After you’ve spent countless hours crafting the perfect resume, and a few more sending out those perfectly crafted resumes to potential employers, and then interviewing at different companies, it happens: You finally receive a job offer and you’re just about ready to sign on the dotted line. But right before pen hits paper, you receive another offer — now you have two amazing job offers and no idea what to do! Sure, this is a champagne problem, but it’s still a problem.
Before you make a decision, there are a few things to consider to ensure the company you decide to work for is the right choice for you and in alignment with your long-term goals. While both jobs might sound great on paper, when you wipe the excitement out of your eyes and take the time to do additional research, you may find some things that aren’t exactly what they seem.
To ensure you’re making the best career decision, the first thing you need to do is ask both companies if it would be possible to get back to them within a reasonable timeframe. Express your gratitude and enthusiasm without actually saying “yes” just yet. That way, you assure your potential employer that you are, in fact, excited about the opportunity, and you get some time to weigh the pros and cons. If these potential employers are worth a damn, they’ll appreciate your prudence.
Next up, figure out what’s important to you. What matters most to you: Salary? Growth potential? Flexibility? It’s essential to consider your priorities and how well each job would accommodate them.
According to Kelly Donovan, job search consultant and principal at Kelly Donovan & Associates,
Jason Dukes, business coach and founder of Captain’s Chair Coaching added, “It’s best to start your job search with a list of what you want in the new job. Once you begin to receive offers, you can compare the jobs to your list to see which one best fits your criteria, and then choose.”
This requires a bit of self-reflection. We know a larger pay check may seem appealing and might be the main reason you would pick one job over the other, but career and life coach Kristina Leonardi advises to look beyond the number:
You have to consider which job will ultimately bring you “a step closer or farther away from your ultimate career goals and vision.” And the opportunity for growth should not be underestimated — not just in terms of promotions and titles, says Leonardi, but also in terms of where you “can learn the most/gain the most experience/exposure, develop new skills, or learn a new area in the field.”
If, after you’ve made your list and prioritized the things that matter to you, both offers are closely matched, and you’re no closer to making a decision, try considering the commute time for each and how much it will cost you in both time and money. If you can already imaging yourself thriving at either company, and both are offering great salaries and perks, but one comes with an extra long commute every day, you may have your answer.
However, if commute isn’t an issue for you, another way to evaluate the offers is to actually envision yourself working at each company. Think about the company’s culture: What are their core values? What do they stand for? Do they have a history of being lenient on cases of harassment and discrimination? Leonardi suggests investigating the company’s culture to see whether or not you’ll be aligned in the important ways.
Now, if after all your research and assessment, you’re still indecisive then you may be able to use this to your advantage.
You now have this amazing thing called leverage. Considering that the job market is so competitive, it’s safe to assume that companies aren’t just handing out jobs without thought or to candidates that aren’t in high demand. This means you are in high demand (accept it; you’re awesome), and these companies may be willing to do anything within their power to convince you to join their team. Of course, there are restrictions, so don’t get too drunk on power but do initiate a discussion to negotiate for the things you require and that are important to you.
Let your demands be known but keep expectations in check.
Let’s say you’re having the best week ever and both companies have agreed to your negotiating demands, and now you’ve come to another delightful but slightly irritating impasse. You could consider letting each hiring manager know that you are currently trying to decide between two offers to see how they respond. They may try to win you over by tossing in a few additional perks or their response could help you decide whether or not you’d be comfortable working at their company.
We know this is a tough decision, but at the end of the day, you are pretty darn privileged to have this kind of problem. You have two awesome opportunities to pick from and there’s a high possibility that whichever one you go with will take you one step closer to the life you want. It’s about doing what’s best for you.
May the odds be ever in your favor.