The “Dragnet” Factor

At the risk of dating myself I couldn’t resist referencing the 1960’s sitcom about a pair of detectives, led by the infamous Joe Friday who sought tirelessly to obtain “just the facts”.

Data driven facts are essential to any career decision.  Too often I see job seekers and career changers prematurely eliminate options based on speculation, hear say, rumor and bias.

Whether it be about a specific job, profession or potential company  I see people quickly and unjustifiably discount possibilities.  For example when brainstorming options for career direction people will quickly assume moving into to public or non profit sector will mean a cut in pay.  The fact is larger non profits can pay wages competitive with the private sector.  And often large public entities have very rich benefit programs that when looked at as part of a total compensation package can very competitive.

Secondly when people are assessing potential employers or companies they will rely on a single point of view or a single persons opinion.  Career decisions are  too significant to make them base on a single data point or opinion.

The key is to use many different types of data when assessing options.  I advise people use a combination sources including annual reports, press releases, websites, economic data and even input from others.  When enlisting other people’s input make sure you get at least 3-4 people’s opinion on a single employer or job before determining if it will be a good fit.  Also be sure when talking to others to ask very specific questions based on what is important to you, then ask those specific questions to every person you ask so that you can compare the information.

There is no small decision when it comes to jobs, professions and careers.  Don’t bank on just one data point or something someone said once.  Get just the facts!

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