I may reside in the Windy City, but I am a Cleveland fan, born and bred. When I say this, most people assume I mean Cleveland sports teams, which is true, despite the misery that affiliation can bring… But deep down, I am a fan of the city of Cleveland, and I will defend it against burning river jokes until the day I die (or the day the Indians win a championship, whichever happens first).
As a Cleveland fan (or really just someone who owns a television) it has been difficult to avoid Decision 2010, also known as the LeBron James Media Circus. Will he stay or will he go? Who will he sign with? What will be the magic number? All of this talk about the King’s next move has compelled me to make a point to you, students of America, about the offer decision process.
You have worked so hard to be confronted with this challenge: multiple offers of employment with top companies in your area of focus. So what now? How do you make the right decision with professionalism and grace? My advice may not include a primetime announcement, but for those of us below the 100-million mark, here’s what works.
1) Priorities: Keep them straight. In the vast landscape of options, consider your dealbreakers. Most things come with a trade-off. If you want a tight-knit office where everyone knows you by name, then an organization of 80,000 people may not provide that environment. If you want the opportunity to work internationally, a regional firm might not be the best fit. And don’t succumb to peer pressure. Neither the President of the United States nor Dwyane Wade can know what will make YOU happiest.
2) Big Picture: Consider it. Think about your loftiest aspirations and figure out which opportunity best aligns with them. This includes all aspects of employment, from compensation to training, from engaging work to growth opportunities, from your boss to your benefits and everything in between. And carry this into the future – it might be summer now, but hurricane season hasn’t peaked yet in Miami, and there is a long cold Illinois winter looming in the distance.
3) Honesty: Maintain it. Keep an open line of communication with all parties involved. Trust me – recruiters want to address any questions that you have, down to the smallest niggling concern. We want to do everything we can to help you make the best choice and to do so without regrets. So keep us in the loop on your progress towards a conclusion.
And when you do finally make your decision – whether it’s on ESPN or it’s the Tweet heard ‘round the world – be true to yourself and bring home the success that we all know you are capable of.