OCPD Creates New Tool for Evaluating Multiple Opportunities

Linda Louie, program director, career exploration, experiential learning, and employer engagement and Bill Lindstaedt, assistant vice chancellor, career advancement, international and postdoctoral services, have collaborated to create an Opportunity Comparison Matrix that is designed to help students and postdocs compare different opportunities (such as job offers or internship possibilities).

Their matrix is based on the Kepner-Tregoe decision analysis methodology developed by Charles H. Kepner and Benjamin B. Tregoe in the 1960s, and is commonly used to inform business management and engineering decisions.

Louie and Lindstaedt adapted this strategy to the realm of career development to support a more structured approach to evaluating multiple career opportunities. A student or postdoc can now use an interactive pdf form to identify key criteria impacting their decision. Once the criteria have been identified, each one is weighted and scored across the opportunities being compared. The form then calculates a relative score for each opportunity. The final score is not meant to definitively indicate the correct choice. Rather, the result can be used as a “gut check” to help build confidence in a decision, shape discussions with mentors or loved ones, or identify places where further research on some aspect of an opportunity would be helpful.

Early users of the tool report that it has helped them discover new perspectives on their career decisions. The process of identifying criteria for the decision and then weighting and scoring those criteria can bring greater clarity to evaluating multiple opportunities and ultimately making a decision. Louie and Lindstaedt hope their tool can be useful to UCSF students and postdocs as they evaluate their future career choices.

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