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How do I choose between two job offers?

This is a problem that many people would feel lucky to have! 

Nonetheless, it is a problem and one that you need to resolve as soon as possible. 

If you are having trouble deciding which job is right for you, here is a checklist of things to consider which will hopefully make your decision a little easier.

1. Make a list of the information you have gathered for each job on a separate sheet of paper.

Compare:

  • Job title
  • Salary
  • Full Benefits - think about not only the benefits that are important to you at the moment but also those which might be important in years to come e.g. if you are planning to have children then it would be worth looking at maternity/childcare benefits.
  • Is it a temporary, contract or permanent role? How long is the probation period/notice period?
  • Location, hours - how long does it take to get there? If you are required to work overtime, is this paid?
  • Any travel involved?
  • How often your salary will be reviewed?
  • The culture of the firm - corporate or more relaxed? Do their goals/values/ambitions match yours?
  • The department/team - how well did you get on with the people you met during the interview? Could you see yourself working alongside these people every day? Look on LinkedIn to see profiles of people in the firm to find out their interests/career history.
  • Consider the reputation of the firm - are they market leaders or a niche company? How does this affect your career goals?
     

2. Then make a list of the pros and cons for each job.

Positives Negatives
Friendly team Long hours
Excellent company reputation Tight deadlines
Lots of client contact Long commute                    


3. Think about what is important to you besides salary and compare the positives and negatives against this.

Many people are tempted to accept the job offer with the highest salary, but often salary isn’t the main reason why people look for a new role in the first place. 

Think about the core reasons you decided to look for a new opportunity. Do you want to learn new skills? Or take a step up from your previous position?  

Consider the possibilities for advancement in each role – which one will help you reach your long term career goals? 

Perhaps you would welcome a greater work-life balance – which job would most likely allow you to leave the office on time? 

Compare your list of positives and negatives against the top 3 criteria which are of most importance to you. 

4. Ask for more information if you need it.

Not all interview processes will give you the chance to meet members of the team or to see the environment you will be working in. If either of these things are in your top criteria, ask if the firm can organise a more informal meeting with the team (coffee, drinks etc.) or whether you can see the office you will be working in. Is it open plan or will you have an office of your own? This can make a big difference if the working environment is important to you. 

5. Talk it through with someone you trust who knows you well.

Often, deciding what to do can become overwhelming. Talking through your options with a friend or family member can often result in them offering some insight you hadn’t thought about.

6. Don't be rushed into making a decision.

Whilst you are likely to have a deadline to respond to, make sure you prioritise your time to give both options enough consideration 

7. If you still can’t decide…trust your gut.

It's easy to rationalise your reasons for accepting a job that you are supposed to like. However, if you have a positive or negative gut feeling about one job or the other then don't ignore it! More often than not, after a few weeks working in the role you are likely to find that your original instincts were correct.