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I have two job offers on the table and can’t decide which one to accept. Both offers are good, but they are very different from each other. Without providing you details about either offer, can you tell me what you think are the most important factors I should be considering in making my decision? Some of my friends tell me it's salary and benefits, while other say its job security and flexibility. What do you think?

Kelly in Texas

The Expert Answer

Dear Kelly: Congratulations on facing an enviable dilemma! Your friends are right that salary, benefits, job security and flexibility are all important factors when deciding between multiple job offers. However, I don’t think any of these are the most important factor. In my experience the single most important factor in choosing a job is finding the right fit.

The fit between you and the job, or you and the overall organization, will have a greater impact on your success and sanity than any of the factors that you can easily quantify. With that said, how can a person determine the right fit? I’d suggest one of two approaches.

Approach #1:

For some women determining the right fit comes from a gut feeling. It’s not about weighing pros and cons or comparing benefits packages. It’s about listening to your instinct telling you which job is right for you. If you’re the type of person who has a good track record in trusting your intuition, then go for it! If you’re not comfortable being a gut-feeling kind of girl, then try Approach #2.

Approach #2:

Evaluate how each job makes the most of your interests and your abilities. In my experience, your greatest job satisfaction and career advancement happens when you find a job at the intersection between your interests and your abilities (as shown in the green area below).

Abilities and Interests Diagram

I do believe that it’s important to have the abilities needed to excel in a job, but your abilities alone should not dictate your career path. Just because you are able to do a job, does not mean you will enjoy doing the job. Your interests are what bring passion to your work, so I strongly recommend that you choose the job that maximizes the overlap between your interests and your abilities.

In the end only you can decide which job offer is right for you, but I hope one of these two approaches helps you in your decision-making process. Best of luck!

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