So you’ve applied, interviewed, and now you have job offers! Which is amazing. But once those offers are in, you have a big decision to make. A lot of people feel uncomfortable or unsure when making a decision about their future, and deciding which job offer to accept is a big choice. It would be easy if the decision could be made simply based on which position offers more money, but almost always, the situation is more nuanced than that. Follow along for a guide on helping you figure out which position you’d want to take!
The first step in evaluating offers is to understand what is important to you. There are so many different variables to consider besides salary, though that is an important one as well. Some additional criteria include:
Location: Do you want to live in the suburbs, city, or country? Inside or outside of Maryland? High cost of living or low cost of living (this is more important than you think; $60,000 in a small town is very different than $60,000 in New York)?
Benefits: Take a look at 401k and retirement plans, paid time off, health insurance, family leave, as well as other office perks like pet-friendly locations.
Work: Does the work you’d be hired to do excite you? How big of a team are you working with? Are you in a customer-facing role? What are your opportunities for advancement?
Office Culture: What is the dress code like? Are there non-mandatory (but actually mandatory) events? Do you feel comfortable existing in that space for most of your day?
Now figure out the relative importance of your criteria. While a casual dress code is nice, it might not be as important to you as location. If traveling is a goal of yours, maybe paid time off is higher up on your list of priorities. Take some time to evaluate what you want and why you want it, and it will help you see how important each of those things is.
Finally, apply this new knowledge to your offers. Use it to understand how well you could fit into a position. Ultimately, a large salary won’t be worth it for a long period of time if you spend every waking moment dreading going to work because you dislike what you do, where you do it, and who you do it with. Don’t be blinded by the numbers and make a careful, considerate choice about your future career path.