Well done, you’re in demand. Having multiple job offers puts you in a privileged position. You have control over your future. However, you also face all the anxiety of standing at a crossroads. Why? Because it can be difficult to tell the right path. Think back. In the past you may have taken a job out of necessity that didn’t seem that inspiring – but it would change your career direction for the better with a glut of great experiences. Likewise you may have taken a seemingly dream job and it turned into one big disappointment. Appearances can be deceiving. However there are some definite positive signs and red flags that can help you make up your mind, some of these rational, some more gut feel.

Here are 4 steps you can take if you’re unsure:

1. Discuss the opportunity

Talk to someone you trust. This shouldn’t be someone who will tell you what to do but someone who will listen, respond and help you work out what it is YOU want. The act of verbalising your enthusiasm or concerns will make them more real for you and help you make a more reasoned decision about which of the job offers to accept.

2. Find out more information

While it’s true that you can’t fully know what it’s like working within an organisation until you’ve started, you can get valuable insights:

• Look on Glassdoor and other review sites.
Though remember to always take individual reviews with a pinch of salt. Some complaints may be coloured by personal grievance – really you’re looking for recurrent comments.

• Have an open conversation with a trusted recruiter
If you have good relationships with recruiters that know your sector and the company, they might be able to answer some of your questions. A good recruiter values you as a candidate, and will not want to miss-sell you a role.
Here is what our company director, Melvin Day, has to say on the subject:
The most important thing is to talk it through. At Marketing Moves we give candidates advice even when we haven’t been involved in the hiring process. Having recruited marketers within the tech sector globally for over 20 years we tend to have a deep understanding of the majority of tech organisations, its major players and likely prospects. As a minimum it’s likely we know someone who works there or has worked there. All our consultants are more than happy to have a confidential discussion. We’re a good resource you can draw on.”

• Use your network to get the inside scoop
You may well have a connection to someone at the company – perhaps through someone else in your closer network. Get them to introduce you to this third party and see if you can initiate an informal private discussion. If you have no relevant connections, try reaching out anyway, people are often willing to help when asked.

• Use LinkedIn as a research tool
Is there a high staff turnover or do employees tend to stay for a few years? How have others that were in similar positions at the company progressed in their careers?

3. Do a little on-paper analysis

A tried and tested staple to any decision between multiple options – draw up a table on a piece of paper – compare the two job offers. Go further and prioritize by allotting scores of 1-10 for the importance of each factor. Subtract the negatives from the positives – which has the highest score? This should make for a rational, considered answer. Though crucially, if you find yourself frustrated with the result, this speaks volumes. If you’re finding excuses for the other job, maybe your gut is telling you that one is better. Often our gut instinct is spot on.

4. Take time – but don’t stall for too long.

If you need time to make your decision, then ask for it. 48 hours is totally understandable, 5 days to a week is acceptable. When requesting more time, make it clear that you appreciate the job offer and will genuinely consider it. Ask for a specific amount of time. If you’re working with a recruiter, be honest about the fact that you’re considering other options. They’ve seen it all before and can help you handle the situation. Ditto if you are waiting on an offer elsewhere (perhaps your secret first choice) and need to stall to leverage some diplomatic pressure and hurry the other decision.

Our Head of FastTrack, Sally O’Sullivan, specialises in supporting up-and-coming technology marketing executives and junior managers. Her advice to marketers struggling with this difficult decision would be to “make sure you ask any questions on potential sticking points before going away to think about it. Otherwise you might turn down a job on the basis of an issue that simply isn’t there. Your recruiter or hiring manager will be happy to give you answers, so don’t hesitate to ask. At Marketing Moves, we pride ourselves on building long term relationships with our candidates. We are your champions and we want you to be 100% happy with the decisions you make.”

We canvassed the Marketing Moves team to find out our top positive signs and red flags for whether a job offer is the right choice for a candidate:

Positive signs:

o Your gut instinct is for one of the jobs.
o You gelled well with everyone you met at interview.
o You felt valued during the interview process.
o You can imagine yourself there.
o You can see potential for career progression & like where you would end up in 5+ years
o Your experience to date means you’re likely to succeed, but the role will also challenge you.

Red flags:

o Your head is telling you it’s a good idea, but your gut, your heart, is saying otherwise.
o Negative opinions from people you speak to about the company, bad Glassdoor reviews etc.
o Doubts on chemistry with future colleagues, bad treatment during the interview process.
o No obvious progression, perhaps the step up doesn’t even appeal to you.
o A bad match to your lifestyle – i.e. open plan/closed office, long hours/no flexibility, long commute.
o You’re compromising on something important (for example perhaps you enjoy events marketing, and you would lose this in the new role).
o The company culture and values don’t match yours – you struggle to imagine yourself there.
o You don’t see any real challenges or room to broaden your experience in that position.

Finally, don’t forget that you can turn an offer (or both) down – Is the new job really offering what you’re looking for or is it worth holding out for something better? Sometimes the grass isn’t greener and the prospects at your current organisation may be better. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a big change but you need to be strategic with your career planning.

Want to be in the enviable position of considering multiple job offers? Speak to one of our experienced consultants on 01932 253 352 or email Melvin on mday@marketingmoves.com

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