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How to choose between multiple job offers to find the best fit

Are you torn between two potential jobs, both of which you might be able to land? Do they both have pluses and minuses, but choosing between them feels like choosing between apples and oranges?

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If you’re stuck in indecision and long for clarity, try this two-step process. Or, if you’re considering whether to leave your current job and seek a new one, these same two steps may help you decide to move on or stay.

On a 0 to 10 scale, rate each of the items on its importance to you.

  • Meaningful work that produces real change in my community or the world
  • Challenging, stimulating, interesting work
  • Advancement potential (including the organization’s policy toward developing managers from within) and/or career growth
  • Pay (including the opportunity to increase income with overtime or commission pay)
  • Benefits
  • A great boss with a management style that aligns with how you like to be managed
  • Great coworkers
  • A great company culture
  • A better work/life balance or work schedule and/or lower level of job stress
  • A better location and/or commuting ease
  • Autonomy and decision-making opportunities
  • Freedom to express yourself through your speech, dress, conduct or scheduling flexibility
  • Status and reputation
  • Opportunity for learning and personal growth
  • Job security (internal organizational stability and future)

If an important job feature for you isn’t on the above list, please add it and rate it.

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Next, score each of your possibilities against the factors you’ve given a 6 to 10 rating. Which job option has the higher score? Does your choice seem clearer?

If not, mentally fast forward 12 months from now. Imagine you’ve held each of your two potential positions for 11 months. How will you feel? What will have changed for you in the last 11 months? As a result of these 11 months, where will you be in your career? What will be your level of job satisfaction? Here’s what I’ve learned from years of providing career coaching. There’s always one job that comes out higher when you think, “If I choose this one.”

Finally, if you’ve been wondering “should I look for a new job or stay where I am?” rate your current job against all 15 factors on the list above. If your current job doesn’t score higher than 80 points, it doesn’t make the “yes” grade — and it may be time to move on.

More: How to handle an emotionally draining job

© 2016, Lynne Curry. If you have career questions you’d like Lynne to answer, write her @ Lynne is an executive coach and author of Solutions and Beating the Workplace Bully, AMACOM. You can follow Lynne through her other posts on, via,™ or @lynnecurry10 on Twitter.

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