Decisions, Decisions – which job offer should I accept?

Ange Connor

When it rains it pours! It’s something I see as a recruiter more than you would think. For all of the feedback we hear about how difficult it is to land a job; there are quite a few people out there who will have experienced receiving multiple job offers and are then faced with a difficult decision. Which job offer should I accept? I’m often told by job seekers that they have been searching for weeks and months and then all of a sudden they have two or three job offers to decide between.

While it might sound like a wonderful position to be in, most people who end up in this situation don’t consider themselves that lucky. It can actually be quite stressful. Unfortunately, I see way too many people make the wrong choice and end up in the wrong job for them. Before you know it these people are back on the hunt for a job again within a few months because they made a bad decision.

Ending up with multiple jobs offers to decide between often takes people by surprise and I think it’s this surprise that drives the wrong decision making process or maybe there was no process to the decision at all.

What should you consider when weighing up multiple job offers?

What was your original objective?

I often write about the importance of developing a roadmap before you start searching for and applying for jobs. This roadmap details your career goals, your motivations for making a job change, what you are trying to achieve, what’s important and not important to you in your next job and in the specific workplace. This roadmap guides you in searching for jobs, deciding which jobs to apply for, through the interview process to determine if it’s the right job for you and it’s also pretty useful in weighing up if you should accept or decline a job offer. Assessing the job offers against your original roadmap will help give you clarity and remind you of what is really important to you, why you started out looking for a new job in the first place, what was driving you to make a change. When you have multiple job offers to consider use your roadmap as a checklist to see which job scores higher on your roadmap.

Dollars can be dazzling

Unless the dollars you earn were at the top of your roadmap checklist you want to make sure you don’t end up being dazzled by the dollars and forget what is truly important to you. In most cases the salary on offer isn’t the primary motivator; it’s more about career progression or flexibility or culture or job satisfaction or many other motivators depending on your individual circumstances. Yet for some reason when we get to the negotiating stage of the recruitment process it’s like we get caught up in the moment and it becomes all about the dollars. All too often I see people digress from their roadmap and make a decision based on dollars. When this happens it’s never a recipe for career success. This is where your roadmap will be most valuable. It will help you step out of the moment, give you perspective and allow you to make a calculated decision.

Gut feel

I’m a bit of a gut feel girl when I have a big life decision to make and I don’t think you can under estimate gut feel. In this instance it might be more than gut feel but how did you feel at the interview, how comfortable were you with the people interviewing you, how did you feel when you first walked in to the office and sat in reception waiting for your interview. Did you get a good vibe, did it feel like the right fit? Being aware of our feelings throughout the application and interview process is important to consider.

Still unsure and can’t decide?

Don’t be afraid to ask for another meeting. Never feel pressured to make a decision if you don’t have all the information you need to accept or decline a job offer. Sitting down and meeting with your potential employer again will give you the opportunity to verify information against your roadmap; you can interview the employer. Another meeting will give you another opportunity to connect and gel with members of your potential new employer. There is also value in workshopping the pros and cons of each offer with someone independent who you know will question and challenge your thinking. It’s interesting to get a different perspective sometimes.

Whatever decision making process you go through, remember to gather the information you need, don’t make a rushed or on the spot decision and question, question, question until you have all the information you need to make the right decision.

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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