Prioritizing Job Offers

by Meredith Miller on July 18, 2012

My previous NYLMA News article “Job Searching in a Challenging Market” focused on fundamentals when searching for a new job. As a follow up, this article concentrates on comparing offers from potential employers and selecting the best opportunity.

Must Haves
When evaluating job offers, it is important to assess and prioritize what aspects of future employment are most essential to you, and where you are willing to be a bit more flexible. In my most recent experience, it was very important to me that I accept a position at a firm where I saw the potential for at least three to five years of employment and future growth with the marketing team.

Sizing up the Department
I was also interested in working in a department that was well-established yet looking to expand. During the interview process at each firm, I considered the overall job potential as well as the dynamics of the marketing group.

Uncovering Privileged Information
In addition, LinkedIn can be a useful tool to see if anyone you know, whom you did not meet with during the interview process, currently works or has recently worked at a firm you are evaluating. This individual may be able to offer unique insight into the department or firm. I also tried to envision myself as a productive and contributing member of each firm in relation to the job description.

Personality Match
The job you choose has to fit you as much as you fit the job. Often people are so caught up with impressing the employer during the interview process, or concerned with the proposed salary, that they overlook their expectations for the new position. Although money is an important factor, it should be part of the overall evaluation. It is unrealistic to expect that a new position will fulfill all of your personal requirements. However, evaluating what different firms offer gives you the opportunity to choose the one that has the most potential for fulfilling your expectations.

Connecting the Dots
Success at your new job depends on several factors, including how well you mesh with the people in your department as well as your work product. Finding a marketing department that appreciates your contributions, provides you with the necessary training to expand your skills, and has an interesting work environment can provide the motivation for you to stay in that position for several years. Caring about the department for which you work will help you become invested in the success of not only your department, but the firm at large.

When you accept an offer, hopefully the time you put into evaluating your options will prove invaluable. Your employment is a substantial part of your life and it is important that you find job satisfaction.

Meredith Miller is an Assistant Manager for Business Development at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. You can reach her at mmiller@stblaw.com.

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