The best way to answer this question is to describe two scenarios. Through this I think you’ll find that accepting the job offer with the higher pay and better benefits is not always the right choice. The quality of teammates, the originality of product, and the sincerity of vision can matter much more.
Scenario #1: Receiving job offers with similar compensation packages
If you receive two job offers that have relatively the same benefits and compensation packages, I recommend choosing the offer from the company that has people you connected best with during your interviews. Working with people you like is very important.
Of course, this is a very simple approach to choosing one job offer over another. You can also consider how flexible the company’s work policy is.
For instance, does the company with the people you connected best with require you to work from an office? Does the other company allow you to work from anywhere or, at least, work from home when you want to?
In a situation like this, consider your current desires in life. Is traveling whenever you want more important to you? Or is working in a close-knit company with good people more important to you?
Scenario #2: Receiving job offers with different compensation packages
When you receive job offers with different benefits and compensation packages things get a little more tricky. I think the best way to help you navigate this situation is to tell you about one of my experiences that relates to it.
I once made the mistake of accepting an offer from a company that could pay me a lot more than another company could that made me an offer.
The company that could pay me more seemed to have a weak team culture, unoriginal products, and a weak vision. Also, the founders of the company were distant and not involved with team members outside the C suite.
As for the company that couldn’t pay me as much, I loved the people, loved the product, and loved the vision of the company. The founder was also involved with the growth of the company and seemed to treat everyone on the team like a friend.
Aside from the steep difference in compensation, each company would let me work remotely, which was important to me at the time. However, I accepted the offer from the not-so-cool company that could pay me more.
I’m glad I made this mistake because now I know that more money does not make me more happy. I believe I would have been happier at the other company.
Also, it’s important to note that the difference in compensation was significant but I would be able to live a good life with the money I would make at the cooler company. (They could pay me around $85,000 per year.)