What would you say are the top 3 most important things to consider when choosing between job offers ?
This is one of the most important choices you will make after graduating from college. There are many factors that you will need to consider, including salary and benefits, location, role / responsibilities, work environment, etc. Choosing a job will depend on what's most important to you. For example, if you have student loans and other financial responsibilities, you may choose the highest paying job. Or, you may give up a larger salary to live in a city you love, closer to friends and family. I recommend making a list of your top priorities and then matching the various job offers to this list to help you determine the best fit for this stage of your life.
However, keep in mind that in today's world, 'job hopping' is much more common for young people. According to the attached Forbes article, 91% of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2012/08/14/job-hopping-is-the-new-normal-for-millennials-three-ways-to-prevent-a-human-resource-nightmare/#70b747ed5508). Moving between companies can lead to a more fulfilling career, and is even said to speed up career advancement. So whatever you decide, I wouldn't worry too much. You can always change your mind, and according to this research, changing your mind and changing jobs can benefit you in the long-run!
Hope this helps!
Here are the top 3 things that I would recommend thinking about when choosing between job offers:
1) When you think about the job that you are considering, are you excited about the work? Will it offer you the opportunity to learn and grow?
2) Who will you be working for, and who will you be working alongside? Are they smart people who you can learn from? Did you respect them when you met them?
3) Can you live off the salary? Will it make sense for your lifestyle?
While the salary piece is definitely important, please note that I did list it last - if the first two items aren't checked off, your time in a role will definitely be limited even if the money is what you hoped for.
One thing I would encourage you to do is to ask every question you can think of - even if you think it might affect how your new employer might see you. Don't be afraid to ask about how many hours people work, whether they work on the weekend, how fast the team has grown, or the leadership background of your potential new manager. All of these things make a difference, and better to know beforehand!
One of the things I learned in my career is when I really enjoyed the work, the salary and career opportunities went my way. But when I hated what I was working on, the opposite was true. Many responses you will read will center around your priorities. That is a sound approach to making any decision.
Most job offers will and should be competitive. One company may offer more salary and another would have a better benefit package so on the whole they should be competitive. If you don't have multiple offers that would allow you to see if one is way out of line and not competitive, check the salary sites online to find what a competitive salary would be, check out sites like Glassdoor.com to see what employees say about the company.
Assuming the offers are competitive then pick the job with a hiring manager you like/felt comfortable with because he/she will be controlling your initial work experience.
Next I would pick the job that I would have fun doing. Something that I could be passionate about. You'll be spending 9-10 hours doing it so you want to be doing something you can get excited about. When I graduated I had 2 offers to choose from. I picked the one that I thought I would really enjoy. I did and I built a very successful career off that initial job.
Like everything in life, there are trade offs and nothing is permanent. You may pick a job and when you get there it is nothing like you thought. No problem. Keep working but quietly look for your next assignment.
One last piece of advice. Your resume becomes who you are. As you are working, make sure you are doing new things that will give you new skills that will make you more valuable to your current employer but more importantly makes you valuable/sets you apart from the competition at your next job because there will be a next job.
Have fun! This is the most incredible time of your life. Don't let it overwhelm you. Don't get analysis paralysis. Trust your instincts. If something feels off, it likely is.
In addition to salary, I would look at:
- What the growth opportunities are within the company and the work you will be doing (i.e. Will you get the support you need to advance your career at the company?)
- Retention rate at the company (How long is the team you are interviewing for been at the company)?
- Benefits (Do offers include health insurance, 401k, ample amount of vacation days and sick days, reimbursements/stipends?)
- Culture (Did you like the company's values and did you connect with the people you interviewed with? You will most likely be working with them closely so you want to make sure there is a rapport and you feel comfortable with the team).
Hope these guidelines help! :)