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I've received two job offers and am struggling to decide between the two of them. One is a big brand, with the potential to hone my hard skills, while the other is a smaller brand with the potential to develop my softer skills. I'd like to know the advantages and disadvantages of each in terms of career progression and advice on how to make a decision.

The first is with a big brand, within the commercial arm of a leading, well known charitable organisation.

  • I feel that for future career prospects, this job would seem more impressive on my CV and potentially help open further doors for me down the line.

  • I also feel the role would give me the opportunity to further hone my technical, hard skills and I'd be working with a team of people who have a lot of experience and knowledge in this skill set to learn from.

  • However, having worked in a very large organisation, I know that the role would be more restricted in terms of what I can do as I'd be working to established processes and within established ways of working. I feel I'd have less autonomy and would be more of a cog in a very well-oiled machine, as I am in my current role where I've definitely struggled with too much rigidity around sticking to process.

The second is with a smaller organisation and less well-known brand and is much more strategic across the whole organisation rather than just one area of it. Already from my conversations with my potential line manager, I feel much more valued and they seem a lot more excited about me joining the team.

  • This job is more money and is a permanent contract.

  • The opportunities here lie more around strategic implementation and leading on this particular area within an organisation.

  • I would also have more autonomy within this role and opportunities to implement my own processes, ways of working etc.

  • I think I would enjoy working here more but want to think more strategically about long-term prospects and having an impressive resume.

My question boils down to: How can I make a decision on which job to take?

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    How is it different from this one? – Sourav Ghosh Sep 30 '20 at 12:56
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    This question is on topic. I'm not asking which I should choose, simply HOW to decide between the two, which is recommended as an appropriate question type in the FAQs for this site. – fortunia88 Sep 30 '20 at 12:59
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    @SouravGhosh It's quite different from the question you linked. – Cloud Sep 30 '20 at 13:03
  • @Cloud Can you please help me understand how? – Sourav Ghosh Sep 30 '20 at 13:05
  • @fortunia88 Well, the last line is definitely on-topic, but I don't know what options will be preferable for you. I (or any random stranger in internet) will not be responsible for the good or bad outcome of the decisions you make. Sure, there's a "usual" thing, but that's also subjective. My two cents: Make a list of pros and cons, then map each of them against your wish-list and go with the one which matches most of the later. – Sourav Ghosh Sep 30 '20 at 13:09
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How can I make a decision on which job to take?

You decide what is most important - to you, in your career, in this particular stage of your career progression.

You have properly laid out a number of attributes that help frame a job choice:

  • Potential to hone hard skills
  • Potential to refine soft skills
  • Impressive company name
  • Work with experienced, knowledgeable people
  • Amount of job autonomy
  • Feeling valued
  • More money
  • Permanent versus temporary contract
  • Ability to lead
  • Enjoyment

There may also be other factors (like commute, for example) that you may wish to consider.

Now you need to decide the importance/weight of each factor as it fits within your life and goals, then decide which offer presents the best opportunity to take advantage of those things that matter most to you.

A tough decision. One that we all have to make at times. One that nobody by you is in a position to make.

In my career, I usually chose the smaller, startup companies. They more fit the criteria that were important to me at the time and it worked out very well over my career. But I'm not you. And I almost certainly placed different weights on the job factors than you will. You need to figure this one out.

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