Post # 1
Have any of you had to do this? Everyone keeps telling me its a “great problem to have” but I am really stressing over it. Sometimes I feel like the choice should be obvious, but then I start feeling unsure. The only people I feel that are really qualified to answer the questions that would help me make my decision are the people that work there and that I interviewed with, but I feel somewhat uncomfortable being so blunt as to say, “Hey, tell me why I should work here rather than there.”
What factors should I consider in my decision? Obviously pay is a huge consideration, but while one job pays considerably less, it also offers much more immediate and long-term upward mobility than the other. So I would be taking a risk with the lower paying job but it could seriously pay off within as little as 6 months. But then again, a guaranteed higher salary is pretty appealing. Anyway, I want to try to evaluate this based on more than just money, but I’m not sure how to go about it.
Post # 3
What is the travel time for each job? The hours and time commitment? Benefits? Business atmosphere?
Just a couple of things to evaluate when comparing the two.
Post # 4
I definitely look at benefits and the ability to move up in the company. I just took a lower paying job, but I’ll havae full benefits with other discounts (like cell phone and gym) and the company only promotes from within. I’m overqualified for the position I’m in, but in 90 days, I can apply for a better position/raise. It works well for me!
Post # 5
Yup I agree with above.. benefits. Look into the health insurance. What are the co-pays, how much is the deductible, how much are you responsible for? Is there a 401k program, is there a company match?
Travel is a big one, also, if you are looking to start a family anytime soon, look into things associated with that. How do they treat expecting moms, do you get a paid maternity leave, will having children impact your ability to do well there, how flexible are they about schedule?
Salary is a huge factor, but if your husband is employed and the slightly higher salary means that you are going to have to make other sacrifices (required overtime, excessive travel, late night meetings, have to be oncall at all times, etc) it isn’t worth it.
And being able to move up and get promotions is a huge thing!
Post # 6
@roxy821: Job A is about 20 minutes further away, but the commute is not bad at all. I don’t know the exact hours of either job, though I do know I will start out paid hourly at Job A, while Job B starts salaried. So while I would making more money at Job B, I also might be working a lot of unpaid overtime.
@afbacher: Benefits aren’t something I really am considering because my DH has really great benefits with his job. I can’t imagine that any other job could offer us better health/life/dental/vision/etc, as DH belongs to a union. What other benefits should I be thinking about? Company car/cell phone/computer is out of the picture, but maybe 401K or something like that? Vacation time?
@Ella1978: We aren’t planning on having kids soon so that isn’t a consideration. You make a really good point about a lot of overtime. I think Job B will require more, honestly, but I’m not sure if that will be a benefit because I get to contribute more meaningfully.
I guess I feel uncomfortable asking outright – “What kind of vacation time do I get?” and that kind of thing because I feel like I am putting the focus on my selfishness rather than focusing on what I want to contribute. How do I go about asking these things in a way that doesn’t appear too selfish?
Post # 7
Don’t feel bad asking questions about benefits/vacation time/etc. That is totally normal and HR people expect that you’ll want to address all of those issues before deciding. You should also feel free to try to negotiate your salary/hourly pay upwards. Again, this is something HR expects. You could also ask an HR person in each job to put you in touch with a current employee so that you could ask questions about the work environment. It may feel awkward to you, but trust me, these companies are used to informed candidates asking lots of questions. It’s all part of the process. Good luck to you!
Post # 8
@Julialimei: Thanks for the advice! I guess what makes it a little different is that with both jobs, there is no separate HR department, so I am working directly with the individuals who would be my supervisors. Both jobs are at very small organizations (one company has only 5 full-timers, the other about 15). When working with HR, you know it is their job to inform you about all these things, but it is less cut and dry when it is a potential supervisor and you are still trying to impress them and not give them the idea that this is just about money/benefits.
How do you negotiate pay? Should I use my other offer as leverage?
Post # 9
If you’ve been offered both jobs, I think it’s TOTALLY okay to ask questions – like how much vacation time you’d be getting, what the realistic hours are, etc. AND I think it’s okay to let it slip that you’ve had more than one job offer – the salary offers might increase, and (more importantly, in my book) you might see a different side of those you’d be working for, and it might help you decide where you’d actually be happier working. 🙂
Post # 10
Which job to choose depends on what stage you are at:
Is work life balance important or are you focused on career advancement?
Does either company have 401K and what percentage is matched?
How many vacation days, sick days, personal days does each job offer?
Does either job allow you to work from home on certain days?
Now that you actually have offers in your hand, now is the time to ask all of the questions/get things clarified, before accepting an offer. This is also the time to negotiate salary. In order to negotiate successfully, do some searches on what the going salaries are in your field with your level of experience.
Most companies should expect this, but you would be surprised at how many people just accept the job without even attempting to negotiate on anything. Great for the company…but potentially not so great for the employee.
Post # 11
I’ve been in this position before and ended up taking the job that paid $10k less, but made up for it hugely in opportunities for growth and the work environment. Looking back on it now I can say with certainty that i made the right decision for me.
Some factors that I would consider:
-Quality of life – This is huge to me. What kind of hours are expected at each company? How are you remunerated for overtime? How much vacation are they offering? Do they offer other perks such as flex time, gym memberships etc.?
-Retirement Fund – Do they match contributions?
-Workplace – What is the general demographic at each company? Do you think you will fit in socially as well as professionally? Is it flexible or structured? Formal or casual? This all comes down to personal preference, but for me is possibly the single biggest piece that I consider – I want to fit in and feel comfortable where I work – you sppend more waking hours with your colleagues than with your spouse!
-Gut. I know this is vague, but ultimately, jobs for me have always come down to my gut feeling. Sometimes something (often the way they handle the interview process) makes me feel really great or really bad about a potential employer. Of course you need to review all the facts, but ultimately, never accept a job that you don’t feel great about (if you have another option available to you).
Post # 12
Congratulations, by the way, on both offers! That’s wonderful.
Post # 13
I’ve also been in this same position before.
I spoke very openly and honestly with both offers, speaking to the person who made the offer and asking any outstanding questions I had to be 100% confident in the decision I made. A good future employer would want you to make an informed decision and should be more than happy to answer any questions you have.
If you are concerned about the lower pay in one job, I’d ask them if the starting salary is negotiable at all, that you have another offer on the table that is offering more and that added security in this economy is important to you.
Definately ask about your PTO, or vacation time, how do you accumulate more PTO, sick day policy, personal day policy.
If it’s a close decision after you tie up loose ends with questions… then go with the job that you will be more motivated by, the one where the work you will care more about and you will make more of an impact on the company/outcomes. It makes it so much easier to go to work everyday when you feel like people value your opinions, like your work actually impacts the company’s performance, and when you get excited by the work you are doing. One of the leading factors in work satisfaction is having a connection to the work you do.
Post # 14
I am the manager at my work, and I do the interviewing/hiring. I am more likely to hire someone who asks questions about the job (specific tasks, room for advancement, hours/wages/raises) then someone who says “nope, no questions”. The one I love answering is how long I have been with the company and what my favorite part of working there is. I would also judge how passionately they answer as opposed to just what they say. I know I get a little too excited when I talk about my job, because I work with such great people in such a happy place and I love being there. If the person hiring you hates the company, maybe you will too.
Post # 15
These all sound like great suggestions. i just wanted to add, don’t be afraid to negotiate salary and let one job know that, while it is your first choice, you do have another offer that is paying more. Statistically, one of the main reasons women make less than men is because they are less likely to negotiate salary. i know it is hard but you are in the perfect position. Don’t feel you have to divulge the name of the company who made you another offer but do let them know you have one.
My first instinct is that I would take the saleried position as it has been my experience that salaried positions are more career oriented but this could easily vary by industry.
I would also stress that you should be asking about time off and 401k benefits, does the hourly job grant you paid time off? That could be a huge difference if you don’t get paid for vacation or sick days.
Good luck, you are in the best place possible.
Post # 16
Considering that one job is an additional 20 minutes away, that is tagging on another 40 minutes a day to your drive, and your time away from home. It is significant. 40 minutes a day is over 3 hours a week that you don’t have at home.
Is there any way you can find out what kind of hours would be expected of you? In my last job, I made great money, but I was there about 65 hours a week, and never felt accomplished. I was working for/with peple that were horribly disorganized. I learned that the 3 people that had the job before me quit within weeks of working there! So, money was def. not everything.
I would also consider job security, esp. in this economy. Has either company had layoffs? How stable are they financially?
Lots to think about!