How to decide between two job offers

by Heat Recruitment

by Dave Dewey, Managing Consultant

After a painstaking job search, you’ve enjoyed a run of positive interviews with prospective employees. Finally, you receive a job offer! Before you’ve even had time to consider it, you receive another. Most would agree that this scenario presents the most desirable dilemma of them all: in a competitive jobs market, you’ve managed to garner the interest of not one, but two firms. Now, all you have to do is choose one. It seems simple on the surface, but the more you weigh up your options, the further away from a decision you feel.

If you’re currently deliberating between two job offers, the following tips should help to guide you towards the right decision.

Determine your priorities

For your friends and family, the answer may be easy: “X pays more than Y! Why wouldn’t you choose X?” or “Y is right around the corner, X is miles away!” To you, there’s likely to be more than one factor at play. If your mind feels more cluttered than your future desk (sorry in advance, new boss), don’t hesitate to put it all on a spreadsheet. Start with a list of your priorities for a new job from most to least important: title, responsibilities, location, salary, opportunities and work/life balance may all feature somewhere on your list. Next, rank both employers a score out of 10 in each category. This will allow you to determine which job best fits your most important criteria. If you’re still unsure, move ahead to step two.

Map your career progression

Welcome to step two. This is your chance to consider how working in either company will help you to achieve your professional goals. Consider the career prospects at each of the companies: is there a clear path towards promotion? How do the opportunities at either firm compare, and most importantly, how do they align with your own career plans? While the promise of pay-rises may be tempting, a lack of room to grow can often cause your career to stagnate. However, if progression isn’t high on your list of priorities but your mind is yet to be made, read on.

Consider the culture

If both jobs on offer are similar in salary and nature, look beyond the job description and consider the corporate culture of your prospective employers. What do you know about their values? How diverse is their workforce? Is the business hierarchical by nature or does it operate on more of a flat structure? While the perfect corporate culture may look different for every worker, there’s nothing worse than a bad fit when it comes to your working environment. Gaining an insight into the inner-workings of a company may be hard from the outside, but sites such as Glassdoor could prove useful in digging deeper.

Above all, remember not to succumb to the pressure of your prospective employers. This is an important decision, so should never be rushed. While a timely response is expected, your prospective employers should understand that you need more than 24 hours to consider your future. If the company truly does value you for the role and isn’t just desperate to fill the position, they should give you some breathing space to make up your mind. Try not to leave them hanging for too long, though: the last thing you want is to go from two offers to none at all!

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