Good, Better, Best: How to Weigh Multiple Job Offers

There’s nothing like getting multiple job offers in one week to make you the envy of your circle of friends. So why do you suddenly have a major case of the jitters?

As enviable as this situation may seem, deciding among different accounting and finance jobs can be tough. Your career is, after all, a key part of your life and moving to a new job will in many ways define your future.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when determining which job will be the right choice.

What matters most to you?

If truly enriching work tops your career agenda, the position that carries the greatest salary offer may not be the best choice – unless, of course, the job appeals to you as well.

Take your strengths into consideration. Of your multiple job offers, which would make the best use of your skills and talents? Be honest with yourself about your limitations: An offer that comes with a great salary and an impressive title might be flattering, but you don’t want to be in over your head, either.

What’s the total package?

As anyone who has spent time in the workforce knows well, salary is just one part of a complex compensation package. For instance, some companies offer a rich array of employee benefits, while others have leaner ones. Most benefit plans have some sort of cost-sharing formula, which can vary significantly between plans. Paid time off can also boost an overall compensation package. Conversely, if the job you would like the most comes with benefits you find lacking or unacceptable, find out if there is any room for salary negotiation.

What’s the company’s culture like, and are you a good fit?

Potential employers will be carefully evaluating whether you’ll fit well into their respective workforces, but more important in weighing multiple job offers is how you feel about each setting. Do some homework and know what you’re getting into before making a decision. Consider your own personality. For example, if you crave order and structure, you might not like working for a freewheeling startup.

Which position has the potential for future growth?

Opportunities such as formal mentoring programs, training, tuition reimbursement and industry conference tickets are just as important as salary and benefits, in terms of building a future. For instance, through mentoring you might learn about a wider range of disciplines outside of accounting. You could become a business manager in another department, thus using your numerical expertise in a nonaccounting setting. Pursuing an advanced degree through tuition reimbursement can also open up new opportunities.

To complicate things more...

What if your current employer decides to make a salary counteroffer? You weren't prepared to engage in salary negotiation with them, so what might you do?

The evidence suggests you should reject any counteroffer for a variety of reasons. For starters, if you stay in your current workplace, there will likely always be an undercurrent of grumbling that your job search was nothing but a salary negotiation ploy. In addition, it’s unlikely the issues that led you to want to make a move in the first place will change if you accept the counteroffer.

Maintain grace

There’s a fine art to both accepting – and declining – a job offer. Be gracious: One of those hiring managers may approach you in the future about a completely different job. The more doors you keep open, the better your chances of advancing in your career.

Keep informed about your true worth by checking Robert Half's Salary Calculator and Salary Guide, which publish comprehensive information on salaries in accounting and finance.


Photo Credit: via Creative Commons licensing



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