When you’re in the middle of a job search, it often seems like things will never end. You’ve been looking for months and months. The rejection has been painful. You have wondered if you’ll ever find a job. You’ve gotten enough automated emails to last a lifetime. You’ve had enough of family members and friends asking how your search is going – when you know it’s going nowhere.
This pain is especially true if you are in between jobs right now. If you’re not working, you may wonder how in the world you will pay the bills. The search has been going on for months and months. You’re not sure what to do.
Then, very often, the most unexpected thing happens. Out of the blue (and after searching for months), you get a job offer. Then, a day goes by and you get a second job offer. And, if you’re really lucky, a third offer begins to roll in.
When you’re in the middle of searching, this scenario seems virtually impossible.
But, strangely… I see it happen over and over. A job seeker will be at their wit’s end. They’ve been looking and looking for a long period of time when suddenly, a number of offers come in all at the same time.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why this happens. I suspect it is related to a few key factors. After a certain amount of searching, the ball has started to roll. Employers know about you. Your resume is being circulated. Perhaps you’ve had a few interviews. Maybe you’ve even gotten better at searching as you’ve gone along.
Whatever the reason, multiple offers (all at the same time) can be hard to sort through – especially when you weren’t expecting them at all. So, where should you begin?
First, create a spreadsheet in Excel. Outline all the details of the job offers side-by-side. Include information such as annual base salary, annual projected performance bonus, vacation time, and healthcare benefits. This will allow you to compare the two (or more) offers – by comparing just the facts.
Compare the job descriptions and the job titles. Is one job in the perfect industry for you? Does one job have a more impressive title? Does one allow you to do work you really love? This is important to consider. Many job seekers are more interested to do a job they love than one that pays the most money.
Think about the differences in the company culture. Do you get along with the boss at one organization better than the other? Does one company feel more comfortable to you? Very often, your relationship with your boss and your coworkers will determine your future success at the organization.
Consider details such as location. Is one job located within driving distance, while the other will require you to uproot your family? If you do have to move, is the increased cost of living worth it?
There are so many factors that influence which job offer we should take. The one that’s the most important is your gut feeling. Do you love one of the jobs, and have real hesitations about the other? Listen to yourself! I can’t tell you the number of job seekers who told me that they knew they were going to fail BEFORE they ever started working at their future employer. They always had a feeling that they couldn’t place.
At the end of the day, getting multiple offers is unexpected – and typically very positive. Before this happens to you, take the time to write down what you would ideally like in your next job offer. When multiple offers begin to come in, you will be able to compare your goals to the reality – without the anxiety that comes along with being hit with offers.
If you’re still struggling to find a job, keep moving. The best way to find a new job is to continue to look. If you look hard enough, you may find that an offer (or three) will come along when you’re least expecting it.