Career Advice

Feast From Famine: Managing Multiple Job Offers

For whatever reason, often times when it rains, it pours.

Job offers seem to come in bunches. Maybe it’s coincidence, maybe it’s some sort of cosmic gag. Whatever the cause, it’s an awkward situation: what do you do when you’ve got too many jobs to choose from?

The first and simplest thing to do is figure out which of the jobs you actually want more. Which is going to be best for you in the long term? Which is in the better location? Which allows you to do what it is that you really enjoy doing?

If you’re not sure about which position would be best, ask questions. Talk to the hiring manager—even see if you can talk to some of your potential co-workers. Ask about the daily working environment, what it was like for the last person in your position. Some companies may not allow much in-depth questioning, but most should—it does them no good to hire someone who doesn’t know what he or she is getting into.

Once you know which of the jobs you’re more interested, it’s time to use your leverage—in a weak economy like this one with jobs being so scarce, this is one of the few times you’ll have any sort of leverage as a job seeker. Both companies have extended offers to you: both want to hire you. Approach the hiring manager at the job you prefer and let him or her know that you’ve received a second offer.

Don’t directly play one offer against the other, and if you’re asking for higher pay or more benefits, don’t be vague. Give a range (“Ideally, I’d like a salary in the range of $X to $Y”). Don’t lie about salary or benefits packages and offers. It’s tempting to play one against the other and fudge the figures a bit, but if you’re found out, it will make you look foolish at best.

Try to remain neutral—even if you do prefer one of the companies over the other, or one of the jobs offered is better, try not to make it too obvious. Certainly don’t let one company know if you prefer the other company/job more: if a manager thinks you’re just using his or her offer to negotiate a higher salary elsewhere, he or she will pull the offer letter without much hesitation.

Don’t get cocky because you’ve received two offers. You can request a little extra time to make a decision, but don’t put it off for too long, or you may find yourself right back where you started: without any job offers on the table. Look at your options, figure out which will be best for you and for your bank account, and try to get the most out of that opportunity. – Original post by myFootpath’s Nate Abbott