Certified Resume Writer, Career Coach, Business Writer
It’s arguably a good predicament to have. You’ve applied to many jobs, interviewed multiple times, and now find yourself with two legit job offers. Nice! But although this is a feel-good validation of everything you have to offer, a daunting choice lies ahead. How do you decide which job will be the best fit for you?
Fortunately, this article explains exactly how to decide between two jobs. Keep reading for ten practical tips to help you make this exciting but challenging decision.
10 Tips to Decide Between Two Job Offers
Gather As Much Information as You Can
Knowing how to decide between two jobs starts with having a clear and comprehensive understanding of both offers. Get both job offers in writing to analyze and compare them. If you are missing information or have questions, don’t hesitate to ask the hiring manager or HR department. Here is a list of the items you should expect to see in your offers:
- Start date
- Signing bonus
- Relocation funds
- Hours of work per week
- Overtime compensation
- Stock options
- Retirement accounts
- Performance bonuses
- Schedule and/or frequency of expected raises
- Probationary period before receiving benefits
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- Amount of vacation time
- Number of personal days
- Number of sick days
- Company holidays
- Family leave
- Tuition reimbursement
- Travel stipends
Salary is Really Important, But Not Everything
Naturally, everyone wants to take a job that pays them a lot. So, choosing the position with more considerable monetary compensation might be tempting. But, in reality, making tons of money isn’t the only thing that matters. You may not be satisfied with the job that pays more. So it would help if you considered the other factors that would affect your happiness at work. For example, non-monetary benefits like a flexible work schedule, many career development opportunities, or an increase in responsibility might make you happier. It may also be what you need for the next step in your career.
Don’t forget that you can negotiate for a higher salary too. So don’t immediately knock out a job that appeals to you because the wages are too low. See if you can get them to offer you more money. It can’t hurt to ask!
Think About the Company Culture
We can’t overstate the importance of considering each company’s culture. Why? Because if you don’t fit into the culture, you will most likely end up disappointed and unhappy. Working in a toxic environment or even a situation where your values and preferences don’t align with everyone else’s is a recipe for disaster. So when you’re comparing your job offers, take the time to investigate each company’s culture. Ask current or former employees for their input, research reviews online, and decide what makes each company a great place to work.
Also, think long and hard about what will ultimately make you happy. Are you searching for a laidback, casual work atmosphere? Or do you prefer that people dress formally and follow more rigid routines? Do you want to work for a company that values innovation because you like to think outside the box? Does a highly collaborative environment sound good to you because you love to be part of a team? Clarify what you want, and then determine which company aligns more with your preferences.
Compare Your Prospective Managers
To decide between two jobs, you must consider that you are also choosing between managers. If possible, find out more about your potential managers. While it can be somewhat tricky to do this, try asking current employees about their own experiences or inquire about how the company assists new hires with transitioning into their new positions. The more information you can dig up about each of these managers, the better.
Like everybody else, you want to work for a great boss – someone open to feedback and ideas, respectful, inspiring, good at listening, and more. A manager who creates an unhealthy work environment will not be conducive to your productivity or overall well-being. So, if you get the sense that one manager is either great or not-so-great, this should impact your decision-making process.
Ask Follow-Up Questions If You Need
As you compare the two job offers, you might discover that you don’t have all the necessary information to make a sound decision. Don’t worry! To decide between two jobs, you need a thorough understanding of what you are getting yourself into.
Every hiring manager and HR person understands that clarifying everything during an interview is not always possible. They won’t be surprised or upset if you approach them with questions. So make a list of what you’re missing from each offer. Then spend time tracking down all the information you need to make an apples-to-apples comparison.
See if You Can Contact Current Employees from Both Organizations
We mentioned above that you’d want to find out more about who will supervise you in your new role before making a decision. But your new manager won’t be the only person who will impact your future day-to-day happiness – your coworkers will too. You know the kind of people you’d prefer to work with (friendly, positive, reliable, good communicators, and so on) and those you’d rather avoid (arrogant, disorganized, unethical, uncooperative, etc.)
If possible, try to scope out what your coworkers will be like at each job. Reach out to them and have a conversation. Also, think about the people you met and interacted with during the interview process. Envision what it’ll be like to work with them. If the two jobs you’re considering are similar in compensation and benefits, figuring out how much you’ll like working with the people in each company will help you make the right call.
Consider Your Long-Term Goals
You probably have a long-term vision for your career. Don’t be near-sighted and fixate only on your short-term goals and current needs. Instead, consider your long-term career ambitions. Ask yourself which of these two jobs will push you further along that path. Think deeply about how these jobs will either help or hinder your progress. There’s a job title or career goal that you eventually want to reach. So, choose the option that allows you to learn and grow in the right direction.
Evaluate Growth Potential
There are two ways to think about growth potential. First, what kind of promotional opportunities await you at each job? The last thing you want is to end up in a dead-end position that leads nowhere. Instead, join a company that promises you many upward mobility opportunities.
Second, don’t forget about personal growth. In which company will you get more of a chance to grow and learn? Which one will challenge you and get you out of your comfort zone? Sometimes the better option is the one that involves more risk but moves you beyond what you already know.
Picture Your Typical Days in Both Positions
If you’re still struggling to decide between two jobs, try to picture what a regular day will look like at each company. What types of responsibilities will you have to handle? Will you work alone or spend most of your time collaborating? Will you have to travel? Find the answers to these and then consider which role excites you more. This is a good time to trust your intuition.
Also, don’t forget to consider where each job is located and how far the commute is from your house (if it’s not a remote opportunity). One job might sound impressive, but it might not be the best choice for you if it takes two and a half hours to get there.
Make a Decision Matrix to Decide
It might be easiest to compare the different aspects of each job in a decision matrix (also known as a comparison chart). Writing everything out on paper or printing it out can simplify the decision-making process. So after you’ve gathered all of the necessary information and considered all the points mentioned above, create a comparison chart with two columns – one for each job offer. Then in each row, list the various factors you’re using for comparison purposes. Here are some examples:
- Company culture
- Prospective managers
- Prospective coworkers
- Long-term goals
- Growth potential
- Typical day (daily tasks)
- Bonuses and commissions
- Working hours
- Paid time off
- Travel requirements
- Company reputation
- Company history
Viewing your job offers in a side-by-side comparison like this should make it more apparent which job has more favorable elements than the other. Naturally, some factors carry more weight than others. But having a visual representation of your choices should make it easier for you to make your decision.
You probably already know this, but having more than one job offer on the table is excellent. Some people would be ecstatic to have a single offer! You should feel very proud of yourself and grateful too. Keeping this in mind as you work to make this challenging decision can be helpful.
There are many factors to consider when trying to decide between two jobs – compensation, monetary benefits, and workplace culture, to name just a few. Your decision can have long-term implications for your career but don’t worry. Researching and creating a thorough decision matrix will help you choose the perfect next step for your career.