Evaluating job offers
The grass always seems greener someplace else doesn’t it?
Well, that’s at least how 65% of American workers who are actively searching for a new job are thinking at the moment. – But how will they know if the change is right? Even more confusing, what happens if you get multiple offers from different companies – which one is better?
First of all, applaud yourself for connecting with multiple prospective employers, each of whom wants to hire you. That means you interviewed well, impressed the leadership of each organization and your skills are in demand. Now you have to do your very best to compare apples to apples. What factors should you really consider when accepting an offer?
Before making a change you might regret, ensure you are making a smart career move by considering how your offer(s) measures up. Keep in mind that one in four people who switch jobs regret their decision and a survey showed that of those who found a new job after quitting, 42% say the new position did not live up to their expectation.
A Checklist for Confidently Saying Yes to a Job Offer….
- Compensation and benefits
Compare the salary, bonuses, benefits, and perks offered by each company. Consider not only the base salary, but also the overall compensation package, including health insurance, retirement programs, vacation time, and other benefits. Try to establish a numerical total so you know the total financial worth of the opportunity.
- Job duties and responsibilities
Compare the job duties and responsibilities of each position. Do they align with your career goals and interests? Are they commensurate with what you wanted and drove you to find a new job in the first place? Will you be doing things you like to do and are good at? Will these duties give you a sense of satisfaction if completed well?
- Company culture and values.
Research the company culture and values of each company, to see if they align with your own personal values and work style. Read reviews from existing and past employees on sites such as Glassdoor, Career Bliss, Blind, and Comparably – to name a few. You are trying to gauge your prospective company’s employer brand and reputation. Check out LinkedIn – are any of your first and second level connections connected to employees at the company in question? Visit the organization’s social media pages – look at photos of employees, how does the company position themselves? Probe for things like causes they stand behind, are there social activities like sports leagues or happy hours. Look at the photos of the people who work there, does the vibe feel compatible? Does the company’s politics or social activism seem relevant to how you live your own life?
- Growth opportunities
Did the interviewer lay out a clear career path for you? Were you informed about advancement potential, new training, upskilling options and overall professional development? Do the things you are likely to learn excite you? One good tell is if the position is open due to a promotion. You know the person before you moved up, not out. Will what you learn in the position enable you to move onto other roles in other places to reach your end goal?
- Location and commute, environment
Consider the location of each company and the travel time required. What will your commutation costs be – calculate things like train ticket, subway/bus fare, gasoline, parking costs. Are you ready for a lengthy car ride? Would a train journey give you the chance to wind down? What kind of traffic will you encounter. If you need to be onsite is the neighborhood safe? Are there places nearby for you to shop or have a meal with a friend during lunch? Will the distance be detrimental to your home life and activities related to parenting?
- Scheduling flexibility
Is the schedule going to work for you? Is it onsite, hybrid, fully remote? How about the hours. Did there seem to be any flexibility? If it not how you have recently been functioning, will the change disrupt the life you have become accustomed to?
Take into account the start date and the notice period of each offer, to make sure you have enough time to plan your move. Are you being pressured? Are you jumping from one spot to the next without any time in between? It’s always good to leave any employer without any ill will.
- Company size, industry, and reputation
Are you going from a small start up to a corporate giant or visa versa? Is it a change of industries? Have you done your due diligence on their reputation in their space?
- Input from a professional
If you were referred to one or both of the openings by a recruiter, get their feedback. Although a recruiter will always hope you will take the position that’s theirs, a good recruiter will put your needs first. They will not want to jeopardize pushing a position on someone if it is not right or creating bad feelings for you or their corporate client. If the recruiter has placed other people at the organization they should be able to give you meaningful feedback.
- Your GUT
This one is on you. It is likely you have a feeling for one role over the other. One of these jobs fires you up a little more than the other. Sometimes it may be the lesser paying job and that’s why you are in a quandary. Try to not be swayed by glamour, money or flash – this is your personal career sanity at stake. You spend far too much time at work to put yourself in a spot that will not hit all of your ”hot buttons.” What is your gut telling you?
Throughout your decision-making process it is important to be transparent and timely in communicating with both employers when juggling multiple job offers. It’s also important to be respectful of their time and not to lead them on. If you are presently employed, leave your current employer gracefully. Be courteous to the company you’ve turned down and tell them how much you appreciate their offer and that perhaps you will have a chance to revisit them in the future. H. Jackson Brown Jr. the author of Life’s Little Instruction Book wisely said, “Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.”
In the end, you make your decision and move forward.
We wish you success.
About the Author
Nancy Schuman’s career spans more than 40 years in the staffing and employment industry. She is a long time advocate for career education and has written thousands of effective resumes for jobs seekers at all levels and skill areas. A recognized expert in workforce/workplace issues, she continues to write freelance articles and contribute to blogging platforms on topics related to job search, hiring, employee engagement and the current employment landscape. Since 1996 Nancy has served as Lloyd’s Chief Communications Officer and continues to be a key member of the leadership team. She is a certified staffing professional and is the former Careers Columnist for the Long Island Press. Nancy is also the author of 11 books on career guidance and business communications.
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