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How to decide between two job offers

It might sound like the dream, but having two job offers on the table can make for a hard decision. Our expert, Melanie Munro, Associate Director at Robert Walters Melbourne, shares some crucial things to consider if you’re struggling to decide between two roles.

1. Don't keep them waiting

“Some companies may give you up to a week to make your decision, although this will largely depend on the length and structure of their recruitment process,” explains Melanie. “It’s important to take time to weigh up which role is going to be best for you and your career but too, slow a response could reflect badly on your decision-making skills and could even see the job offer withdrawn entirely.”

2. Think long-term

Every career decision a candidate makes will ultimately impact on their long-term career ambitions, which means it’s all the more important to make the right choices, Melanie explains. “Long-term ambitions should act as an end goal, and whichever job choice you make now, it should move you further towards that end goal.”

3. Be careful of ‘push’ factors

“When considering each role, ask yourself whether it would fulfil the reasons you decided to look for a new job in the first place,” Melanie suggests. Any candidate will likely experience ‘push factors’ driving them away from their current role, she says, but if the new job on offer doesn’t address these issues you could be left feeling unfulfilled and wondering if it was all worth it”

4. Assess the work/life balance

“Work/life balance in any job means different things to different people, so consider what impact each role will have on your own needs and requirements,” Melanie suggests. If candidates have young families or other responsibilities, then the ability to work from home or work flexibly may be more important. Also, be sure to consider the location of each role and the commute as this could significantly impact on your day-to-day life, although some companies may offer perks like childcare or gym membership that could offset these issues.

5. Consider the culture fit

“A company’s culture is critically important when deciding which offer to accept because you need to be sure you’ll enjoy going into work every day,” says Melanie. What constitutes a good culture fit largely depends on the individual, she explains, so candidates should take clues and insight wherever they can to assess if the workplace is right for them, such as asking friends or ex-employees who may know the business.

6. Reflect on the interview

The interview process offers you the best chance to gain a good understanding of the workplace culture and how the company interacts with you personally. Candidates might not be able to build a completely accurate picture of the job through an interview, but it should give them an idea of what to expect.

7. Don’t get blinded by salary

“While salary is obviously an important consideration in any job offer and should fairly reflect the level of work expected, it shouldn’t be the only factor determining whether you accept or reject an offer,” warns Melanie. “A role could offer other, non-monetary perks such as increased responsibility or greater exposure,” she says. “If you want to make a decision unbiased by salary, ignore the financial package and focus instead on what excites you about the two offers.”

8. Trust your gut

“If you’ve asked the right questions in the interview and researched both the companies and the specific roles on offer, you should be well-placed to make a sensible, informed decision on which job you should take,” concludes Melanie. However, she notes that taking on a new role is never without risks regardless of how much thought has gone into the move. “Being risk-averse isn’t a bad quality when looking to change jobs, but at some point, you may just have to trust your gut and take that leap of faith!”

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