After months of hard work and interviews, you find yourself in an unexpected place: You have two job offers, and you’re wondering how to choose between two jobs. Before comparing job offers, get them in writing.

How to Choose Between Two Jobs

When choosing between two jobs, you should consider four areas.

  1. Money. Carefully scrutinize the compensation packages.
  • Salary
  • Bonus
  • Stock options
  • 401(k) match
  • Health and other insurance
  • Vacation
  • Other benefits can also be part of the total package: paid family leave, tuition reimbursement, sick days. Be aware that one job offer may have one perk but not another.

 

  1. Career. Any job you accept will affect the arc of your career. Some questions to ask include:
  • Which job offers better advancement?
  • Which job aligns with long-term career goals?
  • Will you have opportunities to learn new skills?
  • What are the deal breakers?

 

  1. Job. Don’t get swept away by Google-esque perks: nice kitchen, onsite laundry, or nap room. Instead, go back to the original job description.
  • What will you be doing every day?
  • What are your responsibilities?
  • What does a typical day look like?
  • Is travel involved?
  • What is the commute like?
  • Does the company offer flexible hours or work from home?

 

  1. Company Culture. As you are choosing between two jobs, evaluate the company culture. Trust your instincts.
  • What are the hours and work pace? Are people arriving at 6:00 in the morning or leaving at 7:30 at night?
  • What is the dress code?
  • Did you see any red flags, such as the boss checking email during the interview or someone who seemed “off”?
  • How did the company treat you as an applicant?
  • What is the workspace like? Offices? Open floor?
  • What is your sense of your future colleagues? Fun? Collaborative? Bored? Irritable?
  • What does the company’s online presence tell you?
  • Are there employee reviews online?

 

How to Compare Job Offers 

When comparing job offers, the questions above are a great place to start. Now what?

Step 1. Make a chart listing the pros and cons of each job based on your answers. Your chart should have four main categories: compensation, career, job, company.

Step 2. Once your chart is complete, assign a score to the pros and cons of each job (say, 1 through 10, 10 being the highest). The scores help establish your priorities. As you assign scores, take your time.

  • Weigh salary and other benefits against your personal satisfaction. If one company offers a salary that is 25% higher but you would be miserable there, you may want to look more closely at the other offer.
  • Determine if the job is one you would enjoy and how the job advances your career.
  • Think about the reputation of the company and how that might affect your reputation.
  • Ask yourself if you fit in with the culture of the company.

Step 3. Talk with a trusted friend, colleague, family member, or mentor. They can often provide insights and perspectives you may have missed. Conversations help clarify what matters most to you: Salary? Values? Advancement? New challenges?

Step 4. When you’ve made your decision, don’t burn any bridges. Turn down the losing company with grace and professionalism.

 


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