Getting a job offer when you’re already trying to decide on another job offer sounds like a problem most of us would love to have.
But, having more than one job offer means you have to make a tough choice between the two and have the even tougher conversation turning down one of the offers (or both if you have something completely different in mind).
With every job, there are some obvious things to consider like the salary, location, benefits, the amount of travel, the commute, and the hours.
Any of these could be a deal breaker, but these are also things you may be willing to compromise a little if other aspects of the job are appealing.
The things that really matter – the things that will impact how happy you are at the job and whether it’s going to help or hurt your career – are a little less tangible and take more thought.
1. Does the company culture fit you?
A few years ago, I interviewed for a job with work I’m sure I would have loved, but when I asked about working from home, the executive interviewing me replied, “We are a traditional Southern company. We’re in the office from 8 to 5, Monday through Friday.” Considering I’d already been freelancing full-time for 5 years, that type of culture was a dramatic change from what I’d become used to and less flexibility than I’d enjoyed in my previous corporate job.
You’ll spend a great deal of your week at the office. If the corporate culture doesn’t fit, it could make for an unhappy work environment.
2. Will you like the work?
Get as many details as you can about what each position includes. Picture yourself in that job six months or one year from now. Will you still enjoy the work? Money isn’t worth being stuck in a job you’ll hate, especially when you have another option.
3. Is there room for growth?
Does the position itself challenge you? Is there a path for advancement within the company in a timeframe that fits your goals? Does the company provide training or workshops that will enhance your professional development?
4. Who will be your manager and team?
The people you’ll work with in your prospective position, especially the manager to whom you’ll report, play a big role whether you like the job. If you and the manager for one job clash big time (especially if you noticed it during the interview) while you mesh better with the manager of the second job, you might go with the latter.
5. How will it look on your resume?
Let’s be honest. You probably won’t be in this particular position or with this company for the rest of your career. So, it’s important to consider how a specific job will help you get to the next job, particularly if you’re interested in climbing the corporate ladder or achieving another career goal.
Make a list of pros and cons for each position and weigh them against your priorities for a new job. Seeing it all on paper can help you weigh your options and make the best decision.
Once you’ve decided which position you’re going to take, let the companies know as soon as possible. Turn down the job you’re not taking, but do it respectfully, professionally, and don’t burn any bridges. You may apply for a job with that company in the future and you want to leave a favorable impression.
Thank the company for the job offer and explain that you’ve chosen a position with another company that’s a better fit for your goals.
If you think you may be interested in working for that company in the future, perhaps in another position, express that you were impressed with the company and hope for an opportunity to work together in the future.
Call the hiring manager to deliver your message and don’t forget to follow up with thank you notes to those who interviewed you.