How to decide between two job offers


It might sound like the dream but having two job offers on the table can make for a hard decision. Our experts share some crucial things to consider if you’re struggling to decide.

Think long-term

“One main reason why people look to change roles is to grow their careers, not only in terms of titles or positions, but more importantly, to pick up new skills and grow with the company,” says Sher Lynn Lee, head of the northern region at Robert Walters Malaysia. “When faced with multiple offers, you need to evaluate your long-term career objectives and clearly understand what you want in the future. Then look at each role to see which would ultimately be a better fit for your ambitions and aspirations.”

Be careful of ‘push’ factors

“Also take the time to analyse why you decided to look for newer opportunities in the first place. Knowing exactly why you left your previous job will make it easier to make the right decision for yourself,” adds Sher Lynn. “If these reasons remain unclear, you may find yourself regretting your decision and not staying in the new role for long.” As Hywel Davies, associate director at Robert Walters Indonesia adds: “Don’t end up jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire by choosing the wrong role.”

Assess the work/life balance

“The work/life balance of any job means different things to different people, so consider what impact each role will have on your own needs and requirements,” suggests Hywel. If candidates have young families or other responsibilities, then the ability to work from home or work flexibly may be a more pressing concern, he says. “Also consider each role’s location and commute as this could significantly impact on your day-to-day life, although some companies may offer perks like childcare or gym membership that could offset these issues.”

Consider the culture fit

“A company’s culture is critically important when deciding which offer to accept because you need to be sure you’ll enjoy going into work every day,” says Hywel. What constitutes a good culture fit largely depends on the individual, he explains, so candidates should take clues and insight wherever they can to assess if the workplace is right for them, such as asking friends or ex-employees who know the business, and checking social media channels such as Glassdoor and Instagram. “Think about the types of roles you’ve enjoyed in the past, and which of the roles on offer comes closest to replicating that environment.”

Reflect on the interview

The interview process allows both parties to understand each other better. “Interviews are not just for employers, but for candidates to find out more information about the role and company culture as well,” says Sher Lynn. “Reflect on the interview and think about what went well and what didn’t. Did you have good chemistry with the hiring manager? Did you spot any potential red flags that could be a deal breaker? It’s difficult to evaluate all of these during the interview itself, so it’s important to go back and reflect on the interview, particularly when deciding between offers.”

Don’t get blinded by salary

The main deciding factor shouldn’t be salary, Sher Lynn warns. “Unless the difference between both offers is significant, you want to also consider non-monetary aspects such as growth opportunities, company benefits, culture and more. A good way to do this is to think about which role you’d be more excited about if they were offering the same salary. Work takes up at least a third of your day so you want something you’re actually interested in. If you’re only taking a role for the money, you may find your motivation dwindling after just a few months.”

Trust your gut

“If you’ve asked the right questions in the interview and researched both the companies and the specific roles on offer, you should be well-placed to make a sensible, informed decision on which job you should take,” concludes Hywel. However, he notes that taking on a new role is never without its risks regardless of how much thought has gone into the move. “Being risk-averse isn’t a bad quality when looking to change jobs, but at some point, you may just have to trust your gut and take that leap of faith!”

Made your decision? Read our article on how to resign professionally or get other career advice here.

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