What to Consider When Deciding Between Two Job Offers

By Kaitlin Hurtado on June 1, 2018

After you’ve gone through the stress of perfecting your job resume and cover letter, applying for various job positions, and going through stressful job interviews, you will hopefully be left to decide between multiple job offers. Navigating the search for a full-time job can be very stressful, but the decision on which job offer to actually take might be even more so. There are plenty of factors to consider – some negative, some positive – and you may find yourself struggling to figure out what the best decision is in terms of fulfilling both your needs and desires.

If you find yourself looking at more than one job offer, here is what you should consider when deciding between two job offers:

man thinking

Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash

Outline what you are looking for in a job

Everyone has a wish list or at least a few ideas of what they would want in their ideal job position – an easy way to start out your decision is to outline what exactly you are looking for in a job. This can serve as somewhat of a guideline of what to look for in the two job offers you are deciding between. You can list out the obvious features that most people would think of: ideal pay, location, hours, and benefits like health insurance and vacation time.

Think of what kind of expectations are placed on you when you accept the position. Are you working an entry-level job where you are just going to be making copies and doing coffee runs? Or are you going to be expected to already have an advanced skill set coming into the job? Pick the job that will give you the amount of work (and pressure) you want and are willing to accept.

Something that isn’t often considered, especially with people so worried about their salary, is the type of work environment that each job offers. Between every person, the ideal work environment can differ vastly and it’s important to consider each job offer’s work environment before accepting because it can affect how you view each job. For example, if you prefer to work best in a collaborative environment with friendly coworkers, you won’t want to be accepting a job offer that has you confined to your own cubicle and crunching numbers. Or if you prefer to rely on yourself, consider what your job description entails and the type of tasks you will be expected to perform on a daily basis.

Where can this job take you?

This question is especially important for recent college graduates considering their first full-time job post-graduation. You most likely won’t be working at your first job for the rest of your career, so it is important to consider where each job offer can take you career-wise before accepting.

Consider the type of work you are expected to do in the position and how that will help you build experience for later in your career. Working at a larger-known company may sound more appealing, but if you are only going to be going on coffee runs, you may be better off accepting a job offer from a smaller company that is willing to work with recent college graduates and give them experience.

You don’t want to stay stagnant once you take either job offer, so try inquiring what the possibilities for upward mobility or increases in pay are. If you expect to stay at the job for long, or maybe each job offer isn’t quite offering what you want in terms of experience or pay, possibilities to improve either one can make an initial job offer much more appealing.

When you think of the position that comes with each job offer, how does it contribute to your overall career? It can be a good starting point – a stepping stone – until a better offer comes along, offering you hands-on experience in your field, networking opportunities, or another few lines on your resume.

Think of your ideal endgame situation and what kind of company or position you want to end up at in the peak of your career. Think of how each job position affects your ideal path. Do you get a lot of hands-on work with one job, but have low pay or a less-than-ideal location. Or are you going to be receiving a good starting salary but not be given the type of work you need? It’s important to define what you are willing to give up in order to get places prior to accepting any job offer.

No job is going to be perfect, so don’t burden yourself with thinking that the job offer you are going to be taking is going to be the one to make or break your career. Remember to take your individual preferences into consideration when deciding between two job offers and that you alone have the power to choose what job offer is best for you.

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a second year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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