The Veteran’s Checklist for Choosing Which Job Offer to Accept

(U.S. Army photo)

Congratulations. After separating from the military, preparing for your civilian career and working your job plan, you've received multiple employment offers. While this feels like an ideal scenario, choosing the right job for your future can be challenging.

Here's a checklist for deciding which offer to accept.

The Offer

Not every job offer carries the same degree of compensation, growth opportunity or career potential. Evaluate the actual job offer by considering:

  • Is the offer written as you discussed?
  • Is there a clear start date?
  • Do you understand what's included in the compensation package?
  • Does the compensation package provide what you need for yourself and your family?
  • Do you need to provide information to solidify the offer?
  • Do you need to negotiate for a better offer?
  • Is the compensation package commensurate with your experience, skills and talents, and the job market for this job?
  • Are there other perks you could ask for in compensation (e.g., paid days off, expense accounts, additional training)?
  • Have you discussed the offer with your spouse and/or family? Do they have an opinion of which offer is best for you?

The Opportunity

Look at the job specifically. Ensure it meets your short-term goals (financial, emotional, professional) and long-term career aspirations. Then ask yourself:

  • Is the job clearly laid out and explained? Do you understand what you'll be doing day to day?
  • Does the opportunity provide career growth?
  • Is the job in a company you respect and admire?
  • Do your values align with the company's mission and values?
  • Do you like the person you'd report to? Did you feel rapport when you met them?
  • Are you comfortable with the team you'll be working closely with?
  • Are the company's expectations for you in this job realistic and achievable?
  • Have you discussed this opportunity with your mentors and supporters and received good input?
  • Is there anything about this job that feels like a red flag?

Your Career

In the big picture of your post-military career, this job (and subsequent jobs) should provide links to a chain that is interconnected. This ensures you'll always be learning, evolving and maturing your skills and experience to grow your contribution to your company, job and industry.

  • Does this opportunity meet your short- and long-term career and personal goals?
  • Are you clear about what you'll learn and how you'll grow professionally from the experience you'll gain in this role?
  • Will you be able to expand your network of decision-makers, influencers, information sources and cheerleaders in this role?
  • Can you envision yourself in this role a year from now? Three years from now?
  • What is the most exciting or enticing aspect of this job in terms of your career path?
  • Is there anything about this job or the company that could impact your career viability negatively in the future?

This list is certainly not all inclusive, but it offers the framework to assess each opportunity and evaluate the position in the context of your life and goals. With each decision you'll make, new doors will open, and others will close. Having careful thought and attention to how and why you make certain choices ensures your decisions will serve you today and into the future.

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