Actions tend to follow decisions. More decisions follow actions. You can’t avoid them if you want to make personal and professional progress. Not all decisions are the same – some are trivial, easy to make, with predictable consequences. Others seem huge, difficult and with no guarantees.

What factors do you take into account when deciding which way to go in your job and career? How do you make a decision when faced with competing choices?

Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision. Peter Drucker

Recently, I was talking with a final year student about to graduate. He has an offer of a place on a three year graduate scheme with a well-known global company starting in the autumn. As is the increasing trend, he is in demand before his degree grade is known. He has brilliant extra-curricular achievements and sought-after employability skills and attitude.

He then gets a competing offer from another well-known company in a different field. This time it is only a six month paid internship. Yet, if the internship is a success, he would be eligible for the company’s new two year graduate scheme. They want him badly and he could start almost immediately.

What to do? Here are 7 criteria to decide which job grass is greener:

  1. Test your intuition – If Job A is heads and Job B is tails, flick a coin and ask yourself before it lands which side you would secretly like to be face up. What makes you feel that? Or, if you could only earn a living in either Job A or Job B for the rest of your life, what would it be?  In light of that, what question would you ask yourself next?
  2. Apply ‘what if’ logic – If you accept this job, what will you gain? If you accept this job what will you lose?
  3. Assess your risk appetite – What if it doesn’t work out? What if you succeed?
  4. Tackle the elephant – Of all the things racing through your mind, what is the one thing, if you settle it, would help you decide? What is the one question you are not asking yourself?
  5. Check your personal values – To what extent are you being consistent with yourself, who you are and what you believe in? Over what are you prepared/not prepared to compromise?
  6. Consider your well being – Have you done your research? Is this a great place to work? What if the people are great but the job is not? What if the job is great but the people are not? How will taking this path affect those who are closest to you?
  7. Check your compass – Where do you want to head?  What if one job is great but takes you away from your desired path? What if the other job is OK but takes you in the right direction for you? What matters most to you?

Give each criteria a score out of 10 for the competing job offers and see which one scores the highest. Bounce your thoughts and feelings off a friend so you can follow your instincts.

What works for you?