5 Questions You Must Ask Yourself When Choosing Between Graduate Job Offers

Having a couple of graduate job offers on the table isn’t a bad position to be in. After all of your hard work applying and interviewing for roles, sometimes you’ll receive more than one offer and now you have an important decision to make. While both roles may sound great, it’s difficult to know exactly what it will be like to work for a company before you start.

If you’re spoilt for choice, you should ask yourself these five questions.

1. What are you driven by?

When you’re considering your options, it’s important to get your priorities in order and figure out what you want most from your graduate role. A few common driving factors are:

  • Money (salary and bonuses)
  • Location
  • Training
  • Progression opportunities
  • Brand and company
  • Company benefits and culture
  • Building relationships

Have a think about which of these is the most important for you in your graduate job and bear them in mind when weighing up your options.

2. Are you sure about what you want?

When deciding what your priorities are, you should also think about these warnings.

Money: If a job has a particularly high salary or commission structure then it is likely to be very challenging. It’s likely to take a lot of grit and determination in order to make a success of it. Also, ensure that you are going to enjoy what the role entails as there is no point earning a high salary if you’re miserable every day.

Location: When thinking about location, don’t be blinded by an image or interpretation. For example, London may seem like a glamorous option but the cost of living there is high. You should consider your commute time, if you have friends/family in the area, the cost of living and commuting to work and the social scene. If you do your research and think things through, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision.

Brand: Sometimes we’re drawn to a company because they are a big-name brand. However, just because they are a large and well-known brand doesn’t mean they will be the best place for you to build your career. Conducting research into what it’s like to work for them will give you a better idea of whether they are suited to you.

Career progression should always be something you keep in mind and each role you take should contribute to your progression. If the role you are considering doesn’t help you to develop your skills or indicate that you can progress, it may not be the right option for you.

3. Will you fit in?

Good hiring managers look for people who will be a good cultural fit for their team. That means that they can imagine you working well with the personalities and skills they already have. Indeed, the people you work with can have a big impact on your results and happiness at work.

Where possible, you should try to get a tour of the office and speak to as many people as you can. You can also ask what the team is like during your interview. If you have a good idea of the working atmosphere and the people you will be working with you’ll be able to figure out how well you will fit in.

4. What can you achieve in your first 6 months?

Do you know what you will be doing for the first few months? Do you know what training and support you will receive? Will you have an experienced mentor to work with? These are questions that you should be finding answers to during the interview process. If you know exactly what you’ll be doing you will be able to better compare the opportunities you have been offered.

5. What other perks are on offer?

If you’ve gone through all of the above and are still struggling to make a decision, then consider the company perks on offer. Things like a company car, good pension scheme, incentives, gym membership, flexible working and holiday allowance could make a difference. 

Bringing it all together

Making the right decision about what graduate job offer is best for you could have a big impact on your future career. We always recommend that graduates prioritise training, mentoring and progression opportunities when in the early stages of their careers. This will ensure that you lay strong foundations to develop your skills and expertise which will be valuable throughout your career.

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