When all is said and done, it all boils down to a numbers game. Calibrating your career can be the sum total of your efforts to date. Whether it’s in terms of the number of interviews you have been on or the number of resumes you’ve sent out or the exact salary you are willing to negotiate to land your ideal job, all of your efforts relate to the way in which you value add your career choices and how well you play the numbers.
Your career choices add up to how much effort you put into your job search. If you are willing to work at it vs. letting it ride on chance and luck, then you may actually move closer to your career goals faster than you expect. When you calibrate your career you not only add up and measure your results to date, but you weigh your options as it relates to the choices you are willing to make. When you know what you want over what you do not want that is one metric. When you know how much money you will or won’t work for again that is another metric. Finding your balance and making the numbers work for you is a way to harness the potential of the unlimited career opportunities waiting for you to explore.
You know what you are worth and by calibrating your salary requirements by doing research on what company’s pay for similar skills, experience and education, will help you feel more powerful when it comes to negotiating your way to the top of any job offer. Here are a few other ways you can manage your career by the numbers:
- How long has the job been posted? Not something a candidate would think is important to ask, but knowing how long a position has been open will give you a sense of how “valuable” the job is and if there is a sense of urgency on the company’s part to fill the job anytime in the next millennium.
- How many candidates have interviewed for the position? Again, knowing how long the job has been opened, how many people have been considered, if they’ve ever extended a job offer and it was not accepted are all good indicators on what the real deal is with the position or with the hiring manager of the company when it comes to summing up this as a viable opportunity for you to pursue.
- What is the turnover rate within the company? This is another important and not too often thought of statistic that you can inquire about on the job interview. Knowing the turnover percentage or if they don’t know what it is helps you to know if there is a culture issue with the company, a challenge with the hiring manager or if there is another reason why the turnover in the company is high or perhaps low. If the turnover were unusually high, like over 25%, this would be a red flag you need to pay attention to.
- When was the last time the company provided a merit or bonus increase? Would be nice to know if the company is on a regular merit review or bonus schedule and what the typical amount or percentage increase one might expect. Some candidates think that it is “improper” to ask about future compensation so long as you are not asking what salary increase you will receive, you want clarity on the company’s pay practices and that is fair game when you are calibrating the numbers
- What is the usual time for someone to move up in the company? It’s a good idea to know how long a person is expected to be in their position before they are considered for promotion or movement within the company. This doesn’t signal to the hiring manager that you are looking to jump it just means you’d like to know if the company has an expectation of the length of time someone needs to be in their position before they move up or out-again, part of the numbers game in helping you calibrate your career choices.
So when you think you’ve had enough of the numbers game and all the calibrating in the world is not getting you closer to a job offer, then it’s time to rethink your overall career strategy and really ask yourself, “Who do I want to be when I grow up?
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