So, you managed to snag two (or more) jobs at the same time. That’s awesome! You’re probably the envy of all your friends right now.
If there’s one thing they won’t envy, though, it’s the fact that you can only take one of those jobs. What if every single one of your multiple offers promises you the career of a lifetime? Should you do crazy things like drawing lots, or learning how to be in two places at once?
Don’t worry; you don’t have to do all that. Just ask yourself the following questions to decide between two jobs:
Which Job Matches Up With My Career Plans?
Think of your career path as a house. For that house to stand up, it needs a foundation. And the strength of that foundation depends on what you’ll learn from your first job.
Go over the job descriptions one more time. Then, ask yourself: “Given these duties and responsibilities, what skills and knowledge will I pick up from this job? Are these important enough to help me chart the career I want?”
Which Benefits Package Meets My Needs?
What if both jobs are bursting at the seams in the Valuable Skills/Knowledge Department? In that case, the benefits package might be your deal breaker.
Some benefits might be useful to you; others, not so much. For example, there’s probably no point to having a transportation allowance if your office is literally beside your house. On the other hand, a medical reimbursement program can come in handy when you have a sickly family member. Pick the benefits package that you’ll be able to maximize to the hilt.
Where Do I Fit in Better?
Okay, maybe both jobs look good on paper. What about the company culture? Is there one company that you think you’ll feel more comfortable working for?
Think back to your in-person interviews. Chances are, while waiting for your turn with the interviewer, you’ve observed how the employees act at work. Are they laidback or tense? Is the office in an open style, where co-worker interactions are encouraged? Or are the cubicles designed in such a way that those interactions are minimized? Given your observations, where do you think will you be able to thrive more?
Which Company Has More Positive Feedback From Employees?
Sometimes, personal observations aren’t that reliable. That’s because the Hawthorne Effect might be, well, in effect: If the company’s employees are aware that they’re being observed by potential recruits, they might not act as they usually do.
Fortunately, this is a great opportunity to work your network. Ask your buddies about the pros and cons of working for their company. They might provide you a tip or two, within reason. Also, if you can track down a company’s former employees, try to find out why they’re not working there anymore. Who knows; their poison might be your poison, too.
Which Company Is Doing Better, Profits-Wise?
This might seem like an overly hard and cynical approach to looking at a company. After all, you take a job for the sake of professional and personal fulfillment, rather than for money, right? But if a company is hemorrhaging cash, you can’t expect to keep any job with them for long.
Read as much as you can about the company’s history. Pay close attention to how management handles the big things. If they usually conduct business in a sensible way, you’re probably safe with them as an employee.
Which Company Can Make Me Feel More Fulfilled?
Of course, money shouldn’t be your only consideration for taking a job. The intangible rewards – fulfillment, self-validation, personal growth – are just as important as the tangible ones. No, scratch that: Actually, they’re more important.
You can work for the most glamorous job in the world, and earn a salary that’ll allow you to buy everything you’ve ever wanted. But if that job brings you to a point where you’re just doing things for the sake of doing them, you won’t last long.
What Does My Gut Say?
Yes, “Trust your gut” is a cliché. But it’s a cliché for a reason: Gut feelings are usually rooted in memories your subconscious absorbs. In other words, a company might check all your boxes for “Qualities I Want in a Workplace”, but if your gut is telling you to go in another direction, you might want to reconsider.
No matter which job you choose, make sure you’ve thought it over carefully. After all, you’re going to stay with your new employer for a while, so you might as well make the right decision about it.