You\u2019ve gotten the job offer that you\u2019ve been working so hard to get. That\u2019s great! Maybe you have several job offers to pick from. Even better.\n\nYou may be feeling a range of emotions as you read over the job offer: excitement, happiness and maybe even relief that the process is over. You\u2019re starting to see yourself in your new role and showing up for your first day at work.\n\nYou know the details of the offer: salary, benefits and maybe the bonus structure. You have a good understanding of the job requirements. You\u2019ve met your potential new boss, maybe some team members, or your future business partners.\n\nYet as excited as you are, you\u2019re probably feeling nervous about making this decision. After all, this IS a big decision. \n\nThe IT job market is picking up, especially for IT leadership roles. I\u2019m currently seeing IT leaders evaluating 2 or 3 job opportunities. \n\nWhile this is great news, these IT leaders are struggling with how to make the best decision: Which job offer should they take? Should they stay at their current company? What if their current company makes a counter-offer?\n\n"You\u2019re making a career decision here!"\n\nThis classic line is from the movie Trading Places where Louis Winthorpe challenges a police officer who is about to conduct a body search. And this same line is appropriate when you are considering a job offer. The choice you make today may pay off big time, or it could potentially derail your career.\n\nHow do you make the best decision?\n\nThe reason why it\u2019s hard for many people to make the best decision is because they\u2019re not considering all the critical reasons to accept or pass on the job offer.\n\nWe\u2019ve been trained to look at the obvious: salary, bonus, vacation time, health benefits and other perks. We also try to determine if we are compatible with the culture and whether we will like our hiring manager.\n\nWhile these are great things to consider, there are other criteria that you must evaluate to make the best decision possible. After all, you could be making a lot more money, but it could be at the cost of working 60 hours a week.\n\nUse your head \u2026 and your heart\n\nMaking the best decision doesn\u2019t have to so stressful. It\u2019s really a combination of using your head and your heart to make your choice.\n\nUse your head \u2013 you need to evaluate more data points than salary, bonus, and the other obvious criteria. It means going a bit broader and deeper, and answering those questions that will help you get clear about this new opportunity.\n\nUse your heart \u2013 this is the \u201cgut check\u201d you\u2019ll want to do after having weighed all aspects of the offer. Considering everything you\u2019ve learned about the offer, does it \u201cfeel right\u201d to you? Too many times we IT people stay in our heads and never connect with our hearts when making decisions. So I encourage you to listen to your gut and don\u2019t discount what you\u2019re feeling.\n\nI recently coached a client who had a dream job offer. All the right pieces seem to be there. But as I coached her through making the decision, when she listened to her heart, she felt uneasy about accepting this job. After more exploration, she realized the job wasn\u2019t really a good fit for her, and that she was considering accepting the offer out of fear of scarcity, rather than from a position of strength.\n\nQuestions you should be asking\n\nSo what are those other questions you need to consider to help you make an informed decision? Consider the following when comparing job offers or whether to stay in your current role:\n\nCreate a spreadsheet giving weight to the various aspects of your current job and the offers(s) on the table using the standard questions mentioned earlier, plus those I\u2019ve provided above. \n\nAfter going through your scoring exercise and looking at how things stack up, be sure to check in with your heart. If your head and your heart seem to be in alignment with your decision, then rest easy. You\u2019ve made the best decision based on the information you have available.\n\nDo you have additional criteria for evaluating a job offer beyond the obvious questions? Please share it with us!