So you’ve made it through school. Your business management degree is already paying off and you’re getting job offers from multiple employers. What a problem to have, right? While it’s certainly better than the alternative of having no one knocking on your door, having too many options can be debilitating — which potential employer will be a good fit for you, both for now and for the future? Here are a few tips to help you navigate this fortunate predicament.
Do an Assessment.. of Yourself
Here’s the thing — the perfect job for someone else might be your nightmare scenario and what’s right for you might be the wrong path for someone else. It all comes down to your personality, your strengths, your weaknesses and your career goals.
Take a step back and do an assessment of yourself. What are your work habits? Do you prefer a structured environment or do you enjoy more freedom? Are you an introvert who likes autonomy or an extrovert who thrives in board meetings? Do you care about salary? Or does meaningful work or recognition resonate more with you? Does the status of a job title make a difference to you?
If you’ve never taken a personality test, now is the time. One that factors in organizational psychology and the ways in which you work with others could be particularly helpful.
Take the Pressure Off
By and large, employers aren’t going to be asking for an answer the same day. It’s perfectly acceptable to give them a time frame for your decision so if you need a week, tell them so. They’ll appreciate your forthrightness and the fact that you’re taking their offer seriously.
It can be tempting to fill this thinking time with other distractions. Don’t. Take the time off, give yourself uninterrupted sessions to be still and think about your values and how they line up with the companies’. Conduct a little research into their corporate culture. Check out reviews from both former and current employees. Dive into their histories and look at where they’re going in the future.
And consider this: among Millennials, over 90% expect to stay in a job for fewer than three years. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker today stays in a role for just under four and a half years. So, while this decision is important, it’s likely not going to make or break your career. Even the “wrong” decision now can be remedied.
Look for the Signs
There is a wealth of subtle signs employers give out — either wittingly or unwittingly — that signal their culture and their seriousness in you as a candidate. Here are a few of them:
- In the email correspondence, did the recruiter/boss use pronouns like “we” and “us” or was it “me” and “I” and “the company?” Companies that use the former might be more likely to have a team-first approach that values your contributions.
- Are the company’s mission and values front and center? Good businesses stress these things every day to their employees and communicate them to candidates they’re recruiting.
- Do you sense enthusiasm? You can tell a lot about a boss and the company in the ways they handle correspondence and negotiations with you.
What to Do Once You’ve Decided
Here’s something you probably learned in business school — networking and connections matter. The way you handle your suitors can have unexpected repercussions down the road and you don’t want to burn any bridges.
Notify the company you’ve chosen and wait for a written offer. Once you have it in hand, let the other businesses know that you’re declining their offer. You don’t need to let them know why you’re saying no but you should tell them you’re grateful for the opportunity and thank them for everything. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it might also give you a favorable connection for the future.