How to decide between two job offers?
By Mark Swartz
Monster Contributing Writer
What a great feeling to receive more than one job offer. It shows that your work search is really paying off.
The only downside is you now have to choose between offers. Money is usually the first thing people look at when comparing opportunities. For sure the job that pays most will stand out.
But does that guarantee it’ll be best for you? There are other aspects to consider. Some have financial value, like paid benefits. Others are more about your personal growth, such as opportunities for advancement.
To select between offers you should weigh the positives and negatives. It’s also best to take into account not only your immediate needs, but some long term wants as well.
Verify Before Evaluating
Prior to weighing the pros and cons of each offer, make sure you know what they actually contain. Get it in writing to compare apples to apples. This also reduces the chance that you’ll make wrong assumptions. Just ask the Marketing Assistant who thought she’d be paid in American dollars, because the offer was from a U.S. company operating in Canada. (She was wrong.)
Take Into Account The Total Financial Package
Salary is the primary part of your overall financial offer. Salary includes straight wages, plus any bonuses, commission possibilities, profit sharing, or other monies.
There are also indirect financial facets as well. Employee benefits, for instance, can be worth up to an additional 40% of your basic salary. Medical and dental coverage, pension contributions matched by the employer…these can add a lot of extra value to the offer, though only if you intend to use them.
Consider the Offer’s Non-Financial Parts
Is working from home one day a week important to you? How about the job title you’ll be given? These are some of the non-financial parts of a job offer. They can’t be converted into cash. But they may be worth something to you in other ways. And they should be listed as part of the job offer.
Some other non-financial things that should be in the formal offer (if they apply to you):
· Flex-Time or other non-standard work arrangements
· Number of months in between performance reviews
· How raises and bonuses will be determined
· Who you will be reporting to directly when you start your job
· The number of people who will be reporting to you at the start
Look at Key Elements That Aren’t Part Of The Offer
Formal job offers normally include items the employer is legally bound to mention. Yet there are all sorts of considerations outside of what’s written in the offers.
There’s the time it will take you to commute each day to work. And whether you like your new boss or not. Also will there be chances to advance up the ranks?
Is the company culture a fit with your personality? What about working for a smaller company than a bigger one.
Some of these factors, like daily commute and dress code, are tangible. Others, such as the pace of the workplace, the position turnover rate and employer’s reputation, are more intangible. Though none of them will be listed in the job offer. However they may have a great deal of influence on how you perceive each offer. Study the company very well before making that big decision.
Separate Your Needs From Your Wants
As you evaluate the offers, try to keep in mind what’s genuinely important to you. It’s easy to get confused between your wants and your needs.
Needs are “must haves.” Wants translate as “nice to haves.” You may want a salary of $60,000. But if you don’t need that much, you can be flexible around salary. This gives you more room to negotiate on other items in the offer.
Decide In Advance What Your Minimal Acceptable Offer Will Be
Multiple offers are not of much use if none of them meets your basic requirements. So what is your minimal acceptable job offer?
Your definition of minimally acceptable depends on your circumstances. If you’ve been out of work for quite a while, and money is tight, a steady paycheck might be critical. Therefore you may be willing to settle for less than what you’d hoped for.
But unless you get the minimum you need, whether it’s salary level or other vital item, you may have to respectfully turn down the offers and keep on job searching.
Short Term Versus Longer Term
Short Term Versus Longer Term
Something else to mull over is how the new job will affect your future. Ideally it will provide you with helpful training, enable you to develop new skills, and position you for opportunities down the road.
There may be trade-offs between starting salary and room for advancement. You will have to decide which offer satisfies enough of your immediate needs, while boosting your longer-term employability.