It's always exciting when you have job options to choose from, even though it can be stressful to decide which position to accept.
Job seekers who are in high-demand fields and employees who have a strong track record of career success are often in the enviable position of being able to choose their next job from multiple opportunities.
What should you do? What's the best way to decide on the next step of your career path? Here are some tips.
Find the Best Fit
If you have the right skill set and experience, you can afford to be picky. You will be able to leverage your advantage to land a job that's closest to your ideal position. You’ll also be able to choose a job that is the best fit for your circumstances and career goals.
You don’t have to take the first job offer you get unless you're sure it's the perfect position for the next stage of your career.
Take your time and make sure your next job is exactly what you’re looking for
Here's how to optimize your chances of choosing the best possible job when you have the upper hand.
Stay in Job Search Mode
Keep yourself in "continuous job search mode" so you're ready for opportunities as they arise. Keep all your job search documents up to date, especially your LinkedIn profile.
Document your successes in your current job on at least a monthly basis and incorporate them into your resume. If your skills are in high demand, employers will often come after you, so be ready to respond to appealing options.
Create a Profile of Your Ideal Job and Employer
Creating a profile will help you identify attractive positions and pass on other jobs you don't think would be a good fit. Consider what type of employer would be perfect for your personality and work style.
To do this, think about the elements of your current and past jobs that you have enjoyed the most and write them down. Some questions you can ask yourself are:
- Which activities are most satisfying about your current job?
- What might you like to avoid in your next job?
- What do you want in terms of work-life balance?
- What is your ideal company culture?
- Which jobs would be most satisfying for you?
It can be helpful to make a list of your responses to review. The more information you have about what you want, the easier it will be to decide.
What Else Would You Like in a Job?
You should also consider what might be missing from your current job. For example, if you enjoy planning events, are you doing enough event planning in your current role?
Perhaps your current job offers insufficient opportunities for advancement, or your boss is too autocratic and you’d like more freedom to make decisions and plan your workflow.
The key is to ask yourself what kind of work you would love to do.
Consider Your Perfect Job
Take some online career assessments to help you to identify other values, interests, or personality traits that you might want to tap into your ideal job.
The U.S. Department of Labor has a Work Values Matcher which asks about various aspects of a job or workplace to help you find your ideal work environment.
You might also want to enlist the help of a career counselor if you are struggling to identify key aspects of your ideal career. If you have a dream company you'd love to work for, now might be the time to connect with them.
Know What You're Worth
One of the advantages of being in high demand is the opportunity to upgrade your compensation. Research the going rate for your job through salary sources online, surveys by your professional organization, and informal networking with fellow professionals. Review these tips for determining how much you’re worth.
Decide If You Want Higher Pay
If you think you should be making more, consider asking for a raise or targeting other jobs with higher compensation. Many employers will match an offer from another organization.
Pay increases should be in line with an honest assessment of your knowledge, skills, and abilities. Compare yours to others in the field you're looking into.
In some cases, a competing offer or changing jobs may be the only way to secure a substantial pay increase. Be careful that you don't issue an ultimatum to your current employer if you aren't ready to change jobs. You don’t want to lose the job you have before you’re ready to move on.
Assess the Skills Needed for Your Ideal Job
If the next job you’d love to have requires skills or knowledge that you don't fully possess, or you want to expand your current responsibilities into new areas, explore whether you can incorporate or build upon these skills in your position.
This also could be an opportunity to change positions at your current employer if you're happy working at the company.
Your employer may be more flexible than you think in modifying your job if you are a highly valued employee—they don't want to lose you.
Also, investigate classes and training opportunities to acquire the right background for your next job. Your employer might even agree to pay.
Help Recruiters Find You
When there are worker shortages, employers become more proactive in recruiting passive candidates. They will be more likely to utilize search firms to fish for candidates and mine prospects from LinkedIn.
Consider utilizing a recruiter to help you find your ideal job, but make sure that you don't let them redefine your goals to meet the supply of jobs that they are promoting. Develop a complete LinkedIn profile, keep it up to date, and your next job might find you before you find it.
Turn Down Lesser Job Offers
Don't be afraid to turn down a job offer that seems less than ideal.
If you are in high demand, other offers will come your way. You might be better off staying in your current job until you find something very appealing.
Tap Your Connections
Reach out to contacts for information, advice, and suggestions about jobs. Share your profile for an ideal job and ask them to recommend positions within their sector.
Companies sometimes pay employees a bonus for candidate referrals, and recommendations from current staff are usually given careful consideration under any circumstances.
Decide Which Job to Take
It can be harder to make a decision when you have more jobs to choose from. You may have to juggle multiple job offers, which can be stressful.
Don't accept a job offer right away. Take the time to evaluate each offer and to compare employee benefits packages carefully. It’s not all about the money; the benefits and perks you’re being offered are important, too, and some perks can be negotiated in a job offer.
Don’t rush into a decision about compensation and benefits. Take the time to consider all of your options carefully. Forget about the ones you didn’t take once your decision is made; instead, focus on the future and get ready to start your new job.