Careers & Life Style – do you know what you want?


career decision makingMany job seekers that I meet are often so focused on just getting a J.O.B. (Justifiable Occupation or Business), that they’ve never really given thought to what it is they really want and the impact on the quality of life they intend to live.

Stephen Covey’s approach to setting goals was to proceed with the end in mind and that’s an approach that I like to take when starting with clients in their career transition. By gaining a better understanding of what their vision is for themselves and their families, we have clarity about the journey they are about to embark on. For some, this is the first time they’ve been asked to consider this as part of their career decision making process.

SO if you haven’t already done so, before you scramble to apply to anything that moves – likely on the Internet – do yourself a favour and take some time to evaluate what you really want. Think about the lifestyle you want, the conditions of employment, and the vision you have for where you’d like to be as you develop your career.

Be sure to decipher your wants from your needs as you create your own personalized vision. Here’s a short list with a few of the traditional items, to get you started:

Personal life / Life Style:

  • Values, Interests, and Priorities
  • Work-life balance
  • Health – Body, Mind, Spirit
  • Impact on the family
  • Access to services for family
  • Recreation and sport



Company Criteria:

  • Company Culture
  • Reputation
  • Size
  • Scope
  • Growth
  • Stability
  • Internal opportunity
  • Policies
  • Structure
  • Location
  • Unionized / Non-unionized
  • Other(s):


Employment Opportunity:

  • Compatibility with criteria and values
  • Compatibility with qualifications
  • Role
  • Level
  • Responsibilities
  • People
  • Work environment
  • Eco Systems
  • Flex hours
  • Remote / work from home
  • Challenges, issues
  • Training and development
  • Possibilities for advancement
  • Stepping stone to future opportunity
  • Travel
  • Other(s):



  • Salary
  • Bonus: %, fixed, discretionary
  • Vacation
  • Stock options
  • Retirement plan
  • Life insurance
  • Benefits
  • Medical, eye care, dental, others insurance
  • Disability: short and long-term
  • Profit-sharing
  • Reimbursement of education and development expenses
  • Car allowance, expense account
  • Cell phone, wireless equipment, computer, membership in a club/other services
  • Conditions/severance pay
  • Career Transition service
  • EAP and other programs
  • Restrictive/confidentiality clauses
  • Other(s):


Industry / Sector Specific:

  • Government / Private / Not-for Profit / Other
  • Current/potential condition
  • Industry associations
  • Industry perks
  • Projected trends for the future
  • Competition
  • Challenges
  • Restrictions


Likely there won’t be a 100% fit with your conditions and criteria, however, you will have a better understanding of how well the market can fulfill your wants and needs. By doing so, you also set yourself up to be able to make an informed decision when an offer does come, as you can more accurately assess in advance what you’re ready to give up and what you must have to make this a decision that you won’t regret.

Illustration courtesy of Renjith Krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Share this post:
Categories : Career Development

Comments are closed.