Well done, you did it! You built an impressive CV, prepared well for your interview and you now have an exciting job offer on the table. And then you did it again, at the same time with the same result. But now what to do? Deciding which job is the right one for you can be the most overwhelming part of the job search process. Here’s our step-by-step plan to help you make a fully informed decision.
4 steps to decide between job offers
1) Dig for more insider info
Gather as much information as you can about the position and company—beyond the often sugar-coated answers you hear during the interview process. The internet is a great place to start finding news, financial information, and expectations for the company’s future outlook.
But more importantly, ask people in your personal and professional networks what they know about the organisation or the people for whom you will be working. Especially ask questions you wouldn’t otherwise necessarily get answers to: What’s the staff turnover like? Have there been recent layoffs? Why did your predecessor leave the job? While the discovery process can be tedious, it may give you valuable insight and uncover some important red flags.
2) Consider the big picture
It’s easy to be wooed by a high salary or exciting responsibilities, but it’s crucial to look at the complete picture of any job. The biggest mistake people make is taking a job just for the title or money without considering the opportunity costs, company culture, work-life balance, or opportunities to grow. We encourage job seekers to really think about which opportunity best matches their lifestyle and overall goals. Some important factors to consider include:
Your financial considerations should be much more than just a salary-to-salary comparison. Evaluate the entire compensation package: bonuses, profit sharing, medical insurance and other benefits like flexible working hours or working from home as theses can make big differences in what you really earn.
Determine what your typical schedule will look like at each job and whether it will work for you. Beyond your daily in-office hours, also consider commuting time, expected overtime, and travel. What are the annual and sick leave policies? If you’re thinking about starting a family—even if it’s not for a few years—also look into the maternity / paternity leave policy.
Remember: you’ll be spending more time with your co-workers than with most of your friends and family members. So, think about how well you connected with each interviewing manager and ask if it’s possible to meet a future colleague. Another good cue is the vibe you get from the HR department.
Is the culture a good match for you? There’s no “right” answer here, but it’s crucial to explore the major differences between companies. Do you want a culture where people go to happy hour after work, or where employees are strictly 9-to-5ers? If you’re expecting to put in overtime, do you want a place where people stick around the office into the evening, or take their laptops home at the end of the workday? Ask to see the physical environment you’ll be working in as this can be a key indicator of company culture. Walk around the building, inside and out, and ask to see your workstation. Are people near you talking, smiling, collaborating? Is the building near lunchtime eateries? Will you feel safe walking to your car or the tube / train station at night?
e) Professional Development:
This job will likely not be your last, so weigh it for its value as a stepping stone to your next job. What professional development and continuing education opportunities are there within and outside of the company? Larger organisations often offer more structure and professional development opportunities, but a small or start-up firm might allow you more flexibility and to take on more responsibility quickly.
So be sure to consider where you want to be in five to ten years. If one job will lead you in that direction and another won’t, you’ll want to factor that into your decision. There may be value in taking a job at a lower level with a prestigious company to get your foot in the door, particularly industries like FMCG, Retail or Entertainment where you have to gain specific experience in the field before you can advance.
3. Take Time to Analyse
Sound like a lot to process? Well, it is. Often, putting the information on paper with a “pros and cons” list can help you look at the big picture in an organised, less overwhelming way
4. Listen to Your Gut
Still stuck? Our favourite piece of decision-making advice is listen to your gut, pick one outcome and mentally commit to that decision. Imagine in as much detail as possible calling the company you’ve chosen and accepting the offer. Walk yourself through telling your friends and family about your decision and going to the office for your first day of work.
Then, evaluate how you feel. Are you excited? Nauseated? Indifferent? Think about this “gut” feeling and what it’s telling you. Don’t disregard your intuition, pay attention to any signals or red flags that have arisen during the application and interview process, and don’t underestimate even small off-putting encounters.
Ultimately, your decision will come down to where you feel you will fit best and be most valued. While title, salary, location, freedom to travel, benefits, and office culture is important, knowing where you’ll succeed, be happy and reach your personal goals amongst people who believe in and support you is without a doubt the bigger picture to consider.
If you’re looking for a new role, contact us at Intelligent People today. We’d love to hear from you and help you find your next position.