If you’ve ever been in the enviable position of getting multiple job offers, you know it feels like you won the lottery. Who doesn’t want to hear that several companies believe in you and want your expertise on their side? But this confidence boost soon fades when the anxiety of making the right choice takes over.
Choosing your next adventure is a big deal. It can have monetary, emotional, and even physical consequences—positive and negative. With all this swimming around in your mind, it can be difficult to focus, let alone make the decision that’s right for you. Below, I’ll outline some strategies that have enabled my candidates to pick their dream job.
Before you start your job search, figure out what’s important to you. Do you like working remotely? How do you want to be challenged? Are you comfortable with ambiguity or do you prefer structure? What is your ideal salary range? Next, think about why you’re leaving your current job. Perhaps there isn’t room for advancement. Maybe the technology is getting stale, or you’re not being challenged. Or, maybe, you’re frustrated because you don’t have enough time to spend with your kids or on hobbies.
While this exercise might sound overwhelming, having a baseline idea of what you don’t like in your position now and what you want in the future will make you happier in the long run. If you’re struggling, try contacting a recruiter—they are especially adept at helping you identify your must-haves.
Once you have your offers in hand, it’s time to examine them through the lens of what is important to you. Here are a few major elements to consider:
Is breaking up with someone ever easy? Unfortunately, no. And that’s sort of what turning down a great offer is like. But just like dating, it helps to be transparent. Explain that you received another offer that is a better opportunity for you at this time in your life. Mention that you took the time to assess each package as a whole and thank the interviewers for their time. And whatever you do, be completely honest. If you lie or massage the truth, you run the risk of it coming back to bite you at some point in your career.
There’s a popular phrase “the tie goes to the runner,” but baseball fans know that’s entirely untrue. Just like there are no ties in baseball, there are no ties with job offers. When you’re reviewing each of the criteria above, one offer is bound to stand out. If一and this is a big if一there is no clear winner, my advice is to go with your gut. Knowing yourself and your goals should be the foundation for your decision.
Career advice | Finding a job | Job search advice | Offers and counter-offers