If two job offers are on the table, how will you choose?
It happens more than you think–two or more job offers, each with tempting benefits, salaries and incentives. But which one should you take? Many experts say this is an extremely personal decision, one that no one can really guide you with. But there are several tips and suggestions available to help make the decision a little easier.
Don't automatically go for the highest paying offer.
Okay, so it is very tempting to accept the job that pays the most. After all, good looks and creativity doesn't pay the bills or repair the water heater. There are other things to consider though. The highest paying job may not be the best choice. Look at the incentives, total compensation and base pay, potential raises, vacation, stock options, etc. In the end, the job with the lowest salary may reward the most money.
Read the fine print.
Some employers require a specific time with the company before incentives kick in, or they may share part of the insurance costs. Other employers offer disability insurance, stipends, bonuses and commissions. But there always is some type of catch to these. Check the fine print to see if the juicy deals are actually obtainable. It would be very bad to learn you have to work 60 hours each week to be eligible for that ten percent commission.
Don't let unemployment be your driving force.
Yes, it is really bad to be unemployed and wondering how you're going to pay next month's rent. But choosing a job based on this can lead to disaster. Desperation causes people to make poor choices and neglect the options involved. If you don't look at each offer in detail and jump to a decision, you may miss that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Ask questions and get advice from friends.
It doesn't hurt to look around and see what other similar businesses offer. Friends can be an excellent source of advice. Ask them what their experience was like, where they started in the negotiating process and if they think you are getting a fair deal. Objective eyes are often able to see the silver lining or potential disaster in any job offer.
Let it marinate.
Never accept a job offer on the spot. Instead, let it set, and tell the employer you need to think about things a little more. Take the time to compare deals. Consider travel time, costs associated with each job. Will the job take you away from your family for long periods? If I start with lower pay at one job, could the other offer increase my pay faster? Is this the environment I want to work in? These questions are just part of deciding on the best fit. Once your decision is made, sleep on it and reconsider the next day. If you haven't changed your mind, then go with your decision.
Give it a try.
If your decision doesn't come easy, see if you have the option to test drive the position and make a decision a little later. Some companies allow potential applicants to take a tour, go through a type of orientation and witness others working in the company. Witnessing the inner workings of the company can help make the decision a little easier. Also, ask other employees how they like their job and whether there is a potential to advance.
Stick with your decision.
Once you decide which job offer to accept, don't give up on it until you've given the job at least six months. No career path is easy, and rarely does a team member find a perfect match upfront. Give it time for adjustment. Try to customize your work experience to see if there is anything you can do to help. But don't give up. Employers look poorly on team members who quit before the six-month honeymoon phase is over. They may not be willing to give positive reports to future employers.
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