First of all, congrats! We know how intense of a process it is to apply for real-world jobs and here you are, fielding two offers. Props to you. But now comes another tough part — deciding which job to choose. Do you take the position that’s offering more money even though the other one seems like it would make you happier? Or maybe you choose a challenging job with intense training that opens up more opportunities for the future? Whatever questions you’re asking yourself right now, there are many things to consider when deciding between multiple job offers.
There are endless things to think about, and I’m here to weigh in on a few of them. Before you get too caught up in what everyone else is suggesting you do, remember, this decision is yours to make, and it doesn’t mean you have to stay at your chosen job forever. Your twenties are about building a foundation and figuring out what you like and things you wish to change. It may feel like a tough decision right now, but it’s not necessarily the end-all-be-all. Stay optimistic and make an educated decision that feels right. I hope these expert-approved tips can help you choose!
visualize your future
Take time to visualize where you see yourself in a few years. A lot of people have a five-year plan; maybe this is you, or maybe you’re still uncertain. Either way, knowing what you want will help you better understand how to get there. Do you want to stay in the same field you’re in? Climb the ladder at a certain company? Or maybe you hope to eventually branch out and start a business of your own but you need more experience to do so. Now, take a deeper look at what both jobs are offering and see which one will help you get to where you want to be.
Compare salary and benefits
We understand money is one of the most important factors you’re focusing on when making this decision. Making a competitive starting salary is a desire many post-grads have, but don’t let this keep you from seeing the whole picture. Sometimes, a company will pay less but offer a lot more benefits that can even be worth more than money combined. Some benefits you may want to consider are healthcare packages, PTO, flexible schedules, work from home policies, contributions to student loan payments, and even retirement plans because it’s never too early to start saving.
Consider the perks that might make your office more fun. Do they have fun Fridays and a stocked kitchen for their employees? What type of attire are you expected to wear? Or perhaps they have an office dog and an employee bar that brings everyone together when the workday is done. It’s helpful to consider perks, because sometimes they are more important than salary when it comes to quality of work life!
Avery Gillis, Senior Content Creator at Diply, says to remember that salary is a huge factor when accepting a job offer — and that it’s almost always negotiable. “What a lot of people don’t know or are too afraid to do is negotiate their salary,” she tells Her Campus. “I didn’t do this when I accepted my current job and was shocked to later learn how much somebody else in the same position as me was making, simply because they negotiated before they accepted their offer.” You should know the worth of your experience and use this to make sure you’re being offered what you deserve.
Avery adds, “If you don’t negotiate your salary right away, you’re absolutely allowed to request to do this at any time in your career.” She continues, “Some companies will even let you negotiate your vacation days and yearly bonuses, so really think about what you need to earn to make a living and what you think you should earn based on what you can provide to the company.” Most companies will ask you for a number, so have one in mind and don’t be afraid to negotiate their offer.
Seek advice from people you trust
This decision may feel overwhelming and it’s okay to waver back and forth. It’s also a good idea to ask your friends, mentors and loved ones for guidance. Their input might help you see these offers in a new light or provide feedback that makes your decision easier. And if nothing at all, talking it through with others will help you find peace of mind, even if momentarily.
Other people you should try to talk with are those within the companies you’re considering working for. Check your LinkedIn page or reach out to your network, you may be able to connect with someone who can share new insight on the company. And don’t forget to talk to former employees, they might have even more honest input. This will give you an insider’s perspective so you have a more realistic understanding of what to expect if you do decide to work there!
consider opportunities for growth
You should have a solid idea of what your role in the company will be and how you are expected to interact with other departments, if at all. Professional growth is key to working towards your success and should be at the top of your list when planning your future. Tracey Hannan, Talent Acquisition Specialist at Boston University, says, “Looking into professional growth should weigh a lot in your job decision. That’s something you can ask about in a job interview, so you’ll have a good idea of where you can grow within a certain company before making an informed decision.”
Ask how pigeon-holed your specific role will be. Yes, we all have to start somewhere, and sometimes the first year means getting your foot in the door. However, if you let it be known that you’re open to learning new skills outside and want consistent opportunities to help you grow your professional worth, you should work for a company that supports your ambition.
Ask yourself if the commute is worth it
Whether you’re taking public transportation in a city or driving back and forth daily, your commute is worth factoring into your decision. For some, this is a time to be productive, read a book or perhaps catch up on your favorite podcasts. Others, however, might hate the thought of being on a train for 45 minutes each way every single day.
Tracey says, “Commuting should be a factor in your decision, but not a major factor in your early career if you don’t have pressing issues outside of work,” she continues. “You don’t want to get a reputation for always being late or have the commute take over your work/life balance. But, I wouldn’t let an opportunity slip by because of a lengthy commute.”
Although this factor is easily overlooked, it can make all the difference in how you start and end each day. You’ll know which jobs are worth commuting longer hours for.
Get a feel for the differences in work environment
Work environment is so important! Amanda Oliver, Founder and CEO of The Color Coded Life, a career consulting company, shares why you should choose the job where you feel best. “You are going to be at this place for at least eight hours every day. You want to enjoy your work environment and what you do.”Before you accept any job offer, make sure you ask what type of office style they have and better yet, ask for a tour so you can see for yourself.
Open concept floor plans are becoming very common but traditional office cubicles seem to be a forever thing. Know which environment you work best in and keep that in mind. Amanda continues, “If you hate coming to work every day, then you’ll likely not be able to muster the enthusiasm you’ll need to be successful. So picking somewhere you love will get you further than picking just based on salary.”
ask about your day-to-day tasks
Building a career for yourself is no easy feat. You have to continue to work hard to advance but you must not forget about the importance of your daily tasks. A job offer may sound appealing but if your day to day workload isn’t challenging enough or seems uninteresting, you’ll want to rethink your decision.
Tracey says, “Knowing your day to day tasks is imperative. If you’re the type of person that likes to work with others and spend a lot of time moving around and talking with other people, it doesn’t make sense to take an isolating job buried in a spreadsheet all day with little interaction,” she continues. “Can you do it? Sure. But do you want to do that all day every day? Probably not.” You want to set yourself up for success and that starts with asking the simple questions before saying yes to a compelling job offer.
Trust your gut
Ultimately, this is your decision and you should do what feels right to you. Chances are, you’re already leaning more towards one offer. And if it doesn’t feel like you are, a coin toss is a good way to find out. If you toss a coin and get the job offer you’d rather not take, you’ll feel disappointed. There’s a reason for that. Have faith in that reason. Look at all the facts and listen to the opinions of others, but in the end you have to trust your instincts. Cheers to new chapters and exciting opportunities. You got this!
Avery Gillis, Senior Content Creator, Diply
Tracey Hannan, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Boston University
Amanda Oliver, Founder and CEO, The Color Coded Life