Evaluating An Opportunity


Making a decision about a job opportunity can be a daunting, overwhelming experience. You feel the pressure to say yes and get on with it, but what if you have some misgivings? What if you are missing important information, or have a competing opportunity? What then? This decision making process about an opportunity can be made easier by breaking down the key factors for consideration. The most significant of these include: the job, the organizational fit, and the personal factors such as money, time demands and location.

You can put together an excel spreadsheet to list out key factors within each of these three categories. Below I have included many of these factors for the creation of a job comparison spreadsheet. The headings on the top of that spreadsheet could include; column 1: the factors themselves, column 2: importance weighting (rating each from 1-10 according to how important each factor is to you), column 3: the score (from 1-10 how this particular opportunity meets your needs on this factor), and column 4: the total score as the product of column 2 (importance) x column 3 (rating for this job).

Your spreadsheet can continue on to a second and third opportunity so that you can compare one to the next. The importance stays the same for each, but the scores and totals will likely vary between opportunities. For each opportunity you can summarize each of the three categories as well as the grand total in order to compare one to the next. You may not necessarily have a clear winner, but you will have a better sense of the positives, negatives, red flags, neutrals and the unknowns. You can then move towards solidifying your overall assessment and prepare your next round of questions and research. Now, here are my suggested factors — job, company and personal:


Impact Potential
Growth and Advancement Potential
Uses My Preferred Skills
Interests Match
Values Match
Uses My Knowledge and Experience
Fit With Boss
Reasonable Expectations
Decision-Making Authority
Good Likelihood of Success and Support


Attractive Size of Company
Management Style Compatibility
Fit With The Senior Team/Board
Alignment With Vision and Strategy
Well Managed Overall
Good Future Outlook For the Company
Good Prior Track Record Of Success
Invests In Its Employees
Good Industry Fit For Me
Healthy Company Culture
Receptivity To Change
Quality Conscious Company
Respected In The Industry


Salary Base
Work Hours (Quantity)
Work Hours (Flexibility)
Bonus/Profit Sharing/Options
Health Benefits
Geographic Location
Travel Requirements
Commuting Requirements
Office Space/Facilities

When all is said and done, what you are evaluating is fit. So how will you know you have found it? Great fit comes from the alignment of talent, purpose and place. In the end, you will have found it if you can confidently say that you will be able to use, develop and stretch your talents in a meaningful and significant way, within a place that values you and shares your values. This is the ideal, and I wish you the best as you pursue it. Good luck in your search!