We try hard. We read books. We attend conferences to broaden our horizons... yet still, success belongs to others.
You can choose your next job in a conscious way by asking yourself a simple question:
- A Pioneer - you are always first in certain fields. You need excitement of new. You need to explore, even if things you explore has little to none practical use. It is all about the process of exploration and experimentation. You do understand that failures are a constitutional part of your life, and you are not worried about it. You are also sure that regulations and procedures are counter productive. If you happen to hate regulations but not to welcome failures - you are just chaotic.
- A Settler - You know that success requires processes and procedures, at least light ones. You prefer continuous improvement. Adding one feature at a time, verifying it in the market, and then moving to the next one. A single feature defines your appetite to risk. You feel confident when you make the product better and better, but pursuing new and shiny ideas is not for you.
- A Town Planner - also called Mr. Efficiency. Failure is not for you at all. You feel the best when you take a well tested product and scale it. You are the person that will tune the product to get this one extra percent of efficiency. You are the person that creates procedures and processes. In fact, you cannot live without them.
The best job for you is in R&D, where you will get an idea to explore within given timeframe. Your creativity will work for you and for your explorer. You will certainly win a patent or two.
Just beware - if your idea catches, you need to leave it. Your lack of organization and your creativity will destabilize your concept. You need to hand it over to Settlers, who will be more than happy to bring it to the market.
If you happen be a town planner - you know what I am going to write. R&D is not for you. Your attention to detail is an excellent asset if you are working on a mature project. Your customers will be happy, although you will not surprise them. Predictability and stability will turn against you if your environment will be changing fast. Your employee will see you as a bottle neck.
If you happen to be a settler - you are a lucky person. You can work as a Pioneer as well as a town planner, but do not expect fireworks there. Your risk appetite does not make you a good inventor, but definitely makes you a poor maintainer. Your best bet is to steal a project from a pioneer, make it to the market, and hand it to town planner.