The job hunt post-graduation can be a terrible and grueling process. Most of us were happy with just getting one job offer, and hoping that it was close enough to what we actually want to do that we feel justified in accepting the position. But what do you do if you happen to get more than one job offer?
I didn’t actually have two offers, but I did get to the last round of interviewing for a job that I really wanted and offered a job with a different company during the same week. As I was preparing for my final interview (which I ended up not getting an offer afterward), I had about a thousand questions running through my head. How long do I have to decide if I want to take the position that I’ve already been offered? Should I let the interviewer know that I’m looking at another job? How do the benefits between jobs compare? What about salaries?
If you do find yourself having with multiple job offers, first tell us how you managed to get more than one offer (we’d love to know your secrets), but second make sure you considered at least some of the following points before deciding.
7. Company Size:
This is really a matter of personal preference. Pros and cons exist within larger and small companies. I work for a relatively small agency and I like it because I work closely with upper management and have been given a variety of projects outside of my official job description. That may not have happened in a larger agency. But larger agencies can have bigger opportunities because of client based and more internal promotions. Do you want to be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond?
6. Paid Time Off:
I feel like PTO is easy to overlook because other factors are more important. However, knowing how many days you can take off in a year without affecting you pay is important. What about sick days – will those count against your vacation days? When can you start using vacation days – do you have to wait until you’ve been in your position for a certain amount of time? Paid vacation days are the best.
All insurance and retirement accounts are not equal. Great benefits can help offset a lower salary. Does the company offer health, dental and vision? Some companies will pay 100 percent of your monthly insurance premium, and some companies will only pay a portion. Retirement seems so far away. 401Ks, mutual funds, pensions and related topics can be like a foreign language if you’ve never taken a finance course. I encourage you to take the time to learn a little about your options and ask lots of questions because saving for retirement insures that you won’t have to work forever.
4. Management Style:
You may find your dream job, but have your worst nightmare in the form of your supervisor. I always asked in interviews what the management style was for the company. If you like to figure things out on your own and be more responsible for your output, a boss who micromanages will drive you insane. On the flipside though, if you like a lot of direction and feedback, a laissez faire approach from your supervisor might be just as bad. Having a good working relationship with your boss is nearly just as important as liking the work that you are doing.
3. Location, Location, Location:
If the jobs are in the same city, this may be a moot point. However, if you have to relocate, that may affect your decision. If the jobs are in different cities, research the cost of living. Generally speaking, Midwest cities are cheaper to live in than cities on either coast, especially NYC and LA. That larger salary might not make a difference if your rent is three times higher. Also, ask yourself if you would be willing to commute, and how far. Do you want to be in a car for 45 minutes every morning and afternoon?
Of course, this is usually considered one of the more important questions. If two jobs are pretty similar and you can’t decide based on other factors, you should probably go with the job that offers a higher salary. It would be stupid not to. But remember that money isn’t every, and it can’t buy you happiness. So if you think you will have a more fulfilling experience in a job with a slightly lesser salary, it might be worth the lower pay.
1. Job Duties:
Is this even what you want to do? Is it what you went to school for? Are you going to gain meaningful experience in this position? Will this job serve as a stepping stone in your career goals? These are the most important questions you will ask yourself. You should enjoy your job. It’s what you will be doing every day. We all have had to take jobs that were less than ideal, but if you have a choice, make sure you choose the one that makes you happiest.
Outside of these factors, I would recommend talking about it with friends and family. I’m also a big fan of pros and cons lists. It never hurts to look at the decision from multiple angles. Most importantly, go with what your gut tells you. After considering all of these questions, you are sure to know in your heart which job is right for you. Finally, pat yourself on the back for having to choose between more than one job offer!