It’s Murphy’s law. You’ve spent months looking to change your career or on a job search with no luck, and then all of a sudden two job offers will come at once. You’re not complaining of course, as this is a great position to be in, but you need to make a choice between the two.  So how do you decide between multiple career opportunities? 
It can be tempting to go for the highest paying job, but this is a short-sighted approach that ignores all the other factors that create satisfaction at work.  Here's what else you should consider when comparing job offers:

Career development

What are your long-term prospects at each of the companies? It’s important to be deliberate when moving jobs and consider how the role fits into your ideal career path. You don’t want to end up in a position where you’re well paid but have no room to grow and develop. 
Ideally, every position you take should help you further your career journey and move you closer toward  your long term-career goals through career advice and traning initiatives.  And don't fall in to the trap of thinking a highly-paid job that doesn't challenge you will be stress-free, easy money!  Doing a job day after day that you've got totally worked out is a sure-fire route to feeling intensely bored and disengaged.

Corporate culture

You spend more than 70% of your life at work, so it has to be somewhere you feel comfortable. Do your homework and find out everything you can about the companies involved, and speak to your Michael Page recruiter too.  They will have a pre-existing relationship with their clients (your potential employer) and can give you some insight on what the company culture is like. Consider their reputation as employers, as well as their reputation with their customers and clients.  After all, would you feel confident joining a company that has alienated a large section of their customer base?  
Also talk to current and past employees where possible to get an insider's perspective on company culture and work environment.  Reflect on how you felt at the interviews - which company gave you a good feeling? How did you connect with your interviewers? Corporate culture is very important when considering which role to take. Unlike your salary, it can’t be negotiated so it needs to be right from the start. Trust your instincts, but be smart and do your research too. 
You spend more than 70% of your life at work, so it has to be somewhere you feel comfortable

Work-life balance

As the boundaries between work and home life shift, it's crucial that you're clear on what you will need in terms of work-life balance, and what each company expects.  What are the hours you're expected to work?  Will you be expected to work overtime regularly? Is there a longer commute for one of the roles?  Are there options to work remotely if your circumstances change?
Be honest with your prospective employer about what you're looking for, and be prepared to turn down an offer that doesn't meet your needs.  It's better you and your prospective employer are clear now, rather than finding out you can't give each other what you need after you've started working.

Core values

Consider how each of the job offers you’ve received and the companies they’re at align with your core values. Perhaps you want a job that allows you to give back to the community. Maybe your goal is to work for a company with a zero waste policy. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to feel that you’re contributing to a company that sees eye to eye with you on values in at least some respects. Meaningful work is one of the most important factors in boosting employee engagement, so do yourself a favour and be proactive about choosing the right job for your value system.

Decision time: What job should I choose?

Take your time to make a decision. Although many employers want you to sign on the dotted line as quickly as possible, any company worth their salt will give you a few days to consider your options. Just be honest and forthright and they will be happy to wait for you.  If you're being pressured to make a decision quickly, without time to give proper consideration to the offer, be a little cautious, but also remember that this can be a good jumping off point for negotiation. 
Salary and benefits should always be open to negotiation, especially if you're trying to decide between two offers.  Both companies want you on board and, let’s face it, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.  But don’t play them off against each other - negotiate only with the company you decide you want to work for. 
When it comes to the crunch, make a list of pros and cons for each job, considering the factors above, as well as more obvious considerations like salary and benefits. Once you've done some research and made your list, check in and ask yourself, 'What do I really want?' keeping in mind that a big pile of money is nice to have, but it isn't the be-all and end-all. And don't forget that sometimes the best decision in the long run is to take a risk and try something different - even if it isn't the "safest" option. 
Check out our salary centre, which lets you search salaries by job title, industry and region so you can be sure that the offer is a fair one, and be sure to read our tips to negotiate the salary you want.

Summary

You’ve spent months on the job hunt with no luck, and then all of a sudden two job offers will come at once. So how do you decide? Take time to consider:

  • Your long-term prospects at each company
  • Whether the company culture resonates with you
  • If the work-life balance meet your needs
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