How to Handle Multiple Job Offers
Did you get more than one job offer? That is simply amazing! You are living the dream of every job seeker. After applying for almost a hundred jobs in some cases, writing a lot of tests, preparing and attending interviews – basically going through grueling recruitment processes – your hard work has finally paid off and congratulations are in order. During your time as an active job seeker, you must have heard and seen firsthand how much work a job applicant needs to put in to get just one job offer. So getting multiple job offers is proof of your hard work and stellar qualification.
Now that you have multiple job offers on the table, you might be faced with another worry. Yeah, not a worry as bad as unemployment or being stuck with a career that does not give room for growth, but you have a very important decision to make. The choice you make determines a lot of things concerning your career. You need to make a sound decision, one not based on the excitement of the moment. Most people who have received multiple job offers are faced with questions like, “ Which one do I accept?” and “How do I determine the best offer for me?” We want you to make the best decision so we have prepared a handful of tips that will tell you how best to handle multiple job offers.
- Do not Give Your Answer on the Spot: As the offers are rolling in, either through emails or verbally during an interview, refrain from giving an answer straight Companies and organizations often give time, ranging from days to weeks for you to make your decision. Do not shy away from asking for more time if necessary. This will ensure you have enough room to think. Of course, your reply to your prospective employers should be polite but do not give a definite yes or no the minute you are asked to join the team. A good employer will surely give you time to go over the contract before sending in your reply. In fact, if an employer demands an answer without giving you time to review the offer, see it as a red flag. However, to ensure you do not take more time than usual making up your mind, ask the employer when your reply is expected. When you know the amount of time you have, then you can create a sort of itinerary – this means preparing a schedule that helps you arrange all your offers according to the timeline and then review each offer thoughtfully (while considering the deadline) before giving a definite answer. Giving a harried yes or no could lead to regrets from accepting a less than average job or rejecting a beautiful offer.
- Gather Relevant Information About Each Offer: Yes, you need all the intel you can get. Carry out in-depth research on all the offers you are getting. If you received written contracts, go through them thoroughly. Ask the hiring managers or employers questions if something is not clear. Do not assume. If possible, get information from employees working at the places where you have been given offers. Inside information is sometimes the most honest review. Each company differs from the other so you need specific and most importantly, relevant information about each proposal. This will help you compare all the offers you have and then make an informed decision, not one based on frivolities. What do we mean? Let us assume a guy named Mark gets three offers from different companies. He wants to get information about each offer to know which is best so he goes about asking each company if they offer breakfast and then decides to go with Company A’s offer just because he discovered they offer coffee and a slice of toast every morning. Everybody loves a good cup of coffee but that would really not be enough, quality information to base his decision on, would it? Imagine how Mark would feel when he finds out after 2 months of working with Company A, that Company C which does not offer breakfast, pays three times more than Company A and Company B offers a fully paid vacation leave each year. We really do not want you to experience that. So what information should you look out for? Ask or read up on your contract the requirements and responsibilities of the roles you are being offered, remuneration and bonuses, perks, work style, and everything about the companies or organizations especially their values and culture.
- Draw a Comparison between all your Offers: When you have gotten all the facts you need about your job offers, then it is time to compare. List what advantages and disadvantages each offer has. Obviously, if the cons of an offer are more than the pros, then the job may not appeal to you and it is likely not the one you will choose in the end. Compare based on factors that put your needs and other tiny details that make work-life easy and interesting into consideration. When you have listed all the advantages and disadvantages of each job, start your assessment by asking questions like; Can Company A’s salary offer pay my bills and take care of all my financial needs or should I go for Company B offering twice the amount but more work hours? Is the commute to and fro going to be cheap and stress-free if I accept Company B’s offer? With my health condition, can I work this amount of hours every day without putting my health at risk? Am I ok with Company B’s work style or do I prefer and work best when I use Company A’s work style? Comparing makes it easier for you to eliminate options that do not work for you. True, no offer might check all the boxes but the offer that has the most pros has a lot of benefits in store for you.
- See the Big Picture: When trying to decide between job offers, it is also important to take a break from thinking about the companies and what you can gain from working there daily and think of what you could gain in the future. Think of how the offers relate to you and your ambitions. You are not a robot offering to work for the highest bidder. You may have dreams and maybe even a passion you want to fulfill. Asides from all the perks that could make you think of accepting an offer, think of your goals and personal preferences. Ask yourself questions like, Will taking this job give my career the push it needs? Is this something I would like to do permanently? Where do I see myself in the next three or four years with this job? What room for growth does this offer have? Will this offer provide me with the needed knowledge to grow my skill set, build a strong professional network and gain valuable work experience? Will this job gives me satisfaction and help me maintain a healthy work-life balance? Will my personal brand shine through in this position? These questions will help you make a decision that will put you and your long-term or short-term career goals into consideration.
- Use Available Opportunities for Negotiation: We have already mentioned that it is likely that no offer will check all your boxes. So what happens when an offer has all the benefits you want but there is a seemingly small detail that feels like a deal-breaker? For instance, Company A offers a flexible work style, room to learn and grow, perks and bonuses, and vibrant company culture. Yes! You have finally made your decision or so you think until you look at the salary. Not enough zeroes to ensure you have something squared away at the end of the month as an emergency fund. Should you give up on the offer? Well, there is always room for negotiation. When you are planning on negotiating an offer, respectfully show and tell your prospective employer that you are willing and ready to work with them but cannot on the existing terms. Be specific about what your problem is with the offer – salary, work hours, or something else. Prepare prior to speaking with the employer. This will ensure that the negotiation process goes smoothly and produces the expected results. A successful negotiation requires skill. If you are negotiating salary, read up articles that give guidelines on how to do it or talk to someone who is an expert in the hiring industry. When negotiating, be firm but polite. Bonus tip: Most of the time, employers have more than what they offer at first and also have the means and power to change some terms and conditions. So, do not feel guilty for wanting more money or fewer work hours. Proper negotiation can cut you a good deal and prevent you from getting stuck with terms and conditions you regret and cannot change in the long run. When a company cannot give you exactly what you need, they might offer to increase the perks of the job. But what happens when a company does not react favourably to negotiation? Then you have a personal decision to make. But here’s a tip: If you are really interested in the position and the other benefits of the job can cover up for what you did not get, then you can consider the offer. If not, then you may need to go back to the other offers or offer you received. Try negotiating again with the remaining proposals. It is possible to cut a good deal and raise your second option to a first.
- Be Cautious With Your Replies Especially When Rejecting the Offer: You already know that it is necessary to be polite when giving your answer but a bonus point, be smart and careful when preparing your answer, whether it is a yes or no. Even if you think an offer you just received is not as amazing as another one or others you already have, show interest and eagerness. Appreciate the offer and do not imply that the offer is beneath you or flippantly reject it. Think it through, review the contract and also find out if there is room for negotiation. If you finally decide to reject the offer, make it official and diplomatic probably by sending an email or using any other alternative. Remember that job offers are given with the good intentions of the employer. They really want you on their team or else they would not ask. Do not burn bridges. Even if you do not accept the offer, you could maintain the relationship with the company in case something better comes up. Then, they could send you a reminder to apply or directly send you an offer.
When you make your decision, get back to your prospective employers before the deadline. To show that you have accepted the offer, you might need to send then a signed copy of your contract and then prepare to start work. We hope the offer you choose will be the best fit for you and that your work life will be interesting!