Say after all the hard work put in and months of research, you finally land up with multiple job offers at the companies you wanted to be at, but are confused on which one to choose. Here is a list of factors to be considered to make your choice easy -
1. Job Role — Compare the kind of roles you’re being offered at multiple companies. What have you been doing currently and what are you being asked to do at your new workplace? Is there a sync? Does that add any value to your career? Do you see growth along with the role? A job role consists of a multiple functions which are required to achieve the end objective. But it is not necessary that you like all functions involved in it. Check how many of them in your roles are of highest interest to you..
Answer to these questions would definitely make things clearer.
2. Salary — “Money is not everything, but you need money for everything”.
Compare the fixed and variable components being offered, the kind of bonuses being offered (joining bonus, retention bonus, relocation expenses, etc).
3. Growth prospects — Say you are currently being offered a junior executive position in any department, it is very important to understand from the hiring managers about your prospective growth curve in the next few years with an assumption of an average performance.
The underlying reason being if you get to know that the manager whom you are going to report to, has himself been there at his position from 4–5 years, you don’t have a position to be promoted to. Growth might be limited in such a scenario. Time to reconsider your options then!
4. Individual contribution — What are your chances of contributing individually to the direct growth of the company? How is the culture and decision making process? Now the question is how do you figure this out, without even joining the company. There are companies like Glassdoor and Quora which give you insights and reviews within a company and answered by the employees of the same company. A little bit of research and now you do have a deeper insight, don’t you?
5. ESOPs — Are you being offered any Esops? A lot of startups and mid sized companies have a great way of attracting talent by offering Esops. Don’t get overwhelmed by just the number of stocks being offered but also understand the vesting clauses and the distribution patterns. Understand all the smallest of hidden conditions you can think of eg. You have X no. of stocks being vested over a period of 20 months and the company fires you in the 19th month, what next? Sounds weird, but it’s good to confirm beforehand.
6. Culture — You don’t want to wake up every morning and feel, ‘Damn it! Have to go to work again’, do you? It is very important to understand the culture of the organization before stepping in. May be it is because of the strict policies that you just can’t withstand. It is once again recommended to visit sites like Glassdoor — Working at LinkedIn OR simply Google ‘work culture at <company name>’ and read a few links that come up on the first page.
7. Flexibility — Does your job offer flexible work timings? If you are a back-end developer and have to code, timing shouldn't matter for you, right? Doesn't work that way at all the companies. Figure out if flexible timings are permitted, how flexible are policies in terms of leaves and work from home benefits.
8. Additional perks — Perks like free lunch, travel allowances, team outings once a month are some of the great attractions for employees to rejuvenate.
9. Number of days/hours working — Should this be a factor for consideration, really? Yes, can definitely be if you’re involved in certain volunteering activities and also freelance your way along, 6 day work week might muddle your schedule. Do evaluate this as a parameter comparing other options as well.
10. Location (travel time)- How much time would you be spending every day in commuting? If the distances vary greatly among the options, you might also want to calculate the cost of travel involved (fuel, public transport cost, etc.) depending on the mode of travel chosen.
Now certain other factors which might be more relevant to individuals looking to join startups -
11. Job Security — This is a great concern for people joining startups or early stage companies. Well job security comes along with various parameters to consider -
a) How is the company doing financially?
b) Funding level — At what level of funding does it stand? Considering that for startups, companies who have at least raised Series A are considered more stable than companies who are still at the seed level. However, there definitely are companies as exceptions which are only bootstrapped and still are minting money. A good research will give you a fair idea.
12. Team Size — An important factor to consider for individuals looking to join a startup. The team size helps you drive 2 conclusions -
a) Bigger the size of the team, more is the stability of the company.
b) Joining a small team when it is <10 employees might be a gamble however, do consider the immense learning involved with the role that comes along.
13. Product Stage — Check the life cycle of the product to see where it fits, whether it is in the infant stage, growth or maturity stage. Check the existing competition in the market and compare the USPs to see the growth prospects. Do a thorough SWOT analysis.
14. Organization structure — Startups believe in holacracy more when compared to a bureaucratic or a functional organizational structure. However, some individuals do like to be micromanaged so choose your options wisely.
15. Number of existing clients — When joining a smaller company, it is very important to understand the number of existing clients the company has. More the number of clients, more the chances of growth and stability.
16. Ticket Size — This is an important component which can’t be overlooked. While comparing the number of existing clients, it is very important to understand the ticket size (cost per transaction) as well eg. Company A can have 10000 customers as individuals with ticket size as low as $1 whereas company B can have only 20 customers with a minimum ticket size of $5000. One can never consider a company A better than B by only looking at the total number of clients.
Note: The priorities of these factors will definitely vary from person to person however the list presents a bouquet of options to choose and consider from.
This process, although time consuming, can help offset biases and inconsistencies that too often creep into the job selection process. It is advisable to form a chart or a MS Excel sheet with these factors for an easy comparative analysis side by side.
Wish you all the best in your selection!
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