From famine to feast. Some people can’t seem to get a job offer no matter how hard they try while I’ve known others who have to decide which of two offers to accept.
How do you weigh a small salary increase against greater opportunity versus a lot more money before a status quo job?
Begin by making sure that you have a full understanding of each offer. Get offers in writing.
Then create a spreadsheet in which the top columns list the companies. Along the left side, list the different elements of the offer. That will include the salary, work hours, employee contributions to health insurance, and the type of insurance you will receive. Also list bonuses that you will be eligible for, the number of vacation and sick days, and other perks. You should also list things that go behind the items in your job offer. Describe in each column how each job fits your overall career plan and things like the length of your commute. Ask yourself if one job will have more opportunities for growth than the and which and which offers you the chance to learn new skills? Because you have probably spent time at the company and met some of the other staff members, use your gut to gauge your comfort level with the environment. Sometimes the HR manager might even allow you to talk to some of the employees if you want to ask questions about the culture. How do the two managers compare? Do you get a sense that one or the other will be better to work with, and who can teach you the most?
Take some time to honestly evaluate your job offers. Such comparisons might raise questions for which you may need to reach out to the company’s human resource department.
This reality check will also force you to ask yourself what really matters to you. Not everyone is the same, so for some, a fancy corner office with a salary to match is what is important. But to others, they are happy to take a lower salary in exchange for less stress and the ability to work on their schedule.
If, after your soul searching, you feel a pull to one offer, but there are some elements to the offer that raises questions, it doesn’t hurt to try to negotiate a better deal. Some things are easier to negotiate than other things. If you can’t get more money, you might be able to ask for a signing bonus. Companies are also likely to consider an upgrade to a title or some money for training.
At the end of the day, you are the only one who can make the decision. It is quite likely that your comparison chart will make your choice easy.
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