What is the Drivers Exercise?
Before deciding what your career goals are, it’s critical to know what you value most in a job. What gets you out of bed to go to work? This exercise will help you define and prioritize what drives you. Below you’ll find a list of 8 drivers along with definitions of each. Once you read and understand these drivers, you can take the exercise and go through a ranking process to determine which are most important to you (i.e. you’re less likely to compromise on these) and which are less important (i.e. you’re more willing to compromise on these). The goal is to determine the ranking of your top 4 drivers and then consider how this will affect the companies you recruit with, jobs you consider, and also how you compare certain jobs.
Why should you do this exercise?
Who should take this exercise?
This exercise is valuable for anyone wanting to assess their career drivers, particularly freshmen, sophomores, students looking for internships, and students recruiting full time.
What are the 8 drivers?
- Compensation & Pay – This includes salary but also any tangible benefit you could put a monetary value on such as insurance, 401K, vacation, airline miles, etc.
- Work/Life Balance – This can mean different things to different people. You may define it based on the number of hours you work but for some, it may be more about flexibility to work from home or set your own schedule. Consider it more like “time balance” (i.e. the ability to control who you divide your time between career and personal life) This category can also include the location of where you live and work since this can affect time balance.
- Brand/Rep of Organization – Does it matter to you if you work for an organization that is well-known or has a big reputation? Are you okay working somewhere that more people haven’t heard of? Do you care enough to make sure the core values of the company align with your own?
- Promotion & Recognition – How important is external motivation like promotion, awards, and praise? Do you care if the organization has a clear promotion path and provides lots of opportunities for advancement?
- People & Culture – Do you want to like the majority of people you work with or do you see people in your career more like coworkers than friends? How critical is the culture fit for you? Consider also the size of the company. Some people may thrive in a large company while some prefer a small organization.
- Day to Day Functions/Tasks – This relates to the day to day tasks of your job and what you spend your time doing. How important is it that you like the majority of the tasks you do? This is not about the impact of your work but simply the tasks of what you’re doing each hour of the day. This category focuses on yourself.
- Impact/Meaning of work – While day-to-day tasks affect mostly you, impact and meaning are how your work affects others and the world around you. How important is it that your work has meaning and impacts your org or others outside the org. Also, consider if you have a passion in a specific industry.
- Learning and Personal Development – How critical is it to have a job that ensures learning and growth for you? Do you seek a new challenge or not?
When do I take this exercise?
At least annually or around the time you are having a milestone like declaring a major, a job or internship offer, or perhaps making a big life decision.