As recruitment consultants, we often encounter this situation with our candidates: They spend weeks conducting their job search, attend countless interviews, and feel like they’re getting nowhere. Then out of the blue they receive multiple job offers! This is a great position to be in as a job seeker, but how do you choose between two great job offers? This article aims to help you gain clarity and take some pain out of the agonising decision!
Firstly, if you find yourself in this enviable position, we would like to take a moment to congratulate you! To help you make sense of the situation, we set out the most critical points to consider before making such a life-changing decision.
What to consider when choosing between two job offers
When you have two offers on the table, both will likely give you a deadline to decide. Time pressure only makes such a difficult decision harder to make. Before accepting a job offer, it is wise to take time out and put pen to paper. Doing so makes the decision-making process more visible and will help you make an informed decision.
We list ten essential considerations below. It sounds basic, but it might help to list each on paper with two columns at the side. Then in the columns, give each job a score out of 10. Whichever has the highest score is the job you should go for.
Ten points to help you decide between two job offers
- Try to ignore the money.
- Remember your reasons for leaving your current job.
- Cast your mind back to the interview process – how did it go?
- Keep your long-term career goals in mind.
- Consider the opportunities for career growth.
- Ask yourself if this company’s values align with your own.
- Don’t let anyone fool you into accepting a job that’s not right for you.
- Consider what impact each option will have on your personal life.
- What is the company culture like at each company? Are either a good culture fit for you?
- Go with your instincts.
Try to ignore the money.
This is easier said than done if one employer offers double the salary of the other. However, it’s essential to take a holistic view and consider the salary and benefits and all the other factors that make up the overall package.
For example, one job may offer £20k more than the other, which could be a life-changing amount depending on your circumstances. However, that job could be the most boring in the world, and you might hate it. In this case, you would be back searching the job boards in three months.
Sometimes it even pays to accept a pay cut in the short term. For example, to improve your expertise in a specific area. Or even take a sidestep to get an opportunity to work with particular clients.
Remember your reasons for leaving your current job
Before you apply for any new jobs, it’s always a good idea to write your reasons for quitting on paper and stick them somewhere you’ll see them often. Job hunting and attending interviews is such a stressful process that it’s easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of your why.
Cast your mind back to the interview process – how did it go?
How the interview went is a critical consideration in whether to accept a job offer. If you thought it went exceptionally well and could see yourself working there, that’s great. But what if the interview didn’t go so well and you still received a job offer?
Some companies deliberately put potential employees through a stressful interview process to test their mettle. But it’s important to consider why a company would do that, and would you want to work there?
Keep your long-term career goals in mind.
Where can you see yourself in five years’ time if you accept this job? Will you still be at the same desk earning the same salary? If so, is that acceptable to you? If not, what do you want from your career?
If your long-term career goal is to increase your expertise in a specific area or acquire a particular qualification, will either of your current options give you what you want?
Consider the opportunities for career growth.
Having a clear picture of what career satisfaction looks like to you is crucial. It’s also important not to consider that career growth looks different to many people.
A yearly salary increase is the most significant measure of career growth for many people. However, to others, the opportunity to reduce their working hours and take a backseat might be more important.
Ask yourself if this company’s values align with your own
Accepting a job offer that might help you achieve a specific goal can be tempting. However, ensuring that you’re doing it for the right reasons is vital.
For example, let’s say you’re an environmentalist and a company responsible for destroying the great barrier reef offers you a glamorous job overseas. Would you be able to do your job comfortably knowing their damage to the environment? If the answer is no, then you should not accept the offer.
Don’t let anyone fool you into accepting a job that’s not right for you
It’s difficult to get unbiased career advice when trying to choose between two great job offers. Most people you speak to will likely have an opinion on which job you should take and a clear argument as to why.
Yes, you could take a survey of all these people and tally up their results to help you make your decision, but would it?
Whoever makes you a job offer will want to persuade you to sign their contract, so discussing it with them is out of the question. If you’ve applied for either job through recruitment consultants, they will persuade you to accept whichever offer results in the best deal for them. Even family members will have an opinion of what’s best for you, so their views may be biased.
Indeed, you may implicitly trust your line manager. But if the company you work for makes a counter offer when you hand in your resignation letter, do you think you can trust their judgement?
Consider what impact each option will have on your personal life
During the pandemic, many people had time to reassess what a good work-life balance looks like to them. Wasn’t it a surprise to realise that some people thrive while working from home while others couldn’t stand it?
Some people are happy to work under greater pressure if that means they spend fewer days in the office. On the other hand, other people prefer the security of an office environment and find comfort in their daily commute.
What is the company culture like at each company? Are either a good culture fit for you?
Culture fit always causes a huge debate in recruitment: An employee who is a perfect fit for one company may not be comfortable for a competing organisation. Therefore, it’s essential to consider not just the job role you are applying for but the environment you will be working in, who you will be working with and how you might settle in socially.
Working in a fun and lively environment can help you expand your professional network, but it doesn’t mean everyone will enjoy it. Some people prefer a quiet environment where they can put their heads down and get on with the job.
Go with your instincts
Ask yourself whether you could see yourself getting along with the hiring managers or if you can picture yourself in that work environment. Does the job description challenge you or make you feel entirely out of your depth?
If anything about either job offer feels off, or at the opposite extent of the spectrum, seems too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts and go with your gut.
A Few Final Thoughts on Choosing Between Two Jobs
Decision-making is complex, but it’s even more challenging when that decision can affect the rest of your life and likely needs to be made by a specific date.
When making such an important decision, it can be tempting to ask other people’s advice, but the only person who can really decide between two jobs is you. In accepting career advice from others, you judge yourself by their standards. Instead, go back to basics and revisit your why.
It could be that neither of the offers available to you is the right one. If so, don’t be afraid of turning both down. If that’s what you decide to do, feel free to take a look at our current jobs.