Did you know that in September the unemployment rate fell to 3.7%? That’s the lowest it’s been in decades which means that if you want a job, you have one. Better yet, if you’re looking for a new one, there’s one open for you, and possibly, more than one. How do you choose the best new job opportunity?

Evaluate the “fit”

This is a tough one. Companies have personalities just like people do. Make sure to evaluate if you fit with the company and if it fits with you. A good way to do this is to take an assessment that determines the best type of environment for you to work in and that will align with your working style. You can also ask probing interview questions to ensure that you’re digging deep into the company culture prior to accepting an offer. One of my other ways to tell coaching clients to do this is to show up 15 minutes early for an interview and closely observe what happens while waiting for the interview. You can learn a lot about a company simply by observing employee behavior and attitudes.

Weigh the Long-Term Potential

When weighing which job opportunity is the best make sure to look at the long-term potential for your career and the company’s success. No one wants to take a great position and then be out in the cold in 24 months when that uber cool start-up is out of cash. On the flip side, take a good look at what the rate of promotion is within a company and if they tend to hire externally for all the higher rank positions. You want to know you have a chance to grow your career at a company as well.

Hire a Career Coach

If you’re not already working with a career coach, hire one. They’re trained in evaluating tough career transitions and this is one that they can coach you through with ease and expertise. More than a mere ear to listen, they have tried and true techniques to get you through this difficult decision-making process and help you come out on the other side with a decision that you know is the right one for you and your situation. Unlike your friends and family who have needs of their own to consider, a career coach’s only goal in the outcome is to ensure that you’re satisfied with the end result.

 

Calculate the Compensation

There’s more to compensation that merely salary, although this is arguably the largest component. Consider bonuses, retirement contribution, health benefits, paid time off, gym memberships, day care savings and other benefits. Even things as seemingly minor as mileage, gas and vehicle wear and tear from a longer commute can factor into your overall compensation package. These all add up when you’re lining up one opportunity next to the next and determining which one to accept. It might not always come down to the calculations, but they certainly need to factor into your decision.

Trust your intuition

Last but certainly not least is your gut, or intuition. After all the pros and cons, calculations and advice from family and friends, turn to your intuition. What does your gut tell you to do? Do you simply “know” which one is the right one for you? I had a client once that intellectually knew opportunity A was the right one, everyone told her so and the compensation was significantly more. Even so, opportunity B was what her gut told her was the better option. Despite the advice of family, friends and her financial advisor, she chose B and she’s glad she did. It was the right choice for her professionally and personally. You are the only one that knows what the right opportunity is, and you need to listen to yourself.