Decisions, decisions.  On Election Day, there is a lot of focus on this topic.  Similarly, at this point in the recruiting season, many students are making decisions of a different nature, such as where to begin their careers after graduation.  Needless to say, I couldn’t let today slip by without taking advantage of the metaphor at hand. 
Deciding on your employer is a lot like placing your vote during an election.  Below are my top five reasons why that is the case, as well as my advice on how to approach each item.

1) Know the issues.

Like every political candidate running for office, there are differences in every employment opportunity available to you.  It is essential to understand those differences and to base your decision on the things that matter most to you (training, compensation, culture, type of work, free lunches, whatever else may come into play).

2) Focus on reality, not rhetoric.

Just like in politics, every employer has a slogan or a party line that you can find in marketing materials, on the website, and in other types of branding approaches. Make sure that these messages align with the information that you get from conversations with real employees and their actual experiences within the organization.

3) Avoid group think.

Your friends are all making big decisions as well, and like politics, it can be difficult to separate their views from your own. Above all else, be true to yourself with the choices that you make.

4) Location, location, location.
Every election has critical states that candidates and the media tend to focus on – As an Ohio native, I know this well.  Similarly, location weighs heavily into your decision on employment. Choose to start your career in a place that feels like home to you.

5) Time is on your side.
I know that this decision can feel like you are swaying the course of your entire life, and certainly it is an influential one.  Having said that, just like a presidential election, your choice most directly impacts your life over the next few years.  You never know where your career will take you in the long term, no matter where you start. 

At the end of the day, it is most important to be excited about every decision that you make, whether it is of the political or professional variety.  So once you make your selection, make sure that you display it with pride!


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