In a candidate-driven market, it’s not uncommon for a job-seeker to receive multiple job offers. In some ways, this is a great problem to have, because it means the candidate has a lot of choice in their career direction. However, it can be overwhelming to try to evaluate which opportunity would be the best choice, especially when they all seem promising in their own ways.
If you’re faced with two or more job opportunities, here are four questions to ask yourself to help ensure that you’re making the best possible choice for both your immediate and long-term needs and career goals.
#1: Does the opportunity support your long-term career goals?
Just because a decision makes sense in the moment doesn’t mean it’s a great strategic choice for your career. Make sure you have a clear idea of what your long-term career goals are, and then evaluate each job opportunity with those goals in mind. For example, is there room for growth at the company? Will the types of projects and programs they offer challenge and excite you? Does the company offer a culture of continuous learning, with plenty of opportunities to build new skills and develop your technical and professional portfolio? Is the company located in a place you can see yourself and/or your family living for the long haul? If one of the opportunities meets most or all of those long-term needs, that could be a sign it’s the right fit for you.
#2: Does it align with your values and expectations?
No two people have the exact same needs and desires from an employer. Even if you’ve heard great things about a job from a friend, a recruiter, or a hiring manager you trust, you should still ask yourself what is most important to you in a company’s culture: Do you want to work somewhere that prioritizes teamwork, or somewhere you can work autonomously? What kind of work-life balance do you and/or your family need? Is the company working on projects that excite you, whether you’re passionate about sustainability, cutting-edge technology, or creativity and innovation? Consider all the things that might make you excited to go to work every day, and ask yourself whether each job opportunity checks the right boxes.
#3: Have you noticed any red flags?
When it comes to evaluating a job opportunity, one of the best tools you have is your own intuition. From poor communication and continuous rescheduling to safety concerns and personality mismatches, if you notice something during the interview process that makes you uncomfortable, trust your gut. Of course, it’s important to remember that everyone is human and makes mistakes. In some cases, such as lapses in communication, you may be able to communicate your concerns and work toward a resolution. If a company listens to your concerns and responds proactively and respectfully, that’s a great sign that it could be a positive working environment. However, there may be some red flags you don’t feel comfortable overlooking – and in those cases, you might be better off considering a different opportunity.
#4: Are you settling for the path of least resistance?
There is often a difference between the kinds of career moves we dream about, and the roles we accept. It’s easy to get comfortable in your career, and most people want to avoid unnecessary risks. However, job opportunities that feel safe and familiar might not be the best ways to accelerate your career. Instead of pursuing challenging, exciting opportunities, are you settling for the path of least resistance? Depending on where you are in your career and in your life, safety and familiarity might be exactly what you’re looking for – and in those cases, accepting those types of roles is a great career and life decision. But if you’re hoping to grow your career and challenge yourself, you may want to consider out-of-the-box opportunities – they may represent more risk in the short term, but in the long run, the investment in your career could be worth it.
Your time, expertise, and career goals are valuable, and it’s important to be discerning when deciding between multiple job opportunities. If you ask yourself these four questions during the decision-making process, you can feel confident that whatever decision you make is a good short- and long-term investment in your career.