Determining the Right Fit
Last week, we discussed the fact that many of you have recently received (or will soon be receiving) job and internship offers, and how to successfully negotiate those into more attractive opportunities. This week, we’re discussing the next step — how to go about deciding which opportunity to pursue. Below are tips on making a sometimes difficult task more manageable.
Determine your priorities.
Think about what, right now, is most important to you in a job or internship. Are you looking to maximize income? Okay with taking on a lesser role at a more prestigious company? Willing, or wanting, to relocate? Do you want work focused on social good? Developing priorities will give you a set of criteria against which you can evaluate different companies.
Create a list of pros and cons.
Sometimes making your decision is as easy as doing a cost-benefit analysis. Think about all aspects of the opportunity and divide those into things you do and don’t find attractive. Some factors to assess include pay, growth potential, nature and intensity of the work, vacation and benefits, (re)location, commute, time size and structure, and the presence (or lack thereof) of professional mentors. Then, tie the list back into your priorities — if salary is both your biggest priority and a “pro” of the given job, that’s more important than the fact that same job might pose a “con” with regards to one of your lesser priorities.
Evaluate your expected tenure (jobs only).
How long would you expect to keep the job? If you can’t imagine yourself staying more than a year, it’s probably best to pursue another opportunity. Not only does it suggest you’re probably not particularly excited about the position, switching jobs too frequently could also be a red flag to potential employers down the road. That said, keep in mind that millennials are the “job-hopping generation” — young people switch jobs more frequently than their older counterparts, and leaving a job after “only” two or so years is becoming fairly standard.
Evaluate the people.
Your workplace will be filled with a variety of personalities, skill sets, and work styles. You’ll get a glimpse of these in your interviews — if you can imagine yourself getting along with and learning from those people, it’s probably a good indicator of the office at large. Alternatively, struggling to connect with the people asking questions, consider it a potential warning sign. Keep in mind you’ll be spending, at the least, eight hours each day with your coworkers — don’t underestimate the importance of compatibility.
Evaluate the work.
Study the job description. Does the work sound engaging and meaningful? Are the duties in line with your career goals, and would they help build relevant skills? If you’re already dreading the idea of your day-to-day, look elsewhere — the job isn’t likely to grow on you after the fact.
As a last piece of advice, try not to stress too much. Some anxiety is inevitable, but remember that this is the start of your career, and no one is expecting you to stay the same course until the end. If you ultimately find yourself regretting your decision a couple months later, well, consider it a lesson to carry with you for the next search.
(Please RSVP via iCareers for any iSchool event you plan to attend, unless otherwise noted.)
4/20: FAST Enterprises iLounge Hangout; 9:00 – 11:00am, MGH 416
FAST Enterprises, LLC is an industry leader in the development and installation of software for government agencies. Representatives from the company will be in the iLounge to chat informally about career and internship opportunities.
UW Career & Internship Center
4/13: Career Fair Success for International Students; 3:30 – 4:00pm, MGH 134
4/17: Walt Disney Animation Studios InfoSession; 5:30 – 7:30pm, MGH 134
4/18: Interviewing for Grad Students Who Haven’t Much (or Ever); 5:00 – 6:00pm, SMI 304
4/19: Micron Technology, Inc. InfoSession; 5:30 – 7:30pm, MGH 134
4/20: Spring Career Fair; 3:00 – 7:00pm, HUB Ballrooms
Top job/internship opportunities:
- Student Assistant – iSchool Diversity Office – Spring 2017, UW Information School; iCareers ID 6055
- Systems Consultant, UW Information Technology; iCareers ID 6043
- Summer 2017 Internships, E8 Security; iCareers IDs 6046 – 6048
- Infrastructure Technology Intern, West Monroe Partners; HuskyJobs ID 113875
- UX Designer, IXL Learning; HuskyJobs ID 113839
- Museum Archivist (Part-Time), The Museum of Flight; iCareers ID 6063
- Reference Desk Assistant, North Seattle Community College; iCareers ID 6059
- Elementary Librarian, The Bush School; iCareers ID 6058
- Systems and Information Technology Librarian, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; iCareers ID 6051