How to Choose between Two Job Offers (and Pick the Best One)

choose between job offers

Job searching, as I’m sure many of you are fully aware, can be a long and arduous process – so much so that career experts reckon it takes an average 90 days to successfully land a job offer. Sometimes it takes a hell of a lot longer.

So to receive not one but two (or more!) job offers at the same time is the equivalent of a Christmas miracle. Unfortunately, though, with multiple job offers often comes confusion, uncertainty and despair as you ask yourself: ‘Which job do I choose?’

Many people would gladly take this little problem right off your hands, but it’s still a problem, nonetheless, and one you need to solve straight away. And if you’re truly at a loss as to what to do, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s how to choose between two job offers!

1. Get everything in writing

Before you start assessing the job offers you’ve received and then comparing them against each other, it’s a good idea to get everything in writing. This helps reduce any confusion or wrong assumptions. For example, just because you received an offer from a US company operating in Canada doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get paid in Canadian dollars!

2. Use your research

While preparing for any job interview, you should carefully research the company you are interviewing with. Among other things, you should aim to find out what sorts of values the company holds, what they consider to be the ideal candidate for the position and what sets them apart from their competitors. Think back on this research and use all the information you uncovered along the way about the job and company to determine how closely it embodies your ideal career path and whether you will be comfortable working there.

3. Evaluate the salary

The biggest factor when considering any job offer is the overall financial package, which includes things like wages, overtime, bonuses, profit sharing and commission rates. It’s also the easiest factor to consider – after all, if one job pays £50k and the other £70k, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out which offer will take the lead.

That said, make sure you that decide well in advance what your minimal acceptance offer will be. There’s no point toying with multiple job offers if they don’t even meet your basic requirements. (On a side note, you can use salary sites like Glassdoor and PayScale to get insight into what professionals with your kind of background and experience are earning in similar roles in your area.)

4. Consider the perks

Companies have different benefits and perks, some more than others, and these can make a big difference when you’re choosing between two jobs. Ask yourself how each benefits package fits your particular situation. For example, if you enjoy travelling, how much annual leave does each company offer? Or if you’re planning to start a family soon, what’s the maternity leave policy like?

Other perks to consider include job titles, working from home, professional development opportunities and on-site parking.

5. Think about the office environment and people

When you went in for an interview, you likely got a sense of the company culture and what the people working at the company were like. The question you need to ask yourself is: can you see yourself working alongside those people five days a week?

Of course, it can be difficult to glean this kind of information from a 30-minute conversation, which is why you should do your own research into the work atmosphere, management style and what type of work-life balance is encouraged. Again, sites like Glassdoor can be incredibly useful here.

6. Look at other important factors

Although pay and benefits are very important things to consider when choosing between two jobs, there are other important factors. Like your commute, for example. Will you have to drive an hour to get to work each day (and back)? Will you have to relocate and is the company willing to help you out financially? And if you are moving cities, how will this affect your family?

7. Make a side-by-side comparison

Now that you’ve touched on all the important bits of evaluating two job offers, it’s time to bring it all together. And since I’m a big fan of lists, I’m going to advise that you write a list of all the pros and cons of both jobs. This should make the decision-making process a lot easier as you’ll be better able to compare and scrutinise the offers in greater detail, whether it’s done in Excel or the old-fashioned way.

A typical pro and cons list will look something like this:

Job offer pros and cons list

8. Consider where to negotiate

Let’s say you’ve got your heart set on Company A but you’re put off by the ridiculously long commute. If it’s really important to you, you could try to negotiate a more flexible schedule, for example, or the ability to work from home once a week.

On that note, don’t negotiate just for the sake of showing off your negotiation skills. You should only really negotiate if you’ve got a good reason.

9. Trust your gut

We get gut feelings for a reason. They’re our subconscious’ way of telling us what we really want – and we often land ourselves in bad situations when we ignore them. So, even if all the signs are pointing to one job but your ‘inner voice’ is telling you to go for the other, you should probably listen to what it’s telling you. Even if that job pays less or it has longer hours, you’re more likely to be happier in the long-run.

10. Turn down the other offer with class

Once you’ve reached a decision about which job you’re going to accept (and after having sent your acceptance letter!), it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to break the news to the other company. Send them an email as soon as possible, thanking them for offering you the job and briefly explain why you’re rejecting the offer.

The important thing to remember is to be as graceful as possible about it and try not to burn any bridges. Although you may be turning down their offer today for whatever reason, there is a possibility (however small) that your paths will cross again.

If you’ve already got a job, make sure you provide the necessary notice with a well-written resignation letter!

Have you ever been stuck between two job offers? What were the main factors you took into account during your decision-making process? Join the conversation down below and share your thoughts, experiences and tips with us!