Recently I have had some questions about how to decide between two job offers. Each time my answer is basically the same, albeit with some small variation based on the individual set of circumstances. Whilst this can seem like a hard decision, there is actually a formula you can use to make the decision easier.

What seemingly makes the decision between two job offers more difficult is that the offers or jobs themselves are different. For example, the salary for one job might be lower than the other, or the role of one job is less suited to your strengths or the culture at one company has a reputation for being something you are not sure about. There are many potential differences. As long as you can take care of your basic needs (i.e. food and shelter), and find a way to live off of the salaries you are being offered, then truly you only need to focus your decision in one key area.

Focus on getting the best out of you, and career success will follow

The key thing to remember about making career decisions, including which job offer to take, is that you are aiming to place yourself in the best possible environment for you. This means a job that allows you to play to your strengths, with people that you want to work with, for an employer that will value you and everything you bring to the table.

By placing yourself in this type of situation, you give yourself the best opportunity to be successful, which will lead to chances at promotion and increases in salary, not to mention that you will undoubtedly feel happier in what you are doing. I cannot be the only person who feels better about myself and my career when I am doing well in the job am I in and feeling like an appreciated and valued team member.

Answer these three questions to give yourself the best chance at making the right decision

Of course, it is not always possible to judge a potential employer before you actually start in a role, but you do have ample opportunity to gather information that will increase the chance of making a good decision. So next time you need to make a decision like this, make sure you can answer the following questions:

  1. Which employer has a culture which will get the best out of me? To answer this question you have two main data points that can help you. Firstly, during the interview process, you need to make sure you are asking the three critical questions (link to ThriveGlobal article). Secondly, you can use internet search and/or sites like Glassdoor or Indeed to check out the overall rating of the employer, the pros, and the cons.
  2. Which employer will provide the best opportunity to grow? This is related to the first question, except here you are focused on assessing the nature of the employer. Is it a start-up with potential, that I can join and establish myself and grow with the company? Is it a company with ambition and vision that will continue to expand and have multiple opportunities? Is it a company which explicitly sells itself as a place where employees have access to many different opportunities? Is it a company that places an importance on training and development? Most of these questions can either be asked at interviews or gleaned from the internet.
  3. Where are you most excited to be? This is a critical question to answer. At the end of the day, I know that personally when I am excited to be somewhere I put in my best work. So make sure you are excited.

So there you have it, answer these questions to give yourself the best chance of long-term success, and to make your decision easier.

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