[12.23.08]
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Job Offer: How To Evaluate

This post includes advice and a free tool to help you compare job offers. 

finding a job, job search, be strategic, strategy, mouse pad

We all have ways (our own “end-arounds”) that allow us to work through the job search process.  I used analogies to support my positive psychology during the ups and downs.

I also built a simple Excel workbook that allowed me to quickly and easily compare job offers – especially the qualitative and quantitative aspects of comparing job offers.

Of course, by the time the offer arrives, shouldn’t you know enough to be plenty ready to evaluate it?
Well, in my view, the process can leave you less than ready when the offer hits your in box.

Here’s some examples of how it’s hard to compare job offers:

  1. Many people have not set clear objectives.  They don’t have specific job objectives (categories like title, industry, geography) or offer objectives (characteristics like base salary, bonus, vacation). While it is good to interview for a number of jobs, at some point you need to be ready to respond to the company with a “yes”, a counter-offer or a “no thanks”.
  2. After weeks of interviews, phone calls and reference/background checks, you finally get an offer. Great!  Then you read on to see the following words:  This offer expires in 24 hours. Of course most companies don’t mean that exactly.  But, if you are not prepared, that could feel like a bit of pressure, right?
  3. You may interview for multiple jobs at once (hopefully!).  If all goes well, the clouds will open up and the glow of multiple offers will warm your face.  A blessing to be sure.  But can you effectively negotiate multiple offers without a system?

So, as I did with the Watchlyst™ (sharing job leads) here is a simple download that can help you when comparing job offers.

Introducing SidebySide, a methodology to compare job offers that helps you stay objective. Again, this is a simple Excel workbook.  It is a free download here in this post.  It is available on the career downloads page.  How does it work?  It comes in two pieces or two worksheets within the workbook (if new to workbooks, you’ll find tabs for each worksheet at the bottom of the page).

Job Quality

The first worksheet is called Job Quality and its objective is to compare the characteristics of the job with the objectives you set early on (your overall job search strategy).  This sounds terribly simple but sometimes the back and forth romance of an interview process can get you close to offers for jobs that you don’t really want.  This page is designed to remind of what you said you wanted when you were thinking clear and smart.
The Job Quality worksheet looks like this:
compare job offers, evaluation, quality, objectives, negotiation, review

Job Numbers

The second worksheet is called Job Numbers.  As you might expect, here’s where you compare the financial aspects of the offer.  I’ve tried to “dollarize” the key annual terms as well as other one-time or future reward opportunities.  Again, you might say that that this is too much for me.  Either my base will go up or it won’t, right?  Well, in my view, there are so many negotiable terms in a job offer that you want to be fully aware as to the impact of each.  For example, what’s a week’s worth of vacation worth?  It’s not just a piece of mind or relaxation question.  Job Numbers worksheet includes an input area as well as a number of cells that calculate results.  In the end, are you going to be better off financially in this new job or are you taking a hit?  If so, which aspect of the offer is driving the difference.
The Job Numbers worksheet looks like this:
compare job offers, financials, review, evaluation, money, dollars, cash, negotiate

Smarter and More Organized

So, with SidebySide, I hope you’ll feel a bit smarter and a bit more organized as you head out of interviews and into the world of offer negotiation.  It could also be a great document to share with a significant other – keep them in the loop and allow their opinion to matter!
Oh, and I just added a third worksheet called pros and cons – you can see that one here:
compare job offers, pros and cons, evaluation, review, positives, negatives, negotiation
Ready to give it a try?  As always, your feedback (and suggestions for improvement) are always appreciated.
Download SidebySide today on my career downloads page. It’s free.


Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Career Advice

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