When you started your job search you may have been expecting to aim for a particular job and hoping for the best. But sometimes multiple offers come rolling in, and then you’re faced with making a decision. How can you be sure to pick the right one?
“Selecting the right job today will influence your future career success tomorrow,” career coach Angela Copeland says. “It will put you on a path to grow your skills, or may set you on a negative path that ends in you looking for another job. Don’t take the process lightly, and avoid making the decision all about money.”
Here are some tips to weigh multiple job offers.
It’s hard to make a decision if you don’t know what you really want. As part of your job-search process, create an ideal offer that gives you an idea of what it is you’re looking for and that matches your needs, Copeland says. Then you’ll have a baseline to measure any offers against.
“Think about how much you’d like for your base salary, vacation, any bonus, health care and retirement,” Copeland says. Consider your career priorities as well — what do you want your next job to do for your career? What direction do you want it to go in? “When you receive one or many job offers, this will give you a template to compare the details to,” Copeland says.
Think back to the interview processes at each company and how you felt when going through them, Copeland says. Was there a potential manager you got along with better, or did one company appear to be a healthier place to work?
These questions are important because people tend to leave jobs because they’re unhappy with their bosses or the work culture, Copeland says. If one of the companies felt better to you than another — even in a way you can’t describe — that can indicate it’s a better fit for you.
If you get to this point and are still having trouble making a decision, it’s time to compare financial details — including salary, retirement benefits and health care coverage, Copeland says. Keep in mind that looking at the entire compensation package gives a better picture than just comparing salaries.
Then consider the details that will affect your lifestyle, and dig into the financial costs. For example, one position might offer significantly more vacation than the other, or offer a shorter commute, Copeland says. Will you have to buy new clothes for one of the positions, or will your current work clothes suffice? Will one job require you to pay for care for children or older relatives? Imagining what your life would look like outside of work can help clarify your choice.
Finally, if you have two comparable offers that you just can’t decide on, pick the one that seems like a healthier work situation for you, Copeland says. “Pick the one with the boss that truly believes in you. They say that employees leave bosses, not companies. Look for the boss that you want to work for.”
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