Decision Time: Moving to Offer Stage

So you have made it through the interview process and companies are checking your references. Now is the time to decide which opportunity is the best for you.

Keeping in mind that logical decisions are preferable to emotional ones, having a structure to evaluate opportunities will minimize the emotional impact. Once you have an offer in hand, there is usually a time frame attached and now the pressure is building.

First of all, you can only take one job, so collecting offers only burns bridges and potentially limits your options in the long run. Every offer you reject will leave the hiring manager with a negative last impression. You will go from the great candidate that professionally took themselves out of the running, to the candidate that turned me down. Remember, it is an emotional event for the hiring manager as well. This will become important when you are interviewing at another start up in two years and there is the same manager you previously turned down.

A common problem is thinking that some factor will make the decision for you, such as “an offer I can’t refuse”. This is a lame approach and is leaving the management of your career in someone else’s hands. It is great for the company that can buy you, but will not produce optimal return for you in the long run.

Be logical and evaluate the opportunity based upon what creates value for your career.

Create a Matrix containing: Company, Project, C0-Workers, Technology/Skills etc… Rate each one and the one with the most pluses is the logical choice.

If all the offers were the same, where would you prefer to work? If you worked for free, which company would you work for. When you can say that I want to work for company A and I will accept a reasonable offer from them, you are ready for the negotiation stage.

Deciding this before you are handed an offer will allow your negotiations to proceed more smoothly while maximizing the result.

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