I often see job seekers grapple with the decision of taking the first job offered or rolling the dice to see if there is a better one out there. At the heart of the issue lies the question; is the first job offer going to be the best? The quick and simple question is: it depends.
In order for each and every individual to assess which is the best job, they have to first establish what best looks like independent of any job being considered. Early in the job search I’ll advise job seekers to think about the various things important to them in any job. The more specific they can be the better. I suggest they create a list of “must haves, nice to haves, and deal breakers” The list should address things beyond salary and benefits. It should include qualitative items as well that define preferred cultures and leadership style, along with other things they value in a job. I ask them to write it all down, fold the piece of paper and hand it to me for safe keeping. So when that first job offer comes along and the question arises, ” should I take the first thing or wait?”, we revisit the list and use it as an objective means to assess if the first job is the best job. If the job offer in hand does not measure up, they can decline without hesitation or regret and move forward in their search with confidence.
As job searches extend beyond what job seekers hope and plan for their ability to objectively evaluate a good job becomes more and more clouded. This simple yet important strategy helps job seekers assess if the first job that comes along is the best job, for them.