How to decide which job to accept

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Jobs can be like buses, you wait ages for one and then three come along at once. While it is a fantastic situation to be in, it is also essential that you make the right decision. So how do you decide which job to take? You must have been attracted to the role, company and salary on offer to initially apply for the role. While it may be tempting to just take the one that pays the most, there are other factors that you need to consider.

Career progression

Do the role and the company offer long-term career progression? You have to think beyond your next payday. While a high salary is great, it isn’t so good when there isn’t any progression involved, and you end up stuck with nowhere to go. Look at each offer and see what the long-term prospects are at each.

Company culture

If you work full time, you spend the majority of your waking hours at work. So, you have to make sure you like where you work. Think about your interview, did you feel comfortable there, did you connect with your interviewers, if you toured the offices, did it feel like somewhere you would want to work and spend a lot of time? Did the staff seem happy and relaxed? If the answer to any of these is no, then it is possibly not the role and company for you.

‘I interviewed at a great company, a big brand name, exciting role with a salary to match. But alarm bells rang when I was asked how I coped with silence during the interview. I was told the office was often so quiet you could hear a pin drop. It was at that moment I realised it wasn’t the job for me’.

Company culture is unlikely to change and a large pay packet will seem less attractive if you’re stuck in an organisation whose culture isn’t right for you.

Work/life balance

So you’ve looked at progression and the culture but what about the impact the job will have on your life as a whole? Where is the office based, will you spend hours commuting? Is flexible working an option could you work remotely if needed. Will you be expected to work outside of your normal hours, will there be any travel or overnight stays needed? How will all of this impact your life and ability to see your friends, family and any hobbies etc. Obviously, there is likely to be a compromise of some sorts but make sure it is worth it, and a compromise you can live with before you make the decision. A long commute might not sound too bad, but do a few test runs at rush hour first to check it’s something you can live with.

Salary

You should never pick a role for the salary alone as if all the factors we mention above aren’t right. Then no matter the pay on offer, you won’t be happy. But the inverse is also true, while a job might tick all the boxes if the pay isn’t enough for you to survive on you will struggle. But remember salaries can change. You can negotiate your starting salary, if there is good scope for progression then your salary should in turn, increase. Look at your expenditures, is there a way you could reduce your spending so the salary on offer is more realistic.

As with every big decision, take your time and don’t feel rushed. A job offer won’t stay on the table forever. But any company worth working for will realise it is a big decision and give you time to consider their offer and your options.

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