With today’s market, everyone would love to be in the enviable position of having multiple job offers. However, if you’re in the growing tech field, this may just be your reality. (You lucky duck, you.) So what do you do if you find yourself in this position? How do you decide which of the multiple offers is the best fit for you? It all comes down to considering 8 things for each role, and deciding which better fits with your needs and desires.
How to Choose Among Multiple Tech Job Offers
The first thing that you need to do is determine what really matters to you in a tech job. Some of the these things may be:
What to consider: Is it important to you that you’re working on the most cutting-edge pieces of technology? Or does it not matter as long as you get to program or test?
Why it matters: If you want to be working on the cutting-edge of technology, and you’re stuck working with PHP instead of Hadoop, you may begin to resent this role. Do yourself a favor, and don’t put yourself in that position. Even though the kind of technology you’re working on may not be the number one consideration, it will have an impact on your daily life, and possibly even your future career. As a result, choose a role where the technology they’re using aligns with your career goals.
What to consider: What kind of culture are you looking for? The suit and tie kind of shop? The jeans kind? Fast paced? Relaxed?
Why it matters: You spend more waking hours at the office and with your team than you do at home and with your family and friends. As a result, making sure that you’re in an environment that you’re both comfortable with and productive in will make or break your work experience. Think about your experience when you interviewed, and what shop had a better vibe. Trust yourself to know which will be a better personality fit.
The Company Potential
What to consider: Is this a small company that hasn’t grown in 5 years? Or is this a company that’s exploding/is already a large corporation?
Why it matters: If you want job stability, choosing a role with an expanding or large company will give you just that. They’ll also have greater resources, and, more likely that not, newer technologies. Stagnant companies have a harder time offering stability, though they do have established procedures. Choosing between the two comes down to personal preference.
Opportunities for professional advancement
What to consider: What kind of professional advancement matters to you? Reimbursement for classes? Mentors? Top-notch team members that you can bounce ideas off of, and become a better technologist because of?
Why it matters: Even when you’re at the top of your game, it doesn’t hurt to keep learning – doing so may just give you the leg up for that dream job of yours. How you want to go about growing your knowledge, however, is another story. Pick a company that will give you the resources to further your knowledge in a way that makes the most sense for you.
What to consider: Can you code this project in your sleep, or would this be something new for you? Are you bored by what this company is doing, or are you enthusiastic about it?
Why it matters: The best of the best technologists are always pushing themselves, and looking for new challenges. In fact, that’s exactly how they got to be so good. If you’re looking to grow your skills, taking a challenging position is a smart career move. If you’re looking for something familiar, somewhere that will let you do what you already know and love, that’s okay, too. Just determine whether taking on a greater challenge is good for your work-life balance and career.
Location and Commutes:
What to consider: How far are you willing to travel for work? Are you willing to work out-of-state a week a month? What is the maximum amount of time you’d spend commuting in a day?
Why it matters: Even if you’re in a great environment, working on a project you love, having a lengthy commute on either end of your workday can make this ideal job seem less than perfect. That’s why picking a job that aligns with the amount of time you’re willing to commute or work away from home is so important – if you don’t, your dream role could be ruined.
What to consider: What kind of benefits are you looking for? Health insurance, 401k, and paid vacation time? What do you need, and what can you get elsewhere?
Why it matters: While you can get benefits through alternative channels, getting them through work is by far the easiest. Shoot for benefits that will give you the security you need, as well as additional perks such as paid vacation.
What to consider: What’s your work style? Are you a workaholic? Someone who needs to work only 9 – 5 in order to take care of your kids?
Why it matters: Just as with culture, pick the environment that is going to allow you to thrive. If you’re working 12 hours a day and missing your kids’ soccer games, you’re not going to be too pleased. Choosing a role that reflects your personal work style and life needs will help you remain motivated to do your best work.
Once you’ve considered all of these things, pick the five that matter most to you in a tech job. Are these benefits? Challenges? Culture? Write them down, and determine whether each job opportunity will help you meet your ideals. For example, will job A only meet two of these criteria, like benefits and challenges, while job B will meet four? If so, you know which job is the better fit, the one that will make you happier. It is important to note that this is only true if you are honest about your needs and desires though. Don’t take a gig because you think you need to be making a certain amount of money, or want free lunches. Take a gig because it’s going to get you where you want to go and is a good personality fit.
At the end of the day, don’t choose a job merely for its financial benefits; doing so has caused a technologist or two to lead a pretty unhappy life. Pick the role that has a culture that you’ll thrive in, one where you’ll be able to advance your career. The role that is able to better meet both of these goals is, without a doubt, the one you should take.