If successful job searches result in multiple offers (and they should), you might want some assistance in sorting-through, comparing and prioritizing various choices.
The challenge is that multiple offers are never apples to apples. They are always apples to oranges, which makes the comparison difficult if not confusing.
Here is a simple model that should help. It’s the Filter of Five™
Run each opportunity through the following template. They run from highest to lowest priority:
Let me explain:
1. A Growing, If Not Exploding, Market: A rising tide lifts all ships. That is why you want to enter a company that is in a growing market. If the market is growing, even better if it is booming, everyone is expanding which creates upward mobility and success for all.
By example today they are markets like, high-tech, healthcare, energy and telecommunications to name a few. Here is a link to different market segments and their growth (or lack thereof) from CNN Money. Google the topic and find others. It is wise to know the potential of the market that you are entering.
The converse to that is an imploding marketing. An example today is manufacturing. Unfortunately we have lost 19m manufacturing jobs so opportunities in that sector are fewer.
So let’s say you are fresh out of school and you are competing for an offer in manufacturing, you very likely will be competing against others who have more experience in that they just got laid off. A much tougher proposition.
Your gut can easily tell you if this industry is likely to grow over the course of my 30-40 year career. If so, the wind, as they say, is to your back.
2. An Environment Where You Can Learn: When you leave your education, you are at best ‘malleable.’ Some companies offer better training than others. Key to your professional development is entering the workforce with an organization that will train you in a world-class way. A place where you can learn best practice, hone professional skills and develop early habits that will serve you well over the span of your career.
3. Resume Panache: Early in your career you haven’t accomplished a lot. That is normal. When you are associated with a prestigious brand, it adds to your credentials.
Why? Because others in the market presume if you got hired by and are working for ‘an industry leader’ you must have strong skills and are witnessing/living best practice.
4. An Environment Where You Can Earn: Life costs money. You not only have to pay the bills today but simultaneously you have to prepare for life’s emergencies and put something away for your golden years. A good compensation package is necessary but notice, it is point four not point 1, 2 or 3.
5. A Navigable Platform: You want to ask yourself, if I take this role and nail this assignment over the next 2-4 years, what other opportunities avail themselves to me?
It’s a lot like shooting pool. The amateur sinks a ball and jumps for joy. The skilled player sinks a ball and backs the cue ball up to a place where they have 2-3 other great shots.
It’s like that with the roles you select. If you nail this assignment, what will you learn and what opportunities will lay before you.
Remember successful job searches result in multiple offers. Jobs or roles within an organization are two to four year stepping-stones.
My advice, be skilled at job-search itself and generating offers, then step wisely.