In the current economy, finding a great job is not always easy. You can spend a lot of time talking to recruiters, working with a headhunter and even on phone interviews to see if you can make the cut for a shot at an in-person interview with the human resources department or hiring manager. But your diligence and hard work will pay off.
Your best case scenario is to get a great written offer and learn that there is a local company which is eager to hire you.
But what happens when you have even better luck than you expected and you get two offers?
It’s not a situation that most people think about but when it does happen, it can make you very happy and then quickly turn that happiness to confusion. You are faced with having to compare two job offers and usually in a very short period of time. There are a few key factors that you should consider as you think about your potential new employers.
Decide What Your Main Objective is
For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume that both of your offers have come from local companies and that you will not need to consider relocation to accept either position. Before looking at either offer, sit for a moment and honestly assess your goals for your next position. Is your biggest motivation an increase in salary or earning potential? Along those same lines, will the benefits package and healthcare have a big impact on your choice? Or are you looking at your next job as a means to get experience and build your resume by working at an industry powerhouse? Being honest with yourself about what is really important to you will help you to make a choice that will provide peace of mind and security. And this information is only for your eyes so to speak so you can be completely honest when making this call.
Where are You in Your Life?
If you are having a hard time picking your first priority, consider where you are in your career and your life. If this is your first big job in your field, then experience might be very important to you. Learning early on in your career and gaining firsthand experience can open many doors in the future, and those could be the doors that will have large salaries waiting behind them. Being willing to pay your dues when you are just starting out can pay huge dividends in later years. If you have a family and are making a mortgage payment, paying school tuition for your kids and caring for an aging parent, then money is going to be a big motivation for you. If you are an empty nester and believe that this will be your last big job change before retirement, then this is a good time to buckle down, go for the big payday and save voraciously for a great retirement. Knowing your goals and evaluating your place in your life journey can help you to know which offer will meet your needs and desires the best.
Are Both Jobs Created Equal?
Evaluate both of the job offers based on the job description and responsibilities. If they are about the same then this area could be a wash in your decision-making process. But make sure that there is not even a small difference that might make one a less favored choice. It might be that travel is difficult for you due to family obligations or you might have hoped to be able to work remotely on occasion. Consider all of the expectations that come with each offer and decide if one looks a little more appealing than the other.
More than Just a Paycheck
Many companies now offer a wide variety of benefits other than just a paycheck. For most employees, health care benefits are huge due to the skyrocketing cost of healthcare. Make sure that you know exactly what your health benefits are for both offers to see if one of them is a substantially better offer than the other. Realize that health care coverage for a family can easily cost over one thousand dollars a month, so consider the actual monetary value of the health care coverage combined with the salary offer to get a more apples to apples view of the compensation. Vacation and paid time off are also factors that you can add a dollar value to. If you know that your family always takes a two week vacation in the summer, think about the dollar value of that time if you are forced to take a week off with no pay due to only one week of paid time off. Convert as many benefits as possible to a dollar value and then compare the total value of each offers compensation package.
Don’t Forget the Culture
Most industries are fairly small in terms of information and connections, and the Internet has made it even easier to discover what current and past employees think about their work environment. Check out the information online and from colleagues about both companies. Make sure that you will feel comfortable and be happy working at either company. Money is a great motivator, but it is not everything. And no amount of money can make up for being miserable or feeling stressed and underappreciated every day.
Find the Best Fit
Receiving a job offer is a great feeling and getting two is even a bigger boost for morale and your ego. But take some time and carefully compare two job offers and all the benefits of each job and work environment that goes along with it. Knowing that you have found a position that will allow you to pursue your goals for the future, whatever they may be, will ensure that you are happy with your new job and can focus on becoming an important member of the team and exceeding expectations.