It’s something you never thought possible amidst all the job searching and résumé polishing you’ve been up to lately: You have not one, but two job offers. #Rockstar. Now, you’re no longer stressed about finding employment—on the contrary, you’re struggling over which opportunity is best for your career. These five questions should give you some serious clarity:
1. Which job most closely embodies your ideal career path?
This should be the main consideration when choosing between two job offers, says Maggie Mistal, a career coach based in New York City. After all, she says, long-term happiness doesn’t come from financial gains; it comes from following your passion. “You spend most of your waking hours at work, so what you do needs to be aligned with who you are,” she adds.
2. How do the benefits packages compare?
This includes everything from salary to health care to vacation days. When weighing two jobs, ask yourself how each benefits package fits your needs, given your life stage. If you’re planning to have a baby in the near future, what is the maternity leave policy? If you want to travel frequently, how many vacation days are available? (But if something is a deal-breaker for you, make sure you try negotiate for what you want before you make a decision one way or another, says Mistal.)
3. Which office culture is a better fit for your personality?
Are people communicating with each other in the office? Do they get up from their desks to collaborate, or do they mostly chat through a messaging service or email? If you’re the type who thrives on collaboration, a “keep to yourself” office culture may not be best for you. And vice versa—if you need a quiet space to focus or discuss confidential client matters, a loud, buzzy floor plan may not be to your advantage.
4. Is there opportunity for growth?
“Ask about the typical career track for this position,” Mistal says. “Is advancement all about management, or are there other ways for you to move forward, such as becoming an adviser or project manager?” Think about where each job may lead you, and how it aligns with your own goals.
5. After doing a quick “background check” on each company, do you see any red flags?
“This means talking to people who are at the company or in the industry,” says Mistal. (This is the fun part—where you get to ask questions!) Google the company to see if any big news has been reported lately, and research the CEO and other C-Suite execs on LinkedIn to gauge their interests and experience.
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