If you are one of the fortunate few to begin benefitting from the slow-going jobs recovery you are in an enviable position. Furthermore, if the offers number more than one you truly are in an exceptional position and can count your lucky stars for your luck, diligence, experience and brilliance. In a recent New York Times editorial, Thomas Friedman opines about the factors necessary to get a job at Google. Casting aside the importance of GPA and test scores, Mr. Friedman’s piece cites leadership, humility, collaboration, adaptability and a love of learning or relearning as critical metrics to assess success. These same attributes likely are the factors that can help you evaluate multiple job offers.
Here is how it might work. First, employing your skills at Excel, create a spreadsheet that gives you a quick assessment table to compare and contrast the offers. On one axis, list the offers that you have received whether it be one or many. On the other axis, list the factors of leadership, humility, collaboration, adaptability and a love of learning. You might want to also include other elements that are important to you in a job such as ethical behavior, salary, perks, health care coverage, 401K, free lunch, Friday beer bashes, free donuts in the morning, etc. You get the idea. Assign a point system to each of the cells and rank them based on fit and preference. Once you have assembled your spreadsheet, evaluate each job offer based on the total points and see how each stacks up.
For the first five factors I mentioned above, let me elaborate on what to consider and to pose questions you should ask of yourself..
Leadership. Does the new position give you the latitude to both lead and learn new leadership skills? Is the company itself a leader? Have the people with whom you interviewed demonstrated leadership to you. Is your potential boss a leader and have you seen evidence of such skill? You may want to scour the Internet, including Google to look for signs and validation.
Humility. Does your moral compass resonate with that of the potential employer? Does the company seem to have the intellectual fabric to both learn from you and teach you new tricks? Do you believe you are open to be accepting of new ideas and the means of accomplishing what you are being hired to do? Do you have an ego that can be left at the door in the morning? At the same time, have those with whom you interviewed struck you as being open and accepting? Have they demonstrated an equal measure of humility and ownership?
Collaboration. Do you have the courage and mentality to team play? Are you able to join forces with others in pooling your intellectual talents and creative ideas based on your experience. Has the company and those with whom you interviewed demonstrated mutual commitment to both cooperative and collaborate through their word and/or actions in the marketplace? Do you get a sense of team from your interview experience and from what others outside the organization say or write?
Adaptability. Does the company demonstrate operational flexibility? Do they conduct their business with flexibility in both ideology and action? What do their customers say about them both privately and publicly? What is the company’s track record in the industry. Has its record over the years demonstrated its ability to adapt to change. There are many examples of firms able to adapt such as IBM, 3M, P&G and Google. There is also an equal number of firms who have not.
Learning. How is your learning curve and thirst for new knowledge? Do you sense that the role to which you have been offered includes a road map of learning at the firm? Does the culture encourage expanding the employee knowledge and skills? Does the company have a training department? Does the company sponsor post college education? Does it boast a high number of degreed employees and does it have ongoing relationships with academic institutions?
While these are not the only metrics to evaluate job offers, they do represent an important basis to compare and contrast the characteristics that will lead to a good decision and selection. As you evaluate the offers based on the criteria, consider also your passions, interests and abilities. Assess each position based on the characteristics spelled out in the spreadsheet. Rate each one and when you have completed the exercise, tally the results. In the outcome is your answer.