I hope everyone had an enjoyable last day of classes! Only two short weeks stand in your way before winter break- you may already be picturing yourself curled up by the fire with a mug of hot cocoa. Hang in there!
As we wrap up the semester, seniors searching for full-time employment, and juniors hunting for internships, may find themselves faced with deciding between multiple job offers or deciding whether one specific offer is right for them. So how should students go about making this life altering decision? I’ve collected a few important factors below to help guide you in your decision making process.
- The People: These are the faces you’ll be seeing for a minimum of eight hours a day everyday- make sure they are people you can imagine yourself learning from and having fun with! Though your prior interaction with them may have been short (maybe only an interview or two), you can tell a lot about the people by the way they treated you. Were they kind? Did they treat you respectfully? Did they ask you thoughtful questions throughout the interview process?
- The Culture: The environment will vary a lot depending on the type of company you are working for. Whether it’s a large corporation, a start-up, an agency, or a non-profit, it is important that you choose a place you can see yourself excelling. If you like a fast-paced environment where you may need to get a little scrappy, maybe a start-up is a better choice for you than a large corporation.
- The Position: Make sure to consider your role within the company- is this position something that interests and excites you? In order to continue your professional development you want to make sure you will be challenged within your role and will be tackling new problems. Think about if taking this position aligns with your long-term career goals and whether this position will teach you transferable skills.
- The Location: The physical office location is another important factor to consider, as it will determine where you live and how far you need to commute. If having a short commute is important to you, you’ll need to consider whether you have the means to live nearby. If inexpensive housing is a must, are there cheap housing options nearby or will this require you to endure a long commute everyday? Is the office located close to public transportation? Is there free parking nearby?
- The Money and Benefits: Though the money may be tempting, there are many other important aspects of selecting a job that is best for you. Consider the salary that you absolutely need in order to maintain your standards of living, and if the offer hits that number look beyond the salary to the package as a whole. Is the company generous with their paid time off policy? Do they allot you a certain percent of time to pursue individual projects or volunteer? Consider whether this job will give you the flexibility and freedom that would make you most happy.
- The little voice inside your head: Choosing the right job is a very personal decision and no matter how many friends or family members you ask for advice, you ultimately need to listen to your gut. Dig deep for what is the best choice for you given your situation. Identify your goals, whatever they may be, prioritize what is most important to you, and take a leap of faith.
In the end, there is no one right choice, but considering these six factors may help you as you make your decision. If you have an interesting story about how you selected your job or internship, or have an additional factor that should be considered when making this choice, please post in the comments below. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!