So you’ve landed multiple job offers. Congrats! You are now in a great position to determine your professional future—but the choice can definitely feel overwhelming.
Although you may be tempted to flip a coin on this one, we don’t recommend it. To make a decision that’s right for you and your career, evaluate each option in terms of these six key factors:
There are many possible compensation structures for sales jobs: straight salary, salary plus commission, commission only, draw against commission, revenue-based compensation, and several others. Take the time to review every compensation plan in detail before making your decision.
Each compensation plan has advantages and disadvantages. The key is to figure out what compensation plan will enable you to thrive. Some sales representatives appreciate the security of a base salary, while others are driven by higher commission rates. Be honest about your personality and run some hypothetical numbers.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How important is it for me to have the security of a base salary?
- Does the possibility of a high commission motivate me in a positive way?
- Based on previous sales experiences, am I reasonably confident that I will be able to make quota?
- What would I like to earn, and is my target possible with this compensation plan?
- If I fall short of this goal, how will this impact my financial status?
- Can I cope with the highly competitive environment that is oftentimes associated with a commission-based sales plan?
Every company has a unique culture, and that culture will impact virtually every aspect of your work experiences. Think back to your interview experiences and everything else you know about the company. Researching the organization on Glassdoor can provide additional information.
Cultural fit oftentimes comes down to gut feel, but you can still approach the issue systematically. To decide which company is the best cultural fit, consider:
- What do I most value in a company culture, and which company best exemplifies these values?
- Am I seeing any red flags in terms of cultural fit?
- How would I describe the people I met at each company, and where can I best envision myself fitting in?
- Are there any special culture-building activities at these companies (like recreational activities), and what most appeals to me?
3. Prospective Managers
Perhaps more than any other factor, the manager you’ll be working under will shape your experiences. A great manager can motivate you, help you through tumultuous sales experiences, and provide mentorship that helps shape your entire career—not just this one job.
It isn’t necessary for you to become chummy with your manager. But you do need to feel like the manager can provide the kind of support you need to grow and succeed.
To make this judgment, consider your own experiences with the manager as well as testimonials from other sales representatives. While most employees will be positive about their manager in conversations with you, by paying close attention you can usually discern whether that praise is genuine.
Evaluate your prospective managers in terms of the following points:
- What kind of management style enables me to do my best work?
- How would I describe each manager’s style, and how well does that line up with my preferences?
- Did the manager discuss opportunities for career growth with me during the hiring process and do they generally seem invested in my long-term development?
- What skills do I hope to develop in my next position, and can this manager help me with them?
- Can I envision myself being comfortable going to this manager with sales problems? Do I feel confident that this manager would be able to provide sound advice when necessary?
Founders make their influence felt in the workplace, especially at early-stage startups. Plus, the company’s ultimate success or failure largely lies on the founders’ shoulders. So even if you won’t be directly reporting to the founders, it’s worth evaluating them. Do outside research if possible.
Some questions to consider about founders:
- How would I describe the founders’ management style, and is this compatible with my own preferences?
- Do the founders seem supportive of the sales team?
- What are the founders’ qualifications, and do I believe that they have what it takes to lead the company to long-term success?
5. Career Growth
When selecting a job, you’re not just deciding where to spend the next few years (or more!) of your life. You’re also making a decision that will impact the rest of your career. Given that slightly frightening truth, you need to take a hard look at where you want to go in the future.
Think about these concerns:
- Where do I want to be in my career in five years’ time? Ten years’ time? How well can each option help me get there?
- What new skills and connections will I build at each company I’m considering?
- Do these companies have a track record of promoting employees internally, and/or a formal program for promoting high-performing sales representatives?
- How will this position fit in on my CV? Is it part of a story of my career progression that makes sense?
6. Personal Satisfaction
Finally, it’s time to take inventory of your personal preferences and how well your options fit. You want to select a job that is personally fulfilling and enables you to lead the life you want.
Here are some issues to consider:
- Will I enjoy working in this city/neighborhood?
- How would I describe this company’s values, and do they align with my own?
- How much travel will be involved with each position, and is the prospect of travel a positive or negative for me?
- Will working at the company enable me to live the lifestyle I want in terms of spending time with family, recreational activities, etc.?
Depending on what you want out of a job, your may choose to weigh some of these factors more heavily than others. By going through each of these factors systematically, you can choose the job that’s best for you.