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How do I know which job offer to accept?

After several applications and a series of interviews, your job search is finally over and you have two firm job offers on the table. Now all you have to do is decide which offer to accept. Each offer is weighted with positives in certain areas and there are several factors that need to be considered. But, the question remains, how do you decide?

Here are some things you need to contemplate before accepting or declining an offer.

Salary and benefits
If salary is a determining factor for you, ask yourself if you have been offered a salary commensurate with your skills and experience? Which company offers a higher earning potential?

Consider the whole package. Does Company A offer a lower basic than Company B yet have a better benefits package such as company car, private healthcare, etc? A benefits package can add as much as 30-40% onto the value of your salary.

If performance related bonuses are a large part of the salaries being offered, try and find out how achievable they are. Is the basic enough if you don’t reach targets?

Remember that you will spend 40 or 50 hours or more at work each week, so it is important that you evaluate what you really want out of your job - there’s no point earning a great salary but being miserable in the process.

Company location
Will you have to relocate for either job? If so, what impact will this have on your family? How much longer will it take to get to your new office?

Commuting to work for an hour is one thing but, making the trip twice a day, five days a week on a notoriously unreliable train line quickly loses its appeal. And, don’t dismiss the cost implications on having to travel further each day.

Company size and reputation
If you are just starting out in your chosen field, working for a large blue-chip organisation will add credibility to your CV. But, there is the danger that you will just be a small cog in a large corporate wheel.

Will you be challenged, have the opportunity to express yourself and apply your skills and experiences? Or would you be more stimulated working for a smaller company that gives you greater freedom?

Opportunities for career progression
Most of us change our jobs because we need a fresh challenge and the opportunity to learn new skills and progress our careers. Look at the options that each employer offers for advancement and training.

Work out where in the organisational structure your role will sit and what the scope is to move onwards and upwards.

Your new boss
Do you think that you could have a good working relationship with your boss? This relationship is vitally important because it will determine whether your time with your new employer is an enjoyable period or not.

How did they come across in the interview? By the end of the second stage of the interview you should have an idea of whether you ‘d get on with them so work out which boss you’ll be most comfortable with

Put it on paper
Draw up two columns with the two company names at the top and the attributes that matter to you down the side. Give each company a score out of ten for each aspect and total it up at the bottom. Whoever gets the best score wins the race for your services.

If after all that you still can’t decide, trust your instincts - most of the time, they are right.

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