How to choose? Weighing job offers…

Image: jscreationzs /

I’m at the point in my job search, after follow-ups, where I am fortunate enough to have different offers to consider.  But it’s proving to be much harder than I’d thought to choose!  I’m so grateful to have options, but this is a huge step in my post-military career.  How do we make the right choices, especially when aspects of the jobs are so varying… location, cost of living, salary, work culture/environment, job description?

I had dinner with a good friend the other day, and she gave me some sage advice.  A few years ago, she was at a similar point in her life, weighing job offers and trying to figure out what to do with her life.  She said she sat down, and made two lists.

The first, “What are the reasons I would take a job that paid $30,000 a year?”

The second, “What are the reasons I wouldn’t take a job that paid $300,000?”

The answers to these questions will give you insight into what you’re looking for in a job. The first question will yield answers like great work-life balance, passion for the job, and positive culture/environment.  The second will tell you what isn’t good for you in a career, like no free time from work, compromising your integrity, and more.

By knowing what you’d be willing to do for little pay, and what you wouldn’t do even for a huge salary, you’ll have an idea of what your non-negotiables are.

As I consider the options, I’m making a mental list of my non-negotiables.  I want a job, not a career.  I want to develop and grow in a position.  I want to be busy, thinking, creating, contributing… and that is what I am searching for as I make this leap.


Giveaway for GMAT/GRE Study Prep! @magoosh

I was thrilled to hear from a reader of this blog who registered for the GRE after reading my article on taking the exam with DANTES funding!  But I am even MORE thrilled to host a sponsored giveaway of a FREE premium subscription to study for your exam at!

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THANK YOU to Magoosh for supporting our nation’s veterans!

This Week’s Reads

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
– Groucho Marx

5 Tips to Keep in Mind When You Quit Your Job – The Grindstone

Spice Up Your Job, Pick Up a Book! – Ms. Career Girl

5 Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before a Job Interview – The Grindstone

Eight Surprisingly Lucrative Jobs – DivineCaroline

You’re Not Stuck. Unless You Are – Life Without Pants

6 Habits of Smart Job Hunters You Should Adopt – The Grindstone

Should you ever take a job you hate? – Ms. Career Girl

6 Things Recruiters Pay Attention to When They Look at Your Resume for 6 Seconds – The Grindstone

Don’t rule yourself out.

Image: jscreationzs /

One of the biggest pieces of advice I have for those making a career transition?  Don’t rule anything out until you have a job offer.  What do I mean?

Say you’re interviewing for a few different jobs, and based on things like salary, location, or position, you’ve decided you like one more than the others.  You focus all of your energy on that interview, and spend little time preparing for the others.

Can you see why that’s the wrong way of thinking?  Look, salary, location, and position are three VERY important things to consider in a job, especially when you’re thinking of uprooting your family or considering your happiness and financial well-being.  But those are important things to consider when weighing job offers.  An interview isn’t an offer, so when you don’t prepare well enough for positions you may be less interested in, you’re not presenting your ‘best self’ to that potential employer.  In this economy, you can’t afford to appear disinterested when hundreds of people are competing for that same position.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, right?  Go into every interview like it is your #1 choice.  Even if there are some things about it that are less desirable, you’re looking to be employed.  By focusing on every interview, you increase the likelihood of multiple job offers… and THAT is when you get to really scrutinize and choose what you want.