Searching for a new job is always stressful, but it can be even more stressful when trying to choose between multiple offers. You’re faced with making a decision between two companies, two positions, two compensation plans, and two career paths. Needless to say, it can be daunting.
Compensation should never be the lone deciding factor when choosing between competing opportunities. It’s really more about what’s best for the individual on a personal level. To pick between multiple offers, you really have to consider what is most important to you. Here are a few top things to consider when comparing offers.
This is typically the very first thing that people ask about. We all have basic human needs and want to ensure that wherever we go that these basic needs will be met. One thing to consider is that benefits are actually a significant part of your compensation. I recall calculating this issue for myself at one point when deciding whether or not to accept a new opportunity.
My position at the time paid $12,000 more per year than the new offer, but they did not contribute to employee health plans. The new offer paid 100% of all healthcare costs, which amounted to a value of $10,000, and had significantly lower copays. The new offer also doubled the amount of PTO I’d receive per year. This leveled the playing field between the two options, as I determined total compensation was, in reality, equal once taxes and healthcare costs were factored in.
You have your work life and you have your personal life. They rarely overlap but your job is essential to supporting your personal life. When choosing between two offers, take into consideration the workload expectations. I had a coworker that left because of poor work-life balance.
She was really into spending time with her young son and very dedicated to the triathlons she regularly competed in. She took a $45,000 pay cut to go elsewhere. The catalyst was being chastised by her boss for “only” working 40 hours a week (her coworkers were putting in close to 70 hours) even though her work was on point. Her boss told her “You give your son love, you give your races love, why don’t you give us any love?”
It was then she decided that her family and her races were more important than the money. She is much happier now that she is in a place where she can be flexible with her schedule and take time off as needed.
We are all looking for that sense of fulfillment and progress in our lives. When we enter the workforce, we have big ideas of where we would eventually like to be. Finding a place that will help you sharpen your skills and develop new ones to help you move forward is invaluable.
Take a look at how each offer could help you along your desired path.
- Does it make logical sense that this opportunity would help you reach your long-term goals?
- What’s the company’s policy on promoting from within?
- Are there potential mentors within the organization that could be valuable to your personal advancement?
One way to check is by taking a look at the company’s LinkedIn page and seeing how long employees stay with the organization and when they’ve had title changes throughout their tenure. You could also ask your interviewers where they see the company heading and what kind of new opportunities will be created as the company grows.
Comparing two job offers is a challenge in self-knowledge. What matters the most to you? Flexibility or opportunity for promotions? Low co-pays or casual Fridays? Performance bonuses or a high salary? There are too many variables to measure and track. Analyze them as best you can and go with your gut. At the end of the day, the only person who really knows what best for you is you.