Career Management

2 Techniques to Objectively Decide on a New Job

by Amy Wolfgang

Dear Coach Wolfgang:

I received an offer for a new job but there are a lot of benefits in my current job. I really get along well with my co-workers and it is closer to my house than the new opportunity. How do I choose between the two?

Thank you for the question. Congratulations on receiving a job offer! There is often a misconception when people accept a new job offer that they did not like their prior job. Many times, however, there were many positive aspects about the prior job and the new position simply offers some better opportunities.

How To Decide Which Job to Accept
Find Your Dream Career

For those of you who have ever changed jobs or companies, you know how difficult it can be to decide to leave your existing position or company. This is especially true if you enjoyed your work, your co-workers, the company culture, or even just the company’s location.

When you are deciding to take a new offer, you may be torn. Not only would you be leaving your job but also you would be leaving the intangibles behind such as the people and the environment. It’s the personal aspects – the connections and the relationships – that may be keeping you from committing to a new position. It can be hard to separate emotion from the decision-making process.

There are several components to the career decision-making process but I will highlight two below that help bring objectivity to the process.

  • This is a good time to review your career goals and how your current and new positions are moving you toward those goals. Take a moment to focus on what you are looking to accomplish in your career and which position will ultimately bring you closer to those goals.
  • Review your values list. How does your current position and the new position meet those values?

Stepping back from the situation and evaluating it from these perspectives can make the decision-making process easier.

What was the hardest thing for you to leave in your last job?  Let us know in the comments section below!

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17 Responses to “2 Techniques to Objectively Decide on a New Job”

  1. Marie

    Apr 14th, 2011 :

    That’s definitely some good advice, and deciding between two jobs is a tough decision give the impact it can have on your life and future. I was reading the Burchard & Associates Professional Pointers blog post about how to decide between two job offers. It suggested to first try to forget about the money aspect, so your decision isn’t bases solely on the one with a high salary. That way you can accurately and without bias compare the two decisions based on your career goals, as you stated. Good points.

  2. Feb 3rd, 2013 :

    I love my coworkers (mentors) at my current job. I have been open about interviewing with another organization. My director is trying very hard to arrange a promotion for me but I’m afraid it is an up hill battle and will not happen in time to keep me. I am very emotionally tied to my current job. The new job has a better title, pay and a lot more responsibilities. I have been praying for a new opportunity, here it is … Why am I so torm?

  3. Coach Wolfgang

    Feb 26th, 2013 :

    Thanks for the comment. Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone is a hard thing to do, even if the new opportunity is better. All of this is part of the natural process. You also might be scared to leave your coworkers and relationships you’ve created at work, but your friend ships can continue outside of work. If you feel this new opportunity is best for your career and health then you know what to do. Hope this helped.

    Coach Wolfgang

  4. kei_santos

    Mar 8th, 2013 :

    Hi, my current job is marketing exec For a recruitment firm been with the company for 8 mons, I have a job offer for an account executive position in an IT industry. They offered a high salary and great comish scheme compared to my current job. I signed the JO and decided to resign but didnt push through with the resignation cause my manager resigned, so Im next in line. She said I might be offered the manegerial position but not sure until our CEo will discuss with me. Im torn on what to choose the new job with high salary and better comish but its hard core sales for IT products and services while the other one is marketing manager or project manager with less salary and straigh comish quarterly, comish relies on our replacemt since its a recruitment firm. the old job is kinda near my place while the new job takes 40min-1 hr. i dont know which job to choose, the promotion or new job offer. help!

  5. Amy Wolfgang

    Mar 19th, 2013 :

    Deciding on your next position, whether at the same company or a new opportunity can be very difficult for many of the reasons you list. It’s a big decision, and I have a few thoughts for you to help in your decision-making process:
    – Ask yourself, what are your top 5 values in a job (stability, advancement, independence, location etc)? Once you have identified those values, how does each opportunity meet those values? Does one meet more of them or to a better degree?
    – What career or job do you hope to be in after this position? Or what position do you hope to have in 3-5 years? Do either of these jobs provide you with the skills and experience that will help you move to your future position more quickly?
    There are many factors in choosing your next position. I hope by answering the questions above, you have a good start toward your answer!

  6. Kayla

    Jan 14th, 2015 :

    I graduated from college a year and a half ago with a marketing degree and in May I will graduate with an MBA, unfortunately, I cannot find a position that requires anything less than three years experience in the data analysis field. I continue to reach by submitting my application regardless of the requirements but it appears as though HR is quickly scanning through the applications and quickly knocking me out due to my lack of experience. The company I currently work for has the mentality that in order to be successful employees must work their way up, which is aligned with my core values as well. I have no problem working to achieve success. Recently I received an offer with my company for an analyst position but it is still considered an entry level position. They offer only a modest raise but still consider me an hourly employee. The position is in another state but does not offer moving compensation. I’m not sure if I should accept the position because it allows me to gain the necessary experience or if I should continue to remain underemployed in my current position. I believe that my masters degree should allow me to be considered for roles more demanding than the position I am being offered. My potential coworkers have little to no education. I don’t want to sell myself short professionally. My career goals is to become an independent marketing consultant. In my spare time I have begun creating marketing analysis that include e-marketing and social media plans for local businesses in order to gain more experience. I do this work for free because my city is very poor and these mom and pop stores have great potential for growth. I intend to let this grow into an actual business, working off referrals from the customers I provided free services to.

  7. Coach Wolfgang

    Jan 16th, 2015 :

    Thank you for the comment! It seems to me you are being very thoughtful about how to strategically move your career forward. I applaud your initiative to start an entrepreneurial venture that will provide you with experience as well as meet your values.

    I completely understand how you are caught in a catch-22 situation. You want to utilize what you have learned in your schooling, but are missing the required experience to be able to get a position that allows you to use this knowledge. I have a few questions for you to consider:
    – What type of experience will you gain from the analyst position? In what ways will this position provide you with experience in the career field you seek?
    – What are the risks of taking the new position, aside from moving? What are the risks in staying with your current position?
    – What services does your MBA office provide to help you find a position following graduation?
    – What is your job search strategy aside from applying for positions online? What is your networking strategy?

    I hope, in answering these questions, you will continue to positively move forward in your search for a position that utilizes your education and experience to date! Best, Coach Wolfgang

  8. Rose

    Feb 13th, 2015 :

    I am torn between my old position and a new position. I work for an attorney as a paralegal.I write the briefs and get the cases ready for hearing. It is challenging and deadline driven work. I have been with the same attorney for eleven years. I had not received a raise for five years and was put off with promises of a review ovwe and over again.Finally I saw an opening in the same field working for a judge I write briefs against when the opinion is not in our favor. I was offered a position as his assistant. This job would be less stressful and has benefits.The money is about the same as the money my boss finally came up with (4,000.00 a year)after I gave notice. I am torn because in my position now I can come and go as I please. I have worked a few 8-5. It is a huge perk to be able to come and go. I am afraid that less responsibility and a more rigid schedule would be hard.benefits would be good at thenew position as the place i am now as none. Any advice would be much appreciated.

  9. Rose

    Feb 13th, 2015 :

    Pardon the typos in that last comment… it was talk to text.

  10. Coach Wolfgang

    Feb 19th, 2015 :

    Congratulations on your job offer, Rose! Deciding whether to remain in your current position or take a chance on a new opportunity is never easy. If you stay where you are, you may be faced with stagnation and ongoing frustration. If your recent history in that position reflects unfulfilled promises and a lack of growth, it could be unlikely that the situation there will change anytime soon.

    On the other hand, taking a new position would involve several adjustments. After eleven years in one place, you may have developed feelings of competence and comfort that could be difficult to leave behind. Some challenges you may face include:

    • Earning credibility with others as you prove yourself in a new role
    • Gaining confidence when it comes to learning new systems and procedures
    • Adjusting to a new work environment, culture, schedule, and set of expectations

    I would recommend doing a values assessment to figure out what factors are truly the most important to you, and using that information to guide your decision. Some of the factors you mentioned are flexibility (the ability to come and go as you please vs. an 8-5 schedule), responsibility (challenging work vs. less stress), and compensation (salary alone vs. salary + benefits). What other concerns would you say are the most important at this time in your career, and which opportunity seems to currently align the most closely? What about in 5 years, 10 years, and beyond?

    After doing a thorough assessment of the factors above, do a “gut check” to see what your intuition is telling you. Does the evidence point one way, but deep down you were hoping it would give you a different answer?

    Finally, keep in mind that it may be possible to negotiate flexibility in your schedule with the new offer. If losing flexibility is your main concern, it never hurts to ask!

    Hope this will help you systematically evaluate the options and make your decision with confidence!

    Best of luck,
    Coach Wolfgang

  11. Sarah

    Mar 8th, 2015 :

    Help me coach! I work in a very niche industry with very few specialists in my field, which is great for job opportunities for me! I currently work for a large global company as one of 5 in my field, and have just been told I will be promoted and will be getting direct reports – great! But there is still a long reporting chain to the top, and those top positions are not in an overseas location that I would never be willing to relocate to. There is also a chance down the road that my office will relocate anyways. I have also just been offered a new job with another global company, that is staying put in my area, but would be starting up my division all on my own, which puts me at the top. However, there are no direct reports, and the commute is significantly more stressful. The pay is exactly the same, so that is not an area of concern. I’m quite happy at my current job due to my easy commute and great coworkers, but I do get concerned about how high I can climb because of my unwillingness to relocate to those upper level positions, or potential office relocation. Do I take the chance with the stable new company (which the coworkers also seem very nice), but suffer with the commute and potentially high workload with no reports? Any help is appreciated!

  12. Coach Wolfgang

    Mar 11th, 2015 :

    Thank you for writing! I can absolutely understand the dilemma you find yourself in – I’ve been there and have had many clients in a similar position. You mentioned some factors or values that are important to you in a career: opportunities for career advancement, managing direct reports, commute, team members, balance in workload, etc. To help you with this choice, I suggest you spend some time identifying the factors and values that are most important to you in your career. Limit it to 5-10. Then place a priority on the values you selected – some will be more important than others. For each factor, list the likelihood that each opportunity meets that factor? And to what degree (strongly meets it, somewhat meets it, etc). Compare opportunity A and B against all of your factors for the likelihood they will meet the factor and to what degree. This exercise should provide some clarity for you on how each opportunity truly meets what is important to you. Let me know if you have any questions and good luck!

  13. Alison

    Mar 27th, 2015 :

    Need some help!
    I’m only 21 and have been working at the same job for 3 years – starting in an admin position and Have now completed 2 diplomas. at the moment Im not even completing what my diplomas were for – i’m still doing a lot of admin for my boss and now for new people that have come into the business who are doing just the ‘one job’ they are qualified for (and less experience than me). I’ve discussed with my boss a couple times that I want to focus on a specialty, he continues to promise me that the business is growing and changing (which it is) and that the opportunities will be here soon and that someone will be hired to replace my position – still not happened and it’s now been over 6 months. I have a lot of flexibility and love the people i work with, and i work more than anyone else – usually late at night and on weekends. I’ve now been offered another job – the base salary is the same but the commission structure not quite as good. it is however with a national company which has a great reputation and massive support behind it.I’m concerned that I will miss out on opportunities at my current job, as i’ve been there from the beginning and when it grows bigger. on top of that – i was there from the beginning when it was my boss and 2 of us. not to mention he has paid for all my courses I feel like i would be leaving him high and dry – but I want to get further in my career.

  14. Coach Wolfgang

    Apr 3rd, 2015 :

    Hi Alison,
    I can completely empathize with your position. You feel a sense of loyalty not only to your boss but to a company you have been with from the very beginning. It sounds like it has been a mutually beneficial relationship up until this point. You have provided a ton of results for the company and have excelled in a role you have outgrown. Your company has paid you to further your education.

    I commend you for having open conversations with boss about the types of growth areas you are seeking in the company. If you were to go to your boss and let him know your frustrations with the lack of replacement hire for your role and your uncertainty around your future at the firm, what would his reaction to this type of conversation be? What would you need out of this conversation with him that would tell you to turn down the other job offer? Get very clear on what messages and actions from your boss might keep you from leaving. In terms of the other company, consider both the upside and the potential risks. Do you know anyone else who has worked at this company? How does your current work culture/environment compare with this new company? What are their opportunities for growth? What will you be giving up? What will you be gaining? If you turn down this national opportunity, what is the likelihood that you will find a suitable role in your career area in the near future?

    Hopefully answering these questions will give you a solid start in working through your current career situation!

  15. mel

    Jun 8th, 2015 :

    In a toxic environment but it is my dream job. However HR and the Union have done nothing in 10 years to correct the problem and the job is now temporary and could get laid off in the fall. I got another job offer in another province but it’s on call and I may eventually win a permanent spot. No sure if I’m making the right decision. I can’t get leave from my current job to try out this new one.

  16. Chelsea Jade

    Jun 9th, 2015 :

    Hi everyone :)
    Some great comments on here, however I am needing a little help myself.
    I currently work at a solicitors and have been there 6-7 months, I do enjoy it, the people are great and there’s a good chance of me getting a training contract.
    However I have just been offered a position which is closer to my home, the firm is huge and has a great reputation, they offer 4 training contracts a year which mean there’s a good chance of me getting one (my current job only offer 1-2 a year)
    I’m torn and have no idea what to do
    The pay is pretty much the same, iv weighed up the pros and cons but they seem to be equal :(
    I need help :(
    My main concern is the training contract, this is what I need to qualify but either job has not confirmed for definite I will get one
    So I’m stuck :(
    And ideas as to what to do?
    Thank you xx

  17. Coach Wolfgang

    Jun 11th, 2015 :

    I would start by asking, have you identified your core values in life? After identifying them, how do you define each? Now that you have identified and define those values, how does each position align with those values? This exercise may give you insight into how the organization and position aligns with what is most important in your life. I hope this approach is helpful!

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