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Choosing Between Two Job Offers? Here’s How To Decide

Wow. Two job offers.

What a terrific “problem” to have, you might be thinking.

When you’re offered a job by two different entities, it must imbue you with a sense of increased self-esteem, and confidence that you’re on the right career track.

It ought to be a piece of cake having to decide between two companies that are, in essence, “wooing” you.


Not necessarily.

According to first-hand reports, having two job offers can lead to a roller-coaster of emotions, from elation to confusion to uncertainty, and back again.

There’s always room for doubt and for second-guessing.

It often happens that, just when one job has seemingly been chosen over the other, a series of rationalizations (“But if I took the OTHER job, so-and-so would be possible…whereas it isn’t with the other one!”) take hold.

One then starts procrastinating.

This is never good, as it may convey to both prospective employers that you are not that interested in working for them.

Cheer up!  Nothing will cut through the thick fog of indecision like familiarizing yourself with a few basic essentials about important decision-making.

Toward that end, here are three practical suggestions to help you make the “right” choice:

  1. Make out the old tried-and-true Pros and Cons list – That’s right.  It would ESPECIALLY be helpful in a case such as this.

Start with a blank piece of paper and draw a line down the middle.  Across the top of the page, write the name of one company in big bold capital letters.

This is so that you can go with your gut feeling a bit, here. If you are struck with an affinity for the very name, and seeing mention of the company –or envisioning it in your mind’s eye—makes you feel something, note it.

Whether it’s a good or a bad feeling, jot it down.

Your intuition, your guiding spirit, your subconscious and even your unconscious impressions all may be coming into play in order to alert you to YAYS or to NAYS which are more important to the outcome than you realize, on first glance.   Pay attention!

Let’s move on to non-intuitive, intellectual reasoning.  On the left side, write the word PROS and on the right, CONS.  Start right in with the most pressing and obvious benefits, and scribble them under PROS.

Do you find yourself having to struggle to find entries?  Make that the first notation under the CONS column.  Write something like: Seems that I am unable to find many good things to say about Company A.

Do you know what that might signify?  That you may have put a hefty consideration behind one or two of the PROS you DID come up with. You might wish to ask yourself, for instance, if you’re considering this job offer solely because of money or prestige.

While you’re making note of the all CONS, something else which will help the process along is your considering how you react to each “bad side”. Do you literally feel physically queasy while contemplating a particularly bothersome aspect of a job?

It may eventually dawn on you that this fact might be the deal breaker for that company/choice.

But for now, just highlight that entry, perhaps with an asterisk, or by circling it in red.

Here’s a pretty good yardstick to go by in such cases:  if you are bothered by that CON now, before you’ve even taken the job, chances are you will be REALLY irritated by it as time goes by.

  1. Ask to Meet the People You’d Work With – Yep. If you take a moment to think this one through, you’ll no doubt realize pretty quickly that, just as is the case in your present job, you will have to work closely with your teammates.  Day-in-and-day-out contact makes for pretty great bonding and awesome productivity…but it can also make for conflict and difficulties if you guys don’t see eye-to-eye on the major approaches to life in general… and to work and problem solving, in particular.

For instance, let’s say you are the type to tackle something head on and to stick with a project until it’s done to everyone’s satisfaction. You’ll get the largest part of the job done and, if details still have to be ironed out, you’ll deal when them later.

That’s great, and will probably be appreciated by every member of the team who likes to see projects proceeding along fairly quickly.   However, if there’s a gal on your team who tends to want to question each item as it is being analyzed and worked on, and who, in her own methodical, studious manner, might bog things down for you and the rest of the team, it would be helpful if, during a pre-employment get-together, all parties had a chance to place your cards on the table and discuss how this might be resolved.

For instance, the dialogue could go something like this:  “I’m Darren and I’m the kinda guy who hits the ground running and gets through the overview pretty quickly. If loose ends come up, I tie them after the project is near completion.  Is everyone else around here on the same page?” If nods all around are the overwhelming response, all systems are go!  If, however, Susie—the methodical, studious gal—chimes in and says that she’d have a definite problem with that, file that piece of information in the back of your mind.

Meanwhile, to keep from burning your bridges, make sure to play down the differences. “Gee, Susie, I’m glad you told me about your modus operandi.  I can see from everyone’s reactions that they’re eager for me to know how great your contributions are, and, if I take this position, I look forward to working with someone like you who pays meticulous attention to detail,” might go over well.

When you get home, take a moment to jot down how you’d handle Susie’s method of attacking issues, versus yours.  Additionally, you might wish to add it under your CONS list…or, if the prospect of working through that challenge fills you with a sense of excitement, chalk it up as a great big PRO.

Then, you move on to the next company, and ask to meet their people.  This should help you see how well you will gel with the others that you’ll be seeing and working with, daily.

Re-negotiate – Finally, if you’re stuck…perhaps you have just as many PROS for both companies…you might consider going back to Company #1 and Company #2 and asking each contact to reconsider your package of benefits.  What you’re looking for is for them to sweeten the pot considerably….so  much so that you’ll be swayed to one side.  In your mind, your decision will have left you precious little room for a margin of error…which should  help you tackle your new job with the appropriate vim and vigor!

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