By Jim Wong, CPA | October 29, 2014

“It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do.” — Elbert Hubbard

Making tough decisions can be difficult no matter what the situation, work or home life. You may rack your brain trying to figure out the right path to take, asking yourself: What are the consequences if I make the wrong decision? How is it going to affect my family’s future? Will it bode well for my personal and professional development? You may even hope for a magic genie to come and make the decision for you. However, we all know that’ll never be the case.

Difficult decisions shape our lives and allow us to grow and learn. And, it’s important to make them from time to time, especially when it comes to your career.

A good way to do this is to be prepared from the get-go. Before you even begin your job search, it’s important to set and score your priorities. Simply list out all of the factors that will help you make a decision once you do receive one, two or even more job offers. This can be anything from citing your ideal opportunity according to compensation, industry, location, work-life balance, and / or other elements and rate them in order of importance to you. This way, you’ll have a solid, objective scorecard to use in order to make a rational decision once those offers come in.

So, hypothetically, let’s say you’re fortunate enough to receive not one, but two job offers from a company. This scenario is very feasible in today’s job market. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to report one of the healthiest job markets in years.

After you take your scorecard of priorities, what else can an accounting, finance or IT professional do to decide between two jobs?

Here are some additional pointers to keep into consideration:

Be grateful 
First and foremost, make sure that you keep your ego in check and not get arrogant about being in this positive predicament. While it’s natural to feel good about yourself, once the initial novelty of it all wears off, use a clear head to weigh all of your options.

Do some soul searching on what’s most important to you
Like your list of priorities, ask yourself if spending time with your family is most important, or if you are focused solely on your career. Maybe you’re somewhere in between. Whatever your personal situation, see how your priority list factors into each of the job descriptions and make a sound decision from there.

Learn about the company culture
Do your research to find out about the work atmosphere, values, the people and what type of work-life balance is encouraged. This will help you learn a lot about the company and its culture. Being happy with the environment and people that you work with will ultimately help you in your new role.

Trust your gut 
In a 2011 article from Forbes, the author discusses how it’s important to listen to your gut when deciding between two job opportunities. The author says, “Pick one outcome or the other—doesn’t matter which—and mentally commit to that decision.” It’s important to evaluate how you really feel and not look back.

Look at management style
You may not consider this, but it’s good to learn who you will be reporting to, their management style and if it’s conducive to what you’re used to experiencing. Alternatively, you should know if anyone will be reporting to you, and if so, how many people and their roles. That way, you’ll know what type of management style you’ll need to bring to the table.

Think about salary
Many people feel that compensation is the main deciding factor when it comes to choosing a job. This may or may not be the case for everyone. Other items to keep in mind in addition to salary are benefits, including medical insurance, 401K and vacation. Is the compensation package overall competitive? Do they offer a 401K match? How much paid vacation will you receive? All of this information should be compared side-by-side to see which job offer is more attractive. This will also help in your final decision.

Some people have the characteristics and personality to make decisions in the blink of an eye. However, there are other people out there who do not possess those traits. It’s important to make a list of your priorities early on in your job search so that you can consider all of your options when making a final decision on the next step of your accounting, finance or IT career.

Did we leave anything out? What else can you do to appropriately choose between two job offers in today’s work climate? Comment below and let us know!

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