How to Evaluate New Career Opportunities

This week we will look at the criteria I use to evaluate career opportunities.

While I will share my current weightings for each category, please consider how yours may be different. We are all in different times/seasons of our careers and priorities may differ.

Where applicable, I will call out categories that will change weighting as my career progresses to help you see how they may vary for you now.

The Big Three (for me) – each weighted at 20%


I’ve always prioritized learning over anything else. The more I learn, the more I can teach. The more I can teach, the greater impact I can make.

Making a significant impact is the domino that makes all my other priorities fall into place.

Company long-term outlook

Especially in a down economy, I want to sell a “must-have” product for a financially stable company. I know many people who accepted roles at sexy startups for obscene amounts of money before losing their jobs shortly after the markets plummeted.

Later in my career, I may be less risk averse, and the weighting for this category may decrease.

Success rate of teams

The percentage of reps and teams hitting quota was a significant evaluation point as I considered opportunities. I want to do well because most of the people I work with are doing well.

Being paid well in a winning environment is better than making more in a losing environment.

I can’t imagine any career stage where this wouldn’t be a priority.

Next three (weighted at 10%)


I have short-term, mid-term, and long-term financial goals. Understanding cash compensation (and whether or not people are hitting OTE) and equity compensation (vesting schedule, refreshes, etc.) play a significant role in my decision-making.

Further in my career, the compensation weighting will likely decrease as I become financially independent.

Work/Life Balance

My employer must respect boundaries and allow me to prioritize my family, health, and general well-being as necessary.

Further in my career, the work/life balance weighting will likely increase as my kids grow older and I take on additional responsibilities in the community.

Fulfillment of Job

Fulfillment from work can come in a variety of ways:

  • Enjoying the day-to-day
  • Impacting others (co-workers, customers)
  • Impacting self (learning/progressing)

The weighting for fulfillment will likely increase as my career progresses.

Final two (weighted at 5%)

Promotion Path Clarity

When I join a company, I’m thinking long-term. I like to understand what my trajectory could look like if I made a sizeable impact. Understanding promotion criteria, timelines, titles, compensation, and span of control are all important elements to understand for promotion path.

If I were earlier in my career, this would be weighted higher.

Office Culture

I’m an advocate for in-office work at least one-two days per week. When I’m in an office, I want the environment to be welcoming and supportive of collaboration.

This would be more heavily weighted if I were in the office more than 20% of the time.

There you have it!

The criteria I used to score the job opportunities before joining MongoDB.


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