How do you choose between two great job offers?
Having two or more job offers on the table is hardly the biggest problem in the world, but that doesn’t make it any easier to pick the right one. Weighing up the pros and cons of different roles can be a daunting task when you’ve got more than one exciting career pathway open to you.
I often advise candidates to distinguish between a ‘great job’ and a ‘great opportunity’. Your job is the day-to-day fundamentals, and enjoying these is important because you’ll still have to come into work every day.
But people who have the strongest career progression are usually those who can sacrifice short-term gains and identify the best opportunities. So how can you do that?
1. Don’t get blinded by salary
Remuneration is often the decisive factor for candidates considering an offer. A recent CV-Library study revealed 58.1 per cent of UK employees consider a good salary their main career priority. Our own research paints a similar picture; salary ranked as the top reason to switch jobs for 34.8 per cent of professionals across five corporate governance areas.
However, salary may not be the best way to choose between two attractive offers. Don’t get me wrong; it’s an important part of the equation, but there are a range of other factors that should factor into your decision-making.
2. Scrutinise the company
You should have a relatively good feel for your prospective employers by the time you receive their offers. You’ll have researched their background and culture for the interview, as well as perhaps received a tour of the office and met potential colleagues.
Everyone’s priorities are different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to which organisation will suit you best, so you might need to rely on your gut. What are the company’s prospects for growth? Are they industry innovators? Do they have a savvy strategy for the future? Answering these questions can help you decide which job offers are more likely to lead to long-term success.
3. Consider your career development
You will gain some insight into your career development opportunities during the application process for each business. This is often a crucial deciding factor when taking an offer – our research showed 33.8 per cent of corporate governance professionals chose career progression as the element of their job they would like to change the most.
Will progressing to the next level be easy in your new roles? How quickly will you be able to manage your own team? Also, think about your direct manager, as well as your boss’s boss. You need to be confident they will help you develop and grow into new roles.
4. Assess lateral career moves
Corporate governance functions are often interconnected, which gives professionals the chance to shift sideways into other areas to expand their skill set. For example, you could move from market risk to liquidity risk, or change departments entirely and go from compliance to internal audit.
Do your job offers provide this type of lateral career development? Think more broadly about your end goals and consider whether a particular role will build a good platform to reach your objectives over the next few years. Career progression isn’t always a straight road and some jobs provide less obvious possibilities.
5. Factor in non-salary perks
Salary and career development may be the biggest priorities for many professionals, but that’s not the case for everyone. You may prefer the opportunity to travel abroad or gain new qualifications. Perhaps you’d like to fulfil a personal passion, such as working for a business dedicated to diversity or corporate social responsibility?
Flexible working is also becoming increasingly important to many governance candidates. The proportion of in-house lawyers who said a better work-life balance is what they’d like most from their job jumped from 14 per cent to 23 per cent between 2016 and 2017. Are these job perks important to you?
6. Anticipate future market opportunities
No one can predict the future with certainty, but you can accelerate your career progression by analysing market trends and targeting new opportunities early. Liquidity risk was an area that essentially developed overnight following the global financial crisis. Many people who took a chance and moved across from other roles are now successful CROs and Treasurers.
We are already beginning to see a similar pattern emerging with the GDPR. The regulation has a wide-reaching impact across numerous governance areas, giving professionals in legal, compliance and IT security the chance to specialise in a potentially high-growth area. Which of your job offers provide the more lucrative long-term opportunities?
Taking the next steps
Hopefully, these tips should give you a good starting point for choosing between two attractive job offers.
But if you’re still struggling with your final decision, why not talk it through with your recruitment consultant? They can provide you with expert insight into the industry that could guide your choice.
If you’d like to discuss Treasury roles specifically, please call 0207 936 2601 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to help with any of your questions.
Our Market Reports combine our review of the prevailing conditions in the corporate governance recruitment market with the results of our latest employer survey.
Image credit: SIphotography via iStock