I got a call from a job seeker that was having a hard time deciding between two job opportunities he had available to him. He was looking for advice to help him decide which one to choose.
It was no easy choice, because the two opportunities were very different and would send his career in distinctly separate directions.
Making the right choice is usually a very personal decision that someone else can’t and shouldn’t make for you. It may, however, be very helpful to use others as a sounding board and consider their opinions and insights.
In the case of the phone call I got, the job seeker had an opportunity to take a big promotion at his current company that involved a big raise and greater responsibility that was somewhat attractive to him. The other opportunity was in a field that was very attractive to him, however, at almost half the pay of the promotion he would receive.
Neither option was a bad choice, however, would send his career in different directions that would likely have ramifications for the rest of his working life.
So how should you make the right choice?
There are several things to consider…
What are your financial requirements?
Having two, or more options is great… however, if one of them doesn’t pay enough to pay your existing bills each month, then it’s probably not really an option at all. If it’s a role that is so attractive to you otherwise that you’d be willing to completely restructure your financial commitments, it’s something that you should very carefully consider. No matter how attractive a job is, life can become very stressful if you find yourself falling behind financially from month to month.
What is most interesting to you?
The job that’s most appealing in terms of responsibilities, industry, and organization’s culture should certainly be considered thoroughly. The job that energizes you the most and makes you want to get out of bed each morning can do much for your well being.
Which offers the best growth potential?
While a job may seem attractive now, will it grow with you and be as interesting and challenging a few years from now? A job that you outgrow, or becomes boring in a near term and there are no real opportunities for growth is not likely to be a great choice for the long run.
Which sets you up better for the next job?
It’s common to hope that the job you pick will be the last job you’ll ever have to look for. However, the reality is that things change. The organization may need to lay people off at some point, they may be acquired, or close, or the culture may change to the point that it’s not attractive anymore. Will the experience you gain there make you more marketable to other companies, or less? The future prospects that the position opens for you is an important consideration.
What does your gut tell you?
While it shouldn’t be the only consideration… it would be foolish to ignore what your gut tells you about the options. If one option gives you a sense of restlessness, or heartburn, and the other seems exciting and “feels” right, it may be the answer. Just be sure it’s what you truly believe, and not just a reaction to a bad burrito!
So, if you have a choice to make between two or more job opportunities… consider all the different aspects of each role, make your decision with confidence and don’t look back!