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Make the Choice Between Two Offers

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Hunting and applying for jobs can be a grueling process at times, but deciding between offers is a whole other animal. Choosing between two job options can mean the difference between living in one city or another, or determine the direction your career path takes for the foreseeable future – so it’s important to consider all options carefully before making a final decision. Take the following steps before accepting an offer to ensure you’re making the best possible choice.

Pros and Cons

Ah, the pro-con list – a tried-and-true classic. The practice may sound trite, but listing out the perks and drawbacks of each option and comparing them side-by-side often proves effective, and gives you a visual aid at the beginning of your decision-making process. As suggested by Monster, write down what you know about each job regarding the following factors, and directly compare them to get an idea of which sounds better to you:

  • Salary
  • Hours
  • Sign-on bonus
  • Opportunities for growth
  • Commute
  • Health insurance costs
  • Personal days
  • Advancement opportunities
  • Company reputation
  • Company values
  • Other perks

If the offers are in different cities or industries, consider creating separate pro-con lists for those parts of your decision, as well.

Compensation Priorities

Chances are, each job offer features its own perks regarding compensation packages, health insurance and 401(k) contributions, so it’s important to prioritize these factors to figure out what’s most important to the life and career you want to create. TopResume suggests that you write out the components of your compensation package, including salary, profit sharing, bonus, 401(k) match and tuition reimbursement opportunities. Consider maternity and paternity leave policies, as well, plus childcare options, if those perks would factor into your life and plans.

Once you’ve listed out everything, choose the five or six perks that matter most to you, taking into account your short-term and long-term wants, needs and aspirations. Then score each company on a scale of one to five for each priority. Add up the scores for each prospective company, and consider that the offer with the highest score may benefit you more, compensation-wise.

Personal Satisfaction

Of course, numbers aren’t everything. Glassdoor emphasizes the importance of personal satisfaction at a job, pointing out that if you make a lot of money in a position that bores you to death for 40 hours a week, the benefits may not outweigh the drawbacks. Would a higher salary truly make up for a job you don’t actually like? If your answer is “no,” don’t let those compensation scores dictate your whole decision-making process.

“My first job decision was between a financial consulting firm and an online education company,” ShipMonk media relations director Augustin Kennady told Glassdoor. “While it offered less money, the online education company was the right decision at the time. It also gave me the skills I needed to succeed in my next position.”

It’s important to consider whether a position will be able to keep you engaged, curious and learning over a long period of time, and whether it might lead to opportunities for advancement. That said, if an interesting position wouldn’t pay you enough to support yourself, the other offer might be the way to go.

Workplace Culture

You’ll be sinking 40 hours a week into this work environment and the other coworkers who share it, so consider company culture carefully. Indiana University career adviser Joanie Spain told Business News Daily that overall happiness at a job is the single most important factor to consider, and company culture and co-workers will tremendously affect your overall happiness at a job. Make sure to visit the office in-person and meet your boss and some of the other professionals with whom you would work in your prospective position.

Once you’ve witnessed the work environment and met the people you need to meet, consult the most important influence in any job offer decision: your gut. When you imagine yourself working in that space and with those people, how do you feel? Interacting with clients, collaborating with coworkers, getting lunch, commuting to and from work – would you be able to be yourself, and stay true to your strengths and talents as a professional? What does your intuition say?