Answers from JobMethods

(First published on Quora on Jan 2, 2018)

There are numerous factors at play here and you should pick the offer that provides the best balance among lifestyle/career/financial well-being /family.

Let’s get the location bit out of the way first. Weather-wise, yes it does get cold but mostly manageable and you will love the cooler summer/fall. Plus there’s more to Chicago than just the winter. I moved to east coast from bay area 12+ years ago and now I actually love the seasonal changes. Weather should not be high on the priority list, especially if you can check the other boxes on your wish-list. Don’t let it deter you especially if the role is to your liking.

Now of the 2 roles, the data scientist role is more comprehensive requiring more competencies in math/stats and biz domain expertise. You will probably be closer to the management, providing inputs to the business. But you would have the exact job requirements, so can be a better judge.

If not already, you should have a career plan in place and then figure out which role is a better fit and provides maximum growth opportunities. If in doubt, reach out and consult seniors/experts and even peers to help you with this. It may take some serious soul searching but you should come with a clearer view of where you are headed.

If you want to be objective, a little weighted-factor analysis should be right up your alley. You can get a worksheet off the web. I’d recommend that be comprehensive and figure out at least 20 factors you strongly feel about (both +ve and –ve) and do assign the weights before scoring. Here’s a sample of factors:

  • Job related factors - title, position, skills match, domain knowledge match, team, supervisor, senior management,
  • Career related factors - leadership prospects, growth potential, training, mentoring, career path
  • Financial factors - compensation, benefits, vacation, relocation, cost of living
  • Lifestyle factors – telecommuting, commute time, workday hours
  • Company related factors – reputation, red-tape, culture, stability, growth
  • From this analysis, If the total scores for each role diverge, then you have a clear winner. But If scores are similar, then don’t overthink, just trust and go with your gut.

    Hope that helps.


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