Congratulations on receiving two job offers for great positions! Having one is awesome, having two is even better. Once you get past the euphoria of having more than one fabulous job offer, the reality of your dilemma sets in. Which one should I choose?
We know it's a tough situation to be in. It is also a very crucial decision that will determine the course of your career development. Don’t panic. We’re here to help and give you a brief guide on how to approach the situation, analyze it, and make the best decision.
It’s a tough call, but you cannot choose both. You have to make a choice and the offers will not be on the table forever, so the clock is ticking. We’ll break it down for you like this:
Comparing the two choices
Making the final choice
How to choose between two jobs: get as much information as you can
Get it in writing. What you think is a job offer may not actually be one. A verbal statement in an interview does not necessarily constitute a legal offer. It’s always good to hear that they want to hire you, but get a contract or tender offer before you count on it.
Do your homework. You hopefully have already thoroughly researched the company and the job role you are considering. Continue digging and talking to people in the company, and not just in the department you would be working in. Why is the job open? What is the turnover rate? How do they feel about their job and the company? Direct insider information is very valuable and can uncover information that you would not have otherwise known.
Look at the objective things
It’s not all about the money, but some of it is. Obviously, salary is a major consideration for any job offer and should be commensurate with the role and job level. You must look at all the other components of the compensation (and perks) as well. Are there bonuses? What is the 401(k) or retirement plan like? Stock options? Health insurance? Discounts? More?
- Start date and probation period
- Stock options
- Signing bonus
- Performance bonuses
- Retirement accounts
- Frequency of raises
- Overtime compensation
- Vacation time
- Company holidays
- Personal days
- Sick days
- Family leave
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- Relocation funds
- Travel stipends
- Tuition reimbursement
- Other perks
Look at the subjective things
Consider the non-monetary benefits too. Vacation/sick time. Work from home. Commute distance. Gym membership. Child care. More? And don’t forget that all of this is open to negotiation.
Is there a good work/life balance? This has become a much bigger deal for people, and rightly so. However, this can mean different things to different people. A company may claim to offer a great work/life balance, but does it meet your needs? That is the critical question for you to answer. Get details about working from home, schedule flexibility, travel, child care, location, commuting, gym memberships, or anything else that concerns you for your daily life. Some of these may be on the job description, but often they are not.
Does the culture fit you? Company culture is another factor that depends on your point of view. Most companies will say they value their culture, and it is great. But is it really? Your job interviews are usually the first place to get a clue about what the culture is truly like. But this is where your investigation and discussions with employees will give you the real story. Spend as much time on this as you can because it will be a huge impact on your day-to-day work-life.
How did your interview go? Your initial and subsequent job interviews will allow you to get a taste of the culture, but also how the teams, hierarchy, and leadership work within the organization. This is important to understand because it will help you be successful and more smoothly navigate the politics within the company.
Other considerations and intangibles:
Commuting time (easy or challenging?)
Rapport with your prospective boss
Do a side-by-side comparison to decide between careers
When you need to decide between two careers, take all the tangible (objective) and intangible (subjective) aspects of both offers, and make two lists if you have not already. Then look at them side by side. Entering the information into spreadsheets or tables will make it easier to tick off which of the two is better (or the same) for each of the factors.
Each of the factors should also be prioritized based on your preferences. This will be helpful if the two choices are very close. When you are done, you should be able to readily highlight the differences and come up with the winner. Now you are ready to make an informed choice.
Decide between two careers: making the right decision
Think strategically. Most people take new jobs looking to advance their careers. Look carefully at the role, the department, and the company with respect to long-term goals and strategies. If the role, department, or company are going in the wrong direction for you, then it will not be a good place for you to be. Don’t just jump at the first place that offers you more money and a better title.
Trust your gut. Finally, if you have done all your research and gone over all the pros and cons, the last thing to think about is how you feel about the offer. Changing jobs is always a stressful and risky proposition. Don’t be afraid of the change. If your logical assessment says to go with the offer, then balance that against what your gut tells you. Intuition is a powerful thing, and it usually works.
In closing, selecting between two similar job offers is a big challenge. You have to keep cool and approach it as objectively as possible. Compare the two choices based on all the objective and subjective factors you have examined. Weigh all the pros and cons, then arrive at the logical choice. But, at the end of the day, you need to make a choice that you feel good about.
Do the research
Money is great, but consider all the benefits of each choice
Think about what is most important to you and prioritize
Compare the two choices logically
Don’t ignore your gut
Make the best choice for you and feel good about it