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In a tight job market, multiple offers sounds too good to be true. So what's the problem? Choose the one that pays the most and move on, right? Wrong. If you don't take time to evaluate the offers, you could find yourself searching for a job again in no time.
Assess Your Wants and Needs
First thing that you will need to do is to evaluate your needs and which of these offers fits your situation the best. It may be time well spent to plan out a strategy to evaluate the offers.
Put together a spreadsheet with the company names across the top. Down the left side of the page list your values and needs. Under each company's name assign a score from one to 10 for each of the following as appropriate for you:
Security: Have you been laid off? Are you looking for a home with a solid company?
Balance: If you have a family or outside life, you may not be interested in working 60 hours a week. Rank the importance of job and your personal situation.
Job Satisfaction: You probably want to feel your work means something in the bigger picture, that you are contributing and making a difference.
Location: This goes hand-in-hand with balance. If you have to spend three to four hours a day commuting, it will mean time spent away from your interests or family. Telecommuting a couple of days a week may be a possibility.
Salary and Benefits: These are certainly important considerations but are they as important as some of the other values? You want to be paid what you are worth, but would you be willing to negotiate to get some of your other needs met?
After totaling the columns compare total scores. The totals may reveal that although one of the companies offers more money, the risks are higher and the time away from your “life” may not be worth the extra dollars. Your priorities will affect your decision. The decision will be about priorities and values – and where you are in your career and life.
There are always variables that cannot be predicted when accepting an offer, but using an analytical approach the decision can be more objective. Making a bad decision can result in your being miserable and feeling unfulfilled, but unable to leave because you have only been in the job for a few months. It's always best to evaluate any offer, but if there is more than one offer to choose from -- it is essential.
Carole Martin is a thoroughbred interview coach. Celebrated author, trainer, and mentor, Carole can give you interviewing tips like no one else can. Her workbook, "Interview Fitness Training - A Workout With the Interview Coach," has sold thousands of copies world-wide. "Boost Your Interview IQ" has been awarded one of the 10 best career books for 2004. Her most recent book, "Perfect Phrases for the Perfect Interview" and the others mentioned are all available at www.interviewfitnesstraining.com and www.interviewcoach.com