“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
This is a question that some of the people I mentor are asking themselves well into their twenties or even their forties. So how do you answer it?
If you are at a decision point in your career, and you are unsure what to do next, then the Opportunity Matrix might be the right tool for you.
The Opportunity Matrix is a bit of a grand title, but it captures what the tool is designed to do. It helps you to list the avenues you might take, and then rate them across three criteria.
Do you have the enthusiasm for this future career avenue to pursue it with vigour and sustain until you achieve success?
Do you have the skills, education, or track record to secure success in this field?
What does success in this field look like? Will it allow you to meet your personal objectives in terms of financial reward and personal satisfaction?
For each criterion, give the possible career avenue a score out of ten. Then tot up the scores for each avenue to give a score out of thirty.
This should work as a first-pass ranking and help you to consider which are the better or more realistic options. Maybe you can discount some options now?
Don’t discount immediately
Remember though, none of these ratings should rule a particular avenue out. You may choose to do something for which you lack passion for a short period because of the scale of the opportunity. You may be able to overcome issues of credibility with education and work experience. And you may be able to carve out a greater opportunity than is available on the face of things, by doing things differently or combining career options.
This is just a starting point for thinking about your options and a way to begin ordering them, and documenting them for further consideration.
If you find this tool valuable, please leave your feedback in the comments.