Today we are going to try something a little bit different. As I don’t have all of the answers and to get a wide variety of perspectives on here, we are going to start having occasional guests blog posts! These post will be about a variety of topics that relate to STEM students end early career professionals. The timing of this post couldn’t be better as this is when Dani was going through the full time job search her senior year. Please enjoy the following guest blog post by Siddhi Shah.
Note: Opinions expressed by STEM Changemaker contributors are their own.
Congrats! You’ve been offered a job. You must feel mightily relived.
However, I do know landing multiple job offers—common in today’s market—brings both exhilaration and anxiety.
So here comes the hard part—which one should you choose?
Well—the good news is—I’m here to make things a bit easier. I’ve come up with 3 crucial questions for you to answer so you can make the best possible decision.
- Which job will make you feel good TODAY?
- Which job will set you up for success in the FUTURE?
- Which job offers you the best financial benefits?
Let’s dive right in!
1. Which job will make you feel good TODAY?
To answer this question, you should explore 4 main aspects of each job offer—the company, the boss, the team you’ll be working with, and your role.
- The company – Always consider each company’s culture and core values. Do they line up with how you like to work? Are they aligned with your core values?
A company with strong values will ensure their stated values echo through every aspect of the business. If a company boasts a collaborative work environment—but you prefer to work independently—perhaps it’s not the best fit.
- The manager – a manager can make or break your whole working experience. A good manager will want you to succeed not just in the role you have, but in the roles you may one day be well-suited for.
Think about the following: during the interview process, did the hiring manager discuss what onboarding would look like, be clear about what their expectations are for the first 6 months, or mention how often you’d meet with to them?
If not, consider this a red flag. Use this type of information as a data point to help you decide which role to take.
- The team – it’s essential for you to decide whether you liked the people you met with during the interview process.
If you didn’t meet anyone except the hiring manager, request an informal interview with a team member and ask questions about how the team gets work done, what their day to day working hours are like, and even if they hang out outside of work.
We spend the majority of our days at work—make sure you are surrounded by people you like!
- Your role – your day to day responsibilities should play to your strengths and interests. If you are the type of person who likes to juggle multiple assignments at once, make sure the role allows you to work on a variety of different projects. But, if the role is requires you to master only a single task, perhaps its not the best fit.
Top tip: A good way to answer some of these questions is by networking with someone who already works at the company. Consider reaching out to them!
2. Which job will set you up for success in the FUTURE?
I know what you’re thinking: I’m just about to land my first job, how can I even think about a hypothetical future role 2 to 3 years from now?!
Well—it’s essential you know what your overall goal is because it will help you make the best decision.
For example, if you’ve been offered an entry level manufacturing job—and eventually you want to be a manager—you may want to choose the role that gives you more opportunities to present your work, manage an intern, or even give you exposure to other managers across the organization.
A good way to assess this is to see if the company offers formal career development processes, internal training programs, or networking opportunities.
Also think about the size of each company. A smaller company may give you valuable experience and new skills from working on higher-level projects that would otherwise be reserved for more senior staff at a bigger company.
Top tip: Don’t wait until tomorrow to think about your future. Do it now!
3. Which job offers you the best financial benefits?
When comparing job offers, make sure you look beyond just the base salary to bonus potential, medical/dental/vision benefits, paid time off, and sick leave. Looking beyond the base salary will given you a more complete picture of how much you will be making in the course of a year.
For STEM graduates, it’s easy to put together a spreadsheet to compare all the numbers. However, these numbers will be meaningless unless you decide which of them are most important to you.
For example, one job might pay a little less, but is within walking distance of your home (saving you time, fuel, and car costs). Another might have a higher base salary but demands an hour-long commute each day.
What’s will end up suiting you best? What aspects are you most willing to sacrifice?
When you’re sorting through all your options, don’t be afraid to eliminate choices that just don’t feel right. You’re the one with the options—take advantage and be an advocate for yourself!
AND—once you’ve landed that job—make sure you nail the onboarding.
Download your FREE Own Your Onboarding guide.
About the Author:
Siddhi Shah is a Strategist, Marketer and Author with more than 20 years of experience in the Life Science, Pharma/Biotech, and Consulting industries. Currently, Siddhi is the Director of Strategy and Analytics at MilliporeSigma, a business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. She has also held strategy and marketing roles at Repligen, Boston Scientific, and Sanofi Pasteur after starting her professional career at Fletcher Spaght—a boutique consulting firm based in Boston. Siddhi holds a Bachelor of Science from MIT, a Master of Engineering from UPenn, and an MBA from Simmons School of Management.
Knowing she only could have achieved this with the help of amazing mentors, Siddhi now enjoys coaching the next generation of STEM graduates as they transition into the workforce. In 2021, Siddhi published her first book: The Career Lab Formula: 8 Easy Steps to get you from college to a career in STEM.
Click here to learn more.
Follow her on Instagram @thecareerlabformula.