You’ve been looking for a career position in the legal profession and are in the lucky situation of having more than one offer, how do you make a choice? If you want to call this a problem, it is certainly a pleasant one. Let’s look at five strategies recommended by career-advice specialists that can help you make the best decision.
1. Evaluate compensation in terms of overall value.
A key concern as you advance along your career path in the legal profession is compensation. Salary is clearly important, but you should also take a look at the overall value equation.
Factor in your job offers’ respective benefit packages. Examine how insurance benefits are structured and what employee contributions are required. Are the retirement savings plans comparable? Are bonuses and/or incentives offered? How much paid time off will you get? Think holistically and take all of these factors into account when evaluating offers.
2. Weigh opportunities for work-life balance.
Monetary compensation is an important piece of the puzzle, but you should also consider work-life balance. If you have family commitments, schedule flexibility may be very important to you. Telecommuting can also enter the picture. Do any of your potential employers offer you the ability to do some of your work at home? The ability to work from home when it is possible can make a huge difference in your life.
Legal careers can be time-intensive, so you should compare the offers with regard to the likely demands on your time. Different employers follow different schools of thought. Your potential employer’s expectations can be a significant factor when you are making your decision.
3. Think about personal satisfaction and growth opportunities.
The best career advice anyone can ever give you is this: Be true to yourself. Think about the big picture, and base your decision on what is going to make you happy. You will want to be sure to identify your career goals and consider the opportunities to reach them when comparing job offers. If growth is a priority, you should evaluate the growth potential within each firm.
Growth potential can be viewed as the ability to assume increasing levels of responsibility, but there is another facet to consider. Innovations in legal technology are transforming the industry. You may want to lean toward a firm that is on the cutting edge from a technological standpoint so you can continually evolve as a legal professional in the 21st century.
Area of specialization is another factor. Is one firm offering a better opportunity to work in your preferred area of the law? As the saying goes, you will never work a day in your life if you are doing what you love to do.
4. Compare cultures.
Companies often have a clearly defined culture. If the employers extending you job offers have culture statements, examine them carefully. When you were interviewing and meeting people, you undoubtedly formed certain impressions. A job description is informative, but life is not lived on paper. You have to interact with coworkers every day — a difficult task if your preferences clash with your employer’s culture.
5. Solicit sound career advice.
When you are completely immersed in the job offer evaluation process, you may not see every angle clearly. People you know and trust may be able to provide career advice from fresh perspectives. Recruit family members, friends and associates as sounding boards when you are weighing competing offers.
When offers are coming in, your job search has been successful. You should feel great about what your efforts have earned you, and savor the moment before moving forward with confidence on the next stage of your career journey.
Charles A. Volkert is executive director of Robert Half Legal, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of attorneys, paralegals, legal administrators and other legal professionals with law firms and corporate legal departments. Based in Menlo Park, Calif., Robert Half Legal has offices in major cities throughout the United States and Canada.