presumed loss), value attribution and
the influence of numbers of factors on decision
making. Then, we had the aligned teams select
their top factors. There was little variation from
the first choices each team made.
The interesting feature was in the discussion that
followed. Why should we bother, one person asked,
going through all this preparation? There are few
jobs and we will take the first one we get no matter
what it is and will change to get higher salaries.
(I thought to myself that is pessimistic.) My response
was that he would be surprised to learn that there
are many professionals who would want to work
in areas where they have passionate interests
and personal motivations. Others like working
in places where there is a good social atmosphere.
Still others like working with customers, like
working with their hands or outdoors or in
laboratories. Each day would be a struggle if
the job was less than stimulating.
To achieve their desired career and career path,
the class was advised to consider taking the long
view, accepting short term benefits as a trade-off
for the long term. Learning new skills, getting
exposure to different roles and having increasing
levels of responsibility (when you are prepared
and have appropriate organizational back-up)
and keep abreast of desired next positions.
Flexibility and developing business savvy which
integrates the many factors of success in interesting
positions that are stepping stones so that you can
meet your personal ambitions.
Mentoring, networking and guided personal
skill development were keys in self-guided
career management that each individual
is now responsible for. 1