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Comparing two job offers

Q: I have been job hunting for about six months. It was slow around the holidays. I became discouraged because I would send resumes to companies and would hear nothing back. Then, I started becoming smarter about using my network. I also noticed the job market seemed to pick up after January. Now I have two offers in hand. Both are good offers and I think I would be happy with either role. How do I decide?

A: Congratulations. Your hard work and persistence paid off. It sounds like you also may have made a change in how you ran your search: instead of simply emailing a resume to a company, you used your network to your advantage. Your professional network of colleagues, friends and acquaintances can be a valuable asset during a job hunt.

Two offers in hand! Good for you! Here are some of the factors to think about when making a decision:

1. Look at the complete offer, not just the salary. The salary is important but should not be the sole reason for accepting the offer.
2. When employees report high levels of job satisfaction, one factor is often critical: how interesting and challenging the work itself is. Does one role offer more challenging or interesting work?
3. Think about your career path. Which role offers you opportunities beyond this initial role?
4. Evaluate the employee benefits. Compare the medical, dental, life and disability plans. Is there a retirement savings plan [like a 401(k) plan]? Is there a company match for this plan? Does the company offer tuition aid, training programs or other professional development opportunities?
5. Understand the compensation part of the offer. Is there a base salary plus a bonus or other incentives?
6. Is one commute better than the other? Is there free parking or is there an expense associated with parking? Is either role accessible via public transportation?
7. What supervisor and colleagues seem to be a better fit for your work style?
8. If flexibility is important to you, does one opportunity offer you more flexibility than the other?

Make sure that you receive any offer in writing. A written offer helps clarify the details of the employment offer. You want to ensure that you understand the specifics of each offer.

Congratulations again! I am happy to hear that job seekers are landing in 2013!

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