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There’s a certain sense of satisfaction in knowing more than one company is vying for you and your talent. It’s like balance has been restored in the universe and the power struggle is finally righted. That is, until you realize you have to make a choice. How do you choose between two really great positions? Is one perk more important than another and which factors should you consider for long term job security? We went to A. Harrison Barnes, career coach and founder of the fast growing job aggregate site, Hound.com for his insight. From his unique position, he was able to offer insight you might not have considered.

Money might make the world go round, but at some point, it’s not going to be as strong a factor as it is now and when that happens, you better have another reason for sticking out a long term employment gig. “Most people reach that place in their lives when all the material things have been acquired. Mortgages are paid in full, kids are out of the nest and their college educations have long since been paid for”, says Barnes. It’s then when many of us realize our jobs, while providing our financial security, did little else for our sense of career satisfaction. While the salary is important now as you consider which offer to accept, at the very least, keep it in the back of your mind that it’s not always going to be that way.

Weigh both companies and their commitment to those issues important to you. For instance, how involved in the community are they? Which one takes a more proactive approach to the environment? Mentoring programs? Education reimbursement? These are important and should be factored into your grand scheme.

Don’t forget to consider the office environment, the Hound.com founder suggests. Is it too formal? Maybe it’s not portraying a professional image in the community or it could be that it’s too much of a stickler for issues you consider mundane (a mandatory tie or open toe sandals on those days when there are no meetings). While this is seemingly a vain approach, remember that this is going to be a significant part of your life and after a few years, it could become far more resentful than it is now.

Finally, A. Harrison Barnes encourages job seekers to consider commute time, the connection made during the interview with your potential new manager and even the size of the department you’d be working in, especially if it appears both jobs are otherwise indistinguishable.

Bottom line is it’s always your choice and it could very well be that the one you selected was all wrong. At that point, you’ll be facing a decision yet again: should you stay or should you go? Before you decide, be sure to check out the current hiring environment for your career avenue. One way of doing this is visiting Hound.com. Here you’ll get an unbiased and realistic view into whether or not it’s a good time to consider changing employers.

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