The good news – the job market is great and the demand for talented people is on the rise. The bad news – more job options don’t necessarily mean that people make good decisions.
I see a lot of candidates juggling multiple offers right now. Having competing job offers does sound like a great problem to have, but more options don’t always lead to great decisions. In this market, I feel it’s very important to have a game plan on how you will evaluate opportunities. I recommend job seekers consider three things:
- Determine what you want and why are looking BEFORE you start — when I interview a potential job seeker, I have a detailed conversation about what they like, and don’t like about their current role. I want to uncover the “what’s missing” aspects of their current job, as well what they really enjoy. Second, I have an equally detailed conversation about what they want in their next job. I figure this out before I ever tell them about a potential job opportunity. If you are looking for a job on your own, write down on paper the pros and cons of your current job, as well as what you’d like to do in your next job. This is a great list to refer back to when you start meeting with potential employers.
- Evaluate potential growth — when considering a job offer, it’s important to look at the growth potential you will have over the next 3+ years. Obviously, it’s impossible to predict the future, but during the interview process you should try to uncover the potential career path and learning/development opportunities you will get. Ask yourself how much you believe in the potential of the company. Compare competing job offers to your current job and make your best guesses as to where you might be in a few years with each opportunity.
- Don’t get hung up on money –money is important, but it should rarely, if ever, be a primary motivating factor when looking for a job. If the job offer is going to provide you with a growth and development path that is solid, and it addresses the reasons you were looking for a new job in the first place, you should take the job. A few thousand dollars is not going to change your lifestyle drastically in the near term, but a better opportunity and career path can add up to big future potential earnings. For more about the financial realities of job offers, click here.