Like much in life, job offers can sometimes be a bit like buses. Yes, you read that right: buses. How so? Well, you’ll spend ages waiting for a new one to come along, desperately even, either shivering at a bus stop or waiting longingly for your phone to ring, when then, as if out of the blue – although, not really, given the time you’ve already invested in this endeavour – not one, but two come along at once! What are the chances, huh!?
But unlike buses, choosing between two jobs can prove complicated, stressful and even a little distressing. But make no mistake, it’s a very good problem to have! If ever at the point of finding the decision a bit much, just take a step back and remind yourself that two entirely separate employers have chosen you to join their teams. Feels good, doesn’t it? As it should, so enjoy the moment and let us help you in making the all important decision in selecting one job over the other by considering the following factors…
Weighing up the Benefits
The first disparity between the jobs that you’re likely to notice is, of course, the salary. Admittedly, it’s a central consideration in accepting on a new role, but even from a monetary point of view it shouldn’t be the only one.
Take into account any additional any benefits and perks that come along with the roles – such as private healthcare, pension scheme, gym membership or in-house childcare – as well as any substantial differences in commuting costs, to properly assess the full financial implications of the roles. You may just discover that the despite the salary, the ancillary considerations have tipped the scales in favour of the more modestly paid job.
It’s important that you think ahead in making any career decision, that much goes without saying, but it’s never truer than when taking on a new job. It might seem like something of an interview question – which by this stage you’re survived and conquered, congrats – but try to imagine where you see yourself in five years time should you choose one path over the other. One role might have a bigger wage and better benefits in the here and now, but the other may prove to be the beginning of a longer journey towards the type of role or environment you’ve always dreamed of.
In taking on a new job, you have to also consider your life outside of the office, and how it will be affected by your new position. Some roles will pay big but come with similarly substantial expectations, while others might be more modest on the remuneration front but may provide you with the time and freedom to enjoy a full family life. Ultimately, it’s a personal choice whether to opt for one over the other, but be sure to take your personal life into account when making the choice.
Environment & Colleagues
A new role brings with it far more than just new tasks to undertake on a daily basis – it involves a whole new environment, a new set of colleagues and a new dynamic that you’ll be a part of every day. As such, whether you truly enjoy your job or not can largely depend on a much more than the work being carried out or how much you’re being paid for it.
Think back to your experience in each work place during your interview stages – did you feel comfortable in the office environment? Was it the type of place you could see yourself fitting in? Did you like the people you interacted with? And how did they seem to behave with each other?
A bit of online research can help to flesh out these first impressions in order to give you a better picture of the office culture of each potential job – look for photos, even videos, of work place events and read up as much as you can through the official websites and social media channels. And if you’re feeling truly sleuth-ey by this stage, cross reference LinkedIn with the likes or Twitter and Facebook to find some of your prospective colleagues’ profiles – they could prove eye-opening.
Who you report to
Being lumbered with a bad boss is a terrible thought for any employee, but for a PA or EA the prospect is positively harrowing. Do what you can to learn as much as possible about the person or people that you will be reporting to and effectively working for and use this alongside your initial impressions from the interview stages in order to determine whether it’s likely to be a happy working relationship, or one you end up complaining about every evening over dinner at home.
Trust your instincts
It’s essential that you’re content with the decision you make as you start this new phase of your professional life. If after taking all of the above into account you’re still having difficulty in deciding, it might simply be a case of trusting you gut instinct. And if you’re having trouble assessing this, here’s a trick: Flip a coin: If it’s heads, job A, if it’s tails, job B. That’s right, leave the decision up to chance – or at least, initially. Your gut reaction to getting one job over the other as your selected path – be that a sigh of relief or deep disappointment – may just reveal what you’ve truly wanted to do all along.