Q&A: I’m Currently Weighing Two Job Offers. What Should I Do?

Question: I've applied for a few positions and I’m currently weighing job offers from two organisations. I’m not sure how to pick one over the other – how can I determine which is the better offer?

Answer: For what it’s worth, seek comfort in knowing that this is a good problem. But it IS a problem nonetheless and your job satisfaction (read: life satisfaction) is at stake, so be painstaking and contextual when weighing both options.

Both job offers may be fundamentally similar or they could diverge wildly, so ultimately it depends on which variables you deem important in making the sum worthwhile.

Salary – Your monthly paycheck shouldn’t be the only consideration, but it is an important dealbreaker. You don’t want to mull over the fact that you are getting paid less than what you feel you are worth.

With that said, remember not to pay too much attention to the monetary prospects and too little to what the company or employer has to offer. Money doesn’t necessarily rank at the top for job satisfaction, and there are other important variables to look out for.

Understand the Company – No matter how exciting the job prospects may have seemed at both interviews, make sure that the recruiters were not merely painting a pretty picture for you to hear. You should delve deeper into the background of each company by exploring both companies’ website and talking to people who have been in the industry. In addition, take a tour around the office building or even workspace if possible – inspect the neighbourhood of the building; every shelf, every nook of the office – to get a feel of what your future workplace will look and feel like.

Your Personal/Professional Development – Whatever your career goals are, your contract should outline what you need to feed your success. Ask all the questions you need (more specifically, what the job entails), what your responsibilities will be and how they expect you to contribute to the company. Some employees might find rotation within departments a catch, while others are drawn to the prospect of a promising climb up the corporate ladder.

Heed the Hours – Are you expecting stringent 9-to-5 work hours, or are you willing to work overtime to meet deadlines and production goals? Some employees with children or elderly parents might deem flexibility in their schedules important. It is also crucial for some to consider travel time to and from work as well, which brings us to the next point….

Location, Location, Location – This is a VERY underrated consideration. Think about it – if you live far away from your workplace, driving through the morning jam might mean sacrificing your ‘newspaper time’ each morning. On the other hand, riding on mass transit might mean pushing your way through a sea of irritating, sweaty commuters twice a day – and for long periods, at that. After all, your morning encounters often set your mood for the rest of the day, and an enviable work location hits this pedal with a good start.

The bottom line in choosing one job offer over the other is that there really isn’t one defining factor. Everyone has a different set of personal circumstances, so take time to review the pros and cons of both companies and make an objective list accordingly. Pragmatism aside, it might also help to listen to what your gut tells you – your instincts are usually right, even if you can’t come up with concrete, rational explanations for them!

What other considerations do you take into account when weighing between two job offers? Share with us in the comment box below!

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