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How Do I Choose Between Two Great Job Offers?

By Taunee Besson, CMF, CareerCast.com Senior Columnist

Question: For the last four months I’ve been riding a job-search roller coaster of euphoric activity and disappointing dry spells. Suddenly, my hard work paid off and I received a great offer. Then, a dark-horse opportunity that galloped out of my life two months ago has trotted back in with an offer for another terrific position. Now what do I do?

Answer: Congratulations on your job offers! All of your hard work has paid off. Now, you can use that same job search tenacity to determine which offer is best for you.

In an ideal world, you’d have written out your ideal job description before sending out your first resume. This would make it much easier to compare your current job offers with what your heart desires. However, all is not lost and you can use some of those same techniques to make the right choice for you now.

First, take a step back and think about all of those job qualities you’d want to have in your perfect job. Think of your “pie in the sky” ideal job. What does that job look like? What kinds of things do you want to do on a daily basis? What ideal job will propel you out of bed each morning?

Once you have your list of ideal job qualities, rank them in importance to you. If you want, you can quantify the elements in your ideal position by using percentages for each one, which total one hundred. You may arrange them in a simple rank order, or develop a point system, which scores each variable from one to ten. Examples:

 

  • Elements you want
  • Challenging Work
  • Opportunity for advancement
  • Fairly balanced life
  • Excellent benefits package
  • Clear goals
  • Teamwork
  • Growth industry
  • Total
  • Percentage of Importance
  • 20%
  • 20
  • 10
  • 10
  • 15
  • 15
  • 10
  • 100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Elements you want
  • Challenging Work
  • Opportunity for advancement
  • Fairly balanced life
  • Excellent benefits package
  • Clear goals
  • Teamwork
  • Growth industry
  • Priority Ranking    
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Elements you want
  • Challenging Work
  • Opportunity for advancement
  • Fairly balanced life
  • Excellent benefits package
  • Clear goals
  • Teamwork
  • Growth industry
  • Ranking by points 1-10   
  • 9
  • 9
  • 6
  • 3
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since you have multiple offers, set up a table to compare them with each other and your ideal job. This analysis will provide a systematic approach to an otherwise subjective decision.

When it comes to compensation, this same method can also be applied. Take all of the benefits information you’ve received (i.e. Salary, Health, Dental, Vision, Life, etc) and try to compare them apples-to-apples to each other to ensure that you have a clearer picture of your total package.

Once you’re armed with the job and compensation analyses, you’ll be better prepared to make a quality decision. If both offers are still comparable, listen to your intuition. Our guts will often be the best barometer of what is best for us.

 

 


Taunee Besson, CMF, CareerCast.com Senior Columnist

Senior Columnist Taunee Besson, CMF, is president of Career Dimensions, Inc., a consulting firm founded in 1979 that works with individual and corporate clients in career transition, job search, executive coaching, talent management and small business issues. She is an award-winning columnist for CareerJournal.com and a best-selling author of the Wall Street Journal's books on resumes and cover letters. Her articles on a variety of career issues have appeared on numerous career/job websites and trade and business journals. Ms. Besson has been quoted numerous times in The Wall Street Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Business Week, Time, Smart Money, and a number of other websites and publications.

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