Getting a job offer is super exciting. It’s better than puppies, open-bar weddings, and Summer Fridays. But two? At the same time? Now that’s something deserving of its own cheering squad.
The economy is on an upswing, and there are lots of opportunities available for smart, driven, creative people like you—which means that this scenario isn’t just a fantasy. Especially if you’ve given the job search your all. But, it’s also a complicated situation. Instead of reviewing one offer and figuring out how to negotiate , quit your current job , or relocate , you’ve got the added difficulty of mulling over two opportunities.
As someone who doesn’t have first-hand experience with this (unless you count the two server positions I was offered pretty much simultaneously while attending grad school), I decided to speak with Kristina Leonardi , a career and life coach who is focused on helping people make the most of their personal and professional lives. How does one effectively juggle two offers? I asked Leonardi for some advice.
For starters, she says, “It should never just be about the salary.” You should consider whether the job brings you “a step closer or farther away from your ultimate career goals and vision.” And the opportunity for growth should not be underestimated—not just in terms of promotions and titles, says Leonardi, but also in terms of where you “can learn the most/gain the most experience/exposure, develop new skills, or learn a new area in the field.”
Leonardi suggests asking yourself if sponsorship is available or if potential mentors and other professional development opportunities to help you grow within the company exist.
If, after weighing both offers, they compare similarly in these regards, there are other things you can reflect on. For example, considering commute time for each and how much it will cost you in both time and money is perfectly reasonable, notes Leonardi. If you can see yourself thriving at either company but one comes with an extra hour of commuting per day, you may have your answer.
Another way to evaluate the different positions is to envision where you are able to see yourself more on a day-to-day basis. In other words, Leonardi says, if everything else is equal, ask yourself what the culture of each is and whether or not you jive with it.
If, however, after all of this assessment, you’re still feeling really indecisive, use the two to your advantage. You, my friend, have something wonderful called leverage. Since most companies don’t throw out job offers willy-nilly, you can assume that the powers-that-be will do everything they can to get you to accept and join the team.
Keep in mind that things like budget restrictions can get in the way of a negotiation, but that definitely doesn’t mean you should forgo discussing the finer points of an offer—especially if you don’t know which one to take.
If both positions meet your negotiating asks, or come close to them, you might thoughtfully let each hiring manager know that you’re reviewing another offer and see how he or she responds. Depending on the company’s wants and needs, it may try to seduce you with additional perks —or just help you conclude which is the right fit based on the reaction you get.
Of course, you should avoid boasting or coming across as arrogant. You should be grateful for both—not act like you’re the best thing that ever walked the planet.
And maybe, above all else, you should remember that your situation, while dilemma-inducing for sure, is a fortunate one. You have not one but two awesome opportunities waiting for you! You got this far; there’s little chance that you won’t figure out how to make it work in your favor. This isn’t about making anyone else happy. It’s about doing what is best for you and your career.
Stacey Lastoe is the Senior Editor/Writer of The Muse. She started writing short stories in the second grade and is immensely grateful to have the opportunity to write and edit professionally. Her work has appeared in YouBeauty, Refinery29, A Practical Wedding, Runner's World online, and The Billfold among other publications. She enjoys running and eating in equal measure and lives with her husband and dog in Brooklyn. All three of them are avid New York Mets fans. Say hello on @stacespeaks.More from this Author