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3 metrics to see if a job is right for you

Last updated on April 30th, 2019

When considering a job opportunity, you might rely on gut instincts or you might create a spreadsheet and rank 10 different factors. Whatever you do, here are 3 things you should think about that you might not be considering.

Skill to ego ratio

Your speed of learning is one of the most important factors in your career. Reid Hoffman says that “many people with 20 years of experience really have 1 year of experience repeated 20 times.” You want to avoid that fate by continuously learning, which means being around highly skilled and motivated people. But highly skilled environments usually have the egos to match. I have seen this personally, both on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley. On the flip side, there are places that are humble but unskilled. That sucks too, for different reasons. Measure the balance between these two factors. Flatiron Health and LinkedIn are two of the best places I’ve worked at and they both have great skill to ego ratios. I won’t tell you there are no egos. I would be lying to you. But for the caliber of talent they have attracted, the level of humility is impressive. A strong skill to ego ratio creates an invigorating and fun environment.

Compensation to autonomy ratio

Compensation matters. So does your ability to turn off devices and be a human, whatever that means to you – be it training for a marathon, picking up your kids from school, or watching Netflix on a Tuesday. What people screw up is thinking about those concepts in isolation. One job might pay more but not let you work from home on Fridays. Another might be super flexible but not give you the compensation you’re looking for. Your ideal outcome will vary throughout your life, but always consider compensation and autonomy in tandem. Every ounce of autonomy that somebody takes from you is a huge cost. Don’t forget that.

Your excitement for the mission

Answer this question: “On a scale from 1-10, how excited are you about the mission?” Let’s be honest, the true daily tasks of most jobs are hard and boring. So you have to be motivated. Maybe what motivates you is helping kids. Maybe it’s being on a high performing team with the competitive spirit of pro athletes. Whatever it is – ignore everybody else and go deep on what energizes YOU. If you find a 10, it will change your life.

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