Good news, you have multiple job offers! Bad news is, you have to choose between them and leave at least one person a bit disappointed. If you're worried you might regret picking one job over another job or just having a hard time deciding, read on to find out what you should do before signing that offer letter.
Do some soul-searching.
First, you want to figure out what matters to you. Is your salary the most important thing in your life? How critical is work-life balance? Do you mind working 80 hours a week or working nights? What about geography and travel? Do you want to see the world, be in a big city or somewhere quiet?
These are just a few questions you should be asking yourself not only once you get an offer, but before you even go through the interview process. I made the mistake of just applying to every since job I saw that was mildly interesting, and had to turn down an offer from a great company because later on down the line, I realized it didn't match up with my priorities.
If I had thought more critically about what I actually wanted in my first job, I would have realized that I shouldn't even have applied to that job that I had to turn down. But, I was desperate after being rejected a million times. Anyway, back to deciding on the right job for you based on what I think is important - this isn't the same for everyone, so take my advice with a grain of salt!
Analyze the opportunities each job brings you to help meet your long-term goals.
Again, don't just apply to any job you think you'd be happy doing and accept any offers blindly. A lot of people say it's a numbers game, and that's true to some extent. But taking that approach will lead to your eventual disappointment, so I'd tread carefully.
This again requires you to think about your priorities, and more specifically think about your long-term career goals. Want to be the next Mark Cuban? Well, that means you should look for jobs that give you experience in a wide range of industries or job functions, and maybe with a finance, consulting, technology or marketing focus. Obviously there isn't a predetermined career path to being the next great Venture Capitalist, but you should look for a job that provides you with the skillset you need to be successful in whatever your long-term goals are. This also ties directly to what job will bring good exit opportunities, so think about those too.
Think about the actual work you'll be doing and what the environment will be like.
If you hate the work you do, life will be miserable. Traders make a ton of money on performance bonuses, but their work is extremely math-heavy and analytical. If you hate math but go into trading for the money, you'll end your first year with a lot of money and just as much regret.
Think about what you're good at and what would get you excited to go to work every day. This again involves self-reflection, but then again not everything has to be based on passion. If you aren't crazy for Excel but love a fast-paced, competitive atmosphere, then go be an investment banker! The world is your oyster. You have to look at not only the tangible work, but also the company culture and overall environment you'll be working in.
Income matters, whether you like it or not.
Yes, there are a million studies out there saying that people who make $70,000 and $2,500,000 a year have about the same level of satisfaction and happiness with their lives. But, you have to do a lot of self-reflection again. Do you want to live in a cozier apartment and commute a bit or do you want to have a studio with a crazy view close enough to walk to work?
Of course, that's not the best example but you get what I'm saying - there are perks to making more money, and there are certainly drawbacks. Thinking about your income and deciding on a job offer based on how you feel about income doesn't make you a corporate sellout - it's just a reality of life.
Think about the type of people you met in the interview process.
Reflecting on the type of people you met when you interviewed is something I think few people do, but is very important. If you felt really comfortable and confident during interviews and left each interview happy, that's a good sign. If you interviewed with people who made you think negatively about the job you're applying to or even the industry overall, stay away.
You'll be spending at the very least 40 hours a week with the people you interview with, so you better like them. To give you a better idea, you're gonna be spending about 50% of the time you're awake during the week with these people. That's a ton of time if you think about it. If someone rubbed you the wrong way, reflect on the conversation you had with them and think about why that was the case. And be sure to ask about company culture in interviews!
How big of a company do you want to work for?
Generally, your responsibilities at the workplace correlate inversely to the size of the firm you work for. So, if you get a job at a small company, you'll get more responsibility right off the bat. If you work for a large company, you'll just be another cog in a gigantic wheel.
That being said, there are other things to consider in firm size. A large, brand-name company will probably offer more exit opportunities than a more boutique firm will. So, there's a tradeoff between the type of work you'll be doing and (possibly) your long-term career trajectory. If you want to jump right in, have a ton of ownership and contribute directly to the firm's growth while at the cost of a bit longer time frame for advancement, a small company might be for you. Otherwise, maybe a big company is your move.
Making this kind of a decision isn't easy. Think long and hard about what's important to you and how each potential job checks those boxes. I'd recommend actually making a pros and cons list and maybe even weighting each parameter, but that's just me!
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