What is more important in career planning? Choosing an industry or choosing a job function?

May 19, 2016 2 mins read
What is more important in career planning? Choosing an industry or choosing a job function?

What factor determines the value of a job function? In my opinion, there are three factors:

1. Industry attractiveness is the primary factor determining the value of a post

Prof. Michael Porter, a famous strategy master, points out in the beginning of his book Competitive Advantage that competition strategy selection of an industry is constituted by two core factors. One is the capability for long-term profit. The other is the industry competitiveness, which determines its influencing factors.To put it simple, strong industry competitiveness is one of the key criteria for choosing a promising industry.

2. An enterprise’s status in industrial competition is the second factor

A chosen enterprise must occupy a leading position in it’s respective industry no matter whether it has absolute competitive advantage or not.It is true to most industries that some enterprises are more profitable than the rest despite of the industry’s average profitability. For instance, in the first half of 2012, some manufacturers were still profitable while the rest suffered from a decrease in profitability and even losses.

3. The position in the value chain is the final factor determining the value of a job function

An enterprise’s competitiveness derives from many separate activities in processes such as design, production, marketing and delivery and auxiliary processes. Each activity could affect the emprise’s value delivery and profit. It also lays the foundation for competitor differentiation. Job openings in our companies can generally be positioned in the enterprise value chain.

In general, the value of a position is determined by industry, enterprise status and its position in the value chain.

To develop within a role, it is advisable to consider three aspects and make some changes:

  • Choose an industry with relatively strong competitiveness in combination with your own background and job experience
  • Strive to choose a leading company in the industry
  • Ensure your job generates more value in the value chain

In short, a development route needs long-term consideration and experience accumulation. Although everyone is busy during the day, still try to spend as much time as possible on developing your personal and professional skills.

Bruce Zhou's picture
Bruce Zhou
Senior Manager | Industrial & Life Science Recruitment