Thursday, December 27, 2012

Advice from a Career Coach: Evaluating Multiple Offers

By Rebecca Cook
Director - Coaching and Development, Graduate Career Services
Co-Director, Capital Markets Academy

You’ve survived recruiting season, completed a multitude of interviews and you have been lucky enough to end up with a few different offers.  So now what do you do?  How do you decide which one to take?  How do you accept an offer?  How do you reject an offer in a way that would make the rejected company still want to hire you?  All of these are very important questions that need to be thought of as you move into the new world of end of school – new job.

Let’s start with how do you decide which offer to take.  There are many factors that play in this decision – salary/bonus, vacation, loving the job, family, geographic location, etc.  The key is that you need to figure out what is the most important to you.  Maybe it is location and you are willing to take a little lower salary to live where you want….or maybe it is salary and you will live anywhere for the largest dollar amount.  There isn’t a “correct” answer here – it is all personal preference.  Take the time to think through your offers, talk with your GCS coach and others who are close to you, and consider negotiating for certain things.  GCS has lots of data that can help you with this part of the process.  You can even “try on” the acceptance in that you can pretend you accepted one offer for 24 hours and see how feel and then pretend you accepted the other offer for 24 hours.  It sounds kind of silly but you will feel better on one vs. the other. 

The fun part – acceptance!  You’ve worked through your decision and decided on which company is the best fit for you.  Now you get to sign on the dotted line….but you continue to hesitate.  Why?  This is a big step and many people are afraid that they will make the wrong decision.  Let’s think about that though….you’ve reviewed all of your offers, you know the company cultures, you’ve figured out which offer seems to fit you best.  There is no reason to be afraid.  You are making the best decision for you at this point in time.  Be excited about this choice, go work at the company and make your mark.  Once you’ve been there for a little while, you can always re-evaluate and make sure that you are on the right track.

Now let’s talk about rejection.  No one likes to be rejected but you will have to say “no” to at least one company if you have multiple offers.  This isn’t a fun conversation and people often dread it, but it really doesn’t have to be that bad.  Ideally, you want to frame it very positively and highlight how much you like their company and appreciate the offer.  You want to let them know that you have thought about your decision and that unfortunately for them, you are choosing to go with another employer.  Tell them that you would like to stay in touch as you never know what will happen in the future – and then make sure you actually do it.

The key here is to enjoy the process.  Companies want you and that is a great feeling.  You have the upper hand in that you control the outcome.  Congratulations and good luck!

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