You have been considering a job switch for a while. You had a stream of interviews lined up. You remain articulate and upbeat through it all. You have analysed and re-analysed all your interviews and have a good feeling about one of them. You are hoping to land the job of your dreams soon. You do. And then you land another one and then another one.
In the job market where competition is neck-to-neck with several thousand applicants for every good opportunity, multiple offers are every job hunter’s dream come true.
But where do you go from there? How do you decide? Do you let the compensation and benefits make the decision for you or is there more to it? While these decisions are generally very subjective and depend largely on each individual’s financial requirements, career and personal aspirations, here are some considerations that can help in the decision-making process.
Know your career and life priorities
It is easy to say that money doesn’t matter. But for someone in her early years of her career with an education loan to settle or a home loan EMI hitting the account every month, money does matter.
Additional income promises a better lifestyle and better savings. At the same time, for someone looking to start a business in the coming years, a startup offer might be far more valuable compared to one from a large corporate, even if the latter pays better. It is important that you understand your own priorities regarding money and financial commitments as well as future career aspirations before you commit to taking on an offer that simply pays the most. According to acclaimed career coach Roy Cohen, clarity plays a crucial role in navigating dynamic careers. He says, “Be clear on what you want and why you want it. Without clarity from the very start, virtually every stage that follows will be based on little more than a hunch — and that is an extremely fragile foundation.”
Dig deep about the people you are going to work with, especially your future manager
A job can look great on paper – all the right perks, amazing opportunities, and a great addition to your resume. However what will impact your job experience the most will be the people you work with, especially your manager. After all, 50 per cent employees admit to quitting a job because of their colleagues and bosses. Dig deep and find what it is like working with and for those who will make up your team. Find out if your future manager will have the bandwidth or the capability to coach you, how conflicts are resolved within the team, and the general team dynamics. Before making a decision, you want to have some certainty about your ability to collaborate with your future teammates. When you have the opportunity to make this informed decision, don’t shy away from it.
Kristen Gilbert, the President of Evolution Coaching agrees. She says, “In the same way a machine is only as strong as its components, a company is only as good as its employees. You would want to know what your potential co-workers are like and what it would be like to work with them.”
In a blog post on her company website, Kristen advises that potential employees ask direct questions about who they will report to, the skill sets of people you will be working with, as well as any inter-department collaborations that will be expected of you.
Find out if you are a fit in the company’s corporate culture
This one’s crucial because a great culture could mean different things to different people. Some organisations are so focused on inter-team collaborations, large audience presentations, and other forms of extroverted interactions that they are hard on introverts. Some organisations are extremely process oriented and individuals who love structure thrive in such environments. However, these same organisations can often turn off their more creative, free-spirited employees who view too many processes as red tape. Some organisations have rare night outs and team dinners and that works for employees with commitments outside of work but not so much for those who need team outings and office dinners to be able to connect more deeply with their colleagues.
There are very few people who are fortunate enough to get a chance to find out such specifics about corporate culture before they make a career decision. If you have that chance, use it.
According to educator, marketer, and career and job-search expert Dr Randall Hansen, “The bottom line is that you are going to spend a lot of time in the work environment - and to be happy, successful, and productive, you’ll want to be in a place where you fit the culture. A place where you can have a voice, be respected, and have opportunities for growth.” And that’s basically what you want to find out in your research before you make a decision between multiple job offers.
We live in the times of Glassdoor and LinkedIn and digging deep into the culture and skill sets of potential employers is hardly difficult anymore. Everything you need to know is out there in the form of company reviews and LinkedIn recommendations and profiles. You can easily reach out to past employees of organisations too.
But what is also important is that you find the right balance between information from third party sources and your own instinct about the job and employer after all the interviews and conversations you have had with them. This balance is the sweet spot you are looking for in your decision making process. All the best!