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How to Decide Between Competing Job Offers

A man stands before two arrows pointing in opposite directions

Congratulations, you got the job offer! But, wait: You got another one! In cities like Austin, competing job offers are increasingly common. That’s because Austin currently has 42,000 job openings but only 36,000 unemployed people, so jobs are abundant. So how do you choose? We compiled a list of questions that can help you decide.

    1. How do the benefits compare?

The easiest factor to compare when it comes to competing job offers is salary, but don’t be fooled. Perks and benefits may add tens of thousands of dollars in value, meaning the salary may only be the tip of the iceberg. Conversely, companies that leave you holding the bag when it comes to health, dental, and life insurance, that don’t offer retirement plans, or that are inflexible on factors like PTO could cost you dearly. Use this guide by The Balance to compare benefits packages. And be on the lookout for perks billed as “valuable” but are useless to you, like bring-your-pet-to-work day when you’re severely allergic to dogs.

    1. What’s the tech situation?

A couple of years ago, Adobe stumbled upon a fascinating correlation between tech and work satisfaction. The company found that 81% of U.S. workers count state-of-the-art technology as being important at work, outranking access to food and beverages and other popular perks. Those who said their company’s tech is “ahead of the curve” love their work twice as much and feel twice as creative, motivated and valued compared to their colleagues. And 70% of U.S. workers believe technology improves work-life balance. If you tend to be someone who relies on tech for productivity and collaboration, be sure the company you choose has the tools in place to keep your head in the (digital) clouds.

    1. Are employees respected?

For three straight years now, SHRM has proven that employees think like Aretha Franklin, at least when it comes to respect. Respectful treatment of all employees at all levels is the most important contributor to job satisfaction, even above salary.

Think back to your interviews: Were team members other than management included in the interview process and, if so, were they encouraged to ask their own questions?  Research the companies online: Do sites like Glassdoor indicate any concerning trends when it comes to employees feeling disrespected?

    1. Where do you want to be in two years?

No, really. It’s not just a goofy interview question. Answer it honestly to help you decide which job opportunity presents the best career path for you. If you want to advance in your career, be sure the job you chose has a path laid out for you to do so. If the description of one job sounds like a better way to spend your days than the other, seriously consider that factor.

 

“You’re in a unique position where you don’t have to settle,” says Stack Overflow’s Richard Moy. “So, if you’re interested in a role that asks you to enter a few things every day and make sure things aren’t broken, that’s perfectly fine. But, if you’re looking for a gig that allows you to grow, don’t be afraid to follow up with each company before you make a decision—especially if all your options haven’t presented you with clear learning opportunities.”

And speaking of following up, it usually doesn’t hurt to be honest with both companies about the fact that you’re considering competing offers. If done so sincerely—and the companies truly want to do whatever they can to win you over—they should be responsive, going out of their way to answer your questions and squash whatever doubts you may have about working for them. If not, their lack of interest may speak volumes.

 

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