Career Management

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Phase 2, Step 7 - Develop a Matrix of Opportunities

Employers want to hire people who know what they want to do and how they want to have an impact. The first step of becoming more focused in your job search is narrowing down all the possible great opportunities into a few that are realistic to explore.
This step is about doing high level research into all the possible combinations of functional areas of interest (marketing, finance etc) and industries (healthcare, technology etc.) and crossing things off your list, thereby narrowing your options. If you already know exactly what you want to do, then this step is about widening your options so that you can identify a Plan B if your ideal job isn’t available when you graduate.  Start with a Bingo type matrix of multiple job categories. Research enough about each to decide if you are interested in exploring more or not. Typically you can narrow down pretty quickly by asking yourself some basic questions (see below). If you are not sure of the answer to come of these questions, reach out to two people – one on each extreme and talk with them about their jobs. Then decide.

GSM5108 Deliverable: Using the Matrix of Opportunities provided, cross out those careers you are NOT interested in exploring.  Prioritize those that are left on the Matrix into first, second and third priorities.  Identify and add 5 people who have jobs in each of your high priority squares, to your “Network Contacts” excel sheet.  Draft a list of questions that you would like to learn more about.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Would I prefer to work in a small company or a large company?
  2. Do I prefer to work with people, data or tangible things? Or some combination?
  3. Am I more detail oriented or big-picture driven?
  4. What cause am I passionate about?
  5. If you didn’t have to work for a living…what would you do?


Going Deeper:
  • Draft a list of all the possible jobs you can get from an MBA education onto your grid. Ask your PCA if you need help identifying job titles.
  • Prioritize them into A, B and C based on your interest. Cross out anything you already know you’re not interested in.
  • Start with the A’s. Go to LinkedIn and identify people who have each of these job titles and then read the description of what they do. Look at their previous education and experience.  Find some job descriptions and read them. If you’re still interested, draw a circle around the opportunity. If not, a red X.
  • Continue through B and C until you have narrowed your open boxes to 5 possibilities or 2 columns of job types. For example, perhaps you like data and you’re interested in HR Analyst, Marketing analyst, financial analyst and supply chain analyst – that’s great! You’re focused! On the other hand, if the majority of jobs you are excited about are all in the marketing category, that’s great too!
  • If you are having trouble narrowing things further. Draft a list of what you like and do not like about each job you have explored and make an appointment with Career Management to discuss.

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